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Car trim reviews

Vauxhall Corsa SXi

The SXi comes with some extra equipment that makes the Corsa look and feel a bit sportier than lower spec models, but in terms of suspension set-up and engine choice it is completely standard.

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The Vauxhall Corsa SXi, which sits below the SRi in the Corsa line-up, is the brand's rival to the Ford Fiesta Zetec. Like the Zetec, it gets sporty looks, but has no engine or suspension changes that would adversely affect running costs. For a sportier look, you get 16-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights and a chrome exhaust pipe, as well as tinted tail lights and rear windows as standard.

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Inside there’s everything that can be found in lower spec models, such as heated door mirrors, along with sporty looking front seats and dials, 60:40 split-folding rear seats, and a leather steering wheel. Cruise control is also included, but air-conditioning and stop start are only available as standard on the A/C and S/S models respectively. Both of these are well worth the extra money.

Both the three and five-door models in the SXi range are available with the 84bhp 1.2-litre and the 99bhp 1.4-litre petrol engines. There is also a 1.3-litre diesel engine, available with either 74bhp or 99bhp.

Good points

The Corsa is well known for its comfort and practicality, and the SXi model is no exception. It may look sporty but it comes without the higher-spec SRi’s sports suspension, so comfort isn’t compromised in any way.Its comfortable seating position and light steering make it an ideal town runabout, while the Corsa’s 285-litre boot is larger than its main rival, the Ford Fiesta. With the rear seats folded down, this can be expanded to over 1,000 litres.The four engines available give reasonable performance, but it is their fuel economy that impresses most, with all of them being capable of over 50mpg on the motorway.

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Bad points

The Vauxhall Corsa SXi is great as a runabout for getting you from A to B, but on the open road it feels a little lifeless in comparison to the Ford Fiesta Zetec, which is much more fun to drive.It doesn’t offer great value for money when compared to the Fiesta either. The standard SXi costs around £600 more than the equivalent Fiesta Zetec and for that money, you would expect the SXi to come with air-conditioning and electronic stability control as standard. That said, you should be able to negotiate a big discount on a brand-new Vauxhall, without much haggling.Vauxhall’s petrol engines aren’t quite powerful enough and, although extremely efficient, the 1.3 diesel is far too noisy.

What you get

  • Alloy wheels
  • Folding rear seats
  • Passenger & Driver airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Curtain airbags
  • Front fog lights
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • CD Multichanger
  • AUX stereo input
  • Cruise control
  • Sports seats

Recommended optional extras

  • Electronic stability control
  • Air conditioning

Our choice

The fastest version of the Corsa SXi is the 1.4-litre petrol, but for the best fuel economy we recommend that you go for the 1.3-litre CDTi diesel, which is capable of an impressive 74 mpg.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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