Vauxhall Corsa hatchback (2014-2019)

"Offering excellent value, the Vauxhall Corsa is a practical and affordable supermini but its engines and interior fall short of rivals"

Carbuyer Rating

2.6 out of 5

Owners Rating

2.9 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Well equipped
  • Smooth ride comfort

Cons

  • Interior quality
  • Dated, thirsty engine
  • Not all trims get split rear seats

It's rare that the Vauxhall Corsa doesn't feature in the monthly top 10 best sellers list in the UK, such is its enduring popularity among British motorists. It's hardly a surprise, though – Vauxhall's network is one of the largest in the country, so you rarely have to stray far from home to find a dealer or a workshop.

Its impressive value for money is key to its appeal, as is a user-friendly nature that adds to its popularity among driving schools and new licensees alike, and the car was a capable rival to the Ford Fiesta, Peugeot 208 and Volkswagen Polo, as well as the Kia Rio and Hyundai i20 when it was first launched. This particular model is set to be replaced in 2020 and unless you can find some big discounts, which may be possible, we’d recommend waiting for the new one; the outgoing car is showing its age, and the one engine available is uneconomical and old-fashioned compared with the ones available in newer rivals.

Although effectively a heavy facelift of its predecessor, the latest Vauxhall Corsa was nevertheless a big step forwards when it arrived in the UK in 2014. Offered with three or five doors, it introduced a sporty new style that was particularly evident in the now-discontinued high-performance Vauxhall Corsa VXR, which we reviewed separately. Even the less powerful three-door models have a youthful, fun look to them, while the five-door is a more practical choice thanks to its easier rear passenger access.

Corsa buyers are used to more engine options than just the 1.4-litre petrol left available. The engine range has contracted for a number of reasons, including falling diesel sales, stricter emissions regulations, Vauxhall’s new ownership, and this particular Corsa reaching the end of its life. The 1.4-litre is at least offered with two power outputs, with 74 or 89bhp, but fuel-economy figures from 38.2 to 44.1mpg and CO2 emissions from 128 to 150g/km are high for a supermini. Start/stop technology is offered as an optional engine choice on the 89bhp version and offers slight improvements to economy and emissions.

Betraying its mission to please every driver all of the time, the Corsa strikes a sensible compromise between comfort and driving involvement. It may not have quite the sharp reflexes and cornering fluidity of the Ford Fiesta or SEAT Ibiza, but it certainly isn't a let down, either. It resists body lean even when driven really hard, yet the ride quality doesn't suffer too badly as a trade-off. Most will find the Corsa comfortable, although potholes can shudder through the car at low speeds.

As tends to be the way with Vauxhalls, there’s loads of choice on offer, with a wide variety of possible trims and engine combinations. These were pared back at the same time as the engine range, though, with Vauxhall reducing the number of trim levels from 11 to eight in a bid to simplify the range for customers and reduce manufacturing costs. Active, Design, Energy, Sport, SRi Nav, SE Nav, SRi VX-Line Nav Black and GSi remain and our favourite is the Corsa Design, which has air-conditioning, DAB radio, alloy wheels and cruise control, making it a real grown-up supermini. We also like Vauxhall’s latest IntelliLink infotainment system, which is easy to use and connect to your smartphone.

One concern could be the Corsa’s four-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating in a class where a number of rivals have five stars. This is partly because the testing regime has become stricter recently. The Corsa has six airbags to protect occupants, as well as the usual anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control.

While it’s hugely popular, the Corsa has never been blessed with a great reliability record, so some owners choose to extend the three-year warranty, and Vauxhall offers several different levels of extra cover. The Vauxhall Corsa finished 92nd out of the 100 cars ranked in our 2019 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey of cars currently on sale in the UK.

At least the number of Vauxhall dealers across the nation is reassuring, while the Corsa’s practicality, smooth handling and well thought out interior make it a model that deserves its huge popularity, even if it’s in need of another update to keep up with rivals.

Recommended

Volkswagen Polo vs Ford Fiesta vs Vauxhall Corsa
Volkswagen Polo vs Ford Fiesta vs Vauxhall Corsa header
Superminis
8 Sep 2021

Volkswagen Polo vs Ford Fiesta vs Vauxhall Corsa

Top 10 best cars for students 2021
Skoda Fabia hatchback front 3/4 static
Best cars
3 Sep 2021

Top 10 best cars for students 2021

Top 10 best cars for cyclists and bikes 2021
Land Rover Discovery with roof-mounted bike
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cars for cyclists and bikes 2021

Vauxhall Corsa hatchback review
Vauxhall Corsa
Vauxhall Corsa
24 Jun 2021

Vauxhall Corsa hatchback review

Most Popular

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year
2022 Citroen Ami
Citroen Ami
21 Sep 2021

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year

Top 10 best small estates 2021
Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Octavia Estate
22 Sep 2021

Top 10 best small estates 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Toyota RAV4
14 Sep 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks