Used Vauxhall Corsa review: 2014-2019 (Mk4) - Reliability and common problems

Although not widely recognised as such by existing owners, the Corsa Mk4 is largely reliable and not plagued by common faults

Carbuyer Rating

2.6 out of 5

Reliability and common problems Rating

2.5 out of 5

The last time that the Corsa Mk4 appeared in our Driver Power survey of owner satisfaction it placed a disastrous 92nd out of 100. Typically, that sort of poor performance would indicate that a car has woeful reliability or is generally troublesome, but while that was a criticism levelled against the Corsa Mk4 in the survey, there doesn’t seem to be much outside evidence that it’s especially problematic.

When new and in warranty it was subject to several recalls that involved preventative maintenance, but the number of cars that suffered an actual problem was small, and by now the remedial works should have been completed. Do check with the vendor that they have been, though. 

On the whole the Corsa Mk4 appears to be reliable, with few reported problems, common or otherwise. Some owners have experienced isolated issues, occasionally serious, but there will always be rogue models, no matter which car maker you look at.

Are there any common problems and things to look at?

Above and beyond the vehicle recalls that we’ll look at in a moment, mechanically the Corsa Mk4 is largely trouble-free. We have seen a report of a 1.0-litre petrol engine requiring a new timing chain, sprockets and tensioner after just 12,000 miles, and again at 26,000 miles, but this would appear to be a lone incident.

There are several reports of a serious water leak that drenches the carpet in the driver’s side footwell, and electrical gremlins are known to frustrate some owners, from the infotainment screen going blank, to the electric windows operating of their own accord.

General wear and tear is what the Corsa Mk4 is more likely to suffer from, so look for scraped alloy wheels, chipped paintwork, dented bodywork and broken pieces of plastic interior trim, especially if the car has been used as a family wagon. 

What about recalls?

The Corsa Mk4 has been recalled on three separate occasions for possible failures of steering and front suspension components: these concerned cars built between 18 November 2014 and 28 September 2015, and Vauxhall went to great pains to track down all affected cars because of the potential seriousness of the problems.

Cars made between 25 August and 1 December 2016 were fitted with side airbags that might not deploy in an accident, and another batch of cars built in roughly the same timeframe were recalled because their handbrakes could disengage unexpectedly. Bonnets popping open at speed caused the recall of some models made between 2 February and 29 March 2018, while higher than permitted levels of NOx emissions meant new software was required for some cars made between 5 January 2018 and 9 April 2019.

What do owners think?

The Vauxhall Corsa came 92nd in our 2019 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey of cars on sale in the UK at that time. Of all the owners who responded, a below-average 12.3% reported experiencing a problem with their car at least once. Vauxhall also came a disappointing 29th place out of 30 manufacturers in the survey.

Of the issues reported, problems with the electrics were the most common. Owners were most pleased with the Corsa’s running costs and infotainment, but marked down the handling and practicality.

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