Vauxhall Corsa hatchback (2006-2014)
"The Vauxhall Corsa is well built and has a high-quality finish, but it’s showing its age and isn’t as spacious or good to drive as newer rivals."
- Well built
- Low diesel running costs
- Big dealer discounts
- Inefficient petrol engines
- Dull to drive
- Roomier rivals
But unlike those models, the three and five-door versions have their own distinctive styling, with the sporty three-door getting a more rounded rear end and small back windows, while the practical five-door hatchback has a squarer tail to make room for the extra doors and a bigger boot.
The Corsa has a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating, but this was awarded in 2006, and the test has been toughened up in the intervening years. That doesn’t mean the Corsa is unsafe, but it does lag behind its rivals.
The range is vast, with assorted special editions on offer alongside the regular line-up. All are powered by a variety of small petrol and diesel engines. Unfortunately, the petrol engines return poor economy and emissions when compared to the latest engines from rivals.
There’s a wheezy 1.0-litre three-cylinder, as well as 1.2 and 1.4-litre four-cylinder engines (which are offered in fuel-saving ecoFLEX form or with automatic gearboxes on selected models). The diesel range comprises two different versions of the same CDTi engine – a 1.3-litre and a 1.7-litre – and the latter would be our top choice.
The sole drawback with that engine is that it’s restricted to the pricey SRi, the sportiest of the standard Corsa models. If you want something slightly less racy, then we’d recommend one of the 1.4-litre petrol engines in SE trim.
Things are no less complicated when it comes to choosing your trim level. The basic range consists of S, SE, SXi, SRi and the Corsa VXR hot hatchback, but there are a wide variety of special editions offered, some of which seem to have been on sale for almost as long as the standard range. That means there are more than 10 trims to choose from at any one time – all offering extra kit or personalisation options over the standard cars.
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