Vauxhall Corsa

Reasonable all-round, this popular supermini is practical and easy to drive

£8,995 - £22,400 Price range

5 Seats

37 - 85 MPG

7.2
wowscore
This is the average score given by leading car publications from 19 reviews
  • Stylish design
  • Loads of room
  • Comfortable
  • Driver’s visibility not great
  • Little standard equipment
  • Some very slow engines

It may be getting on a bit now, but the Vauxhall Corsa still gets some fairly impressive reviews. The testers seem to like its decent space and practicality, along with the tidy dynamics and the car’s mature and ‘grown up’ feel. It isn’t class leading in that many areas, but the 2012 Corsa is still a supermini that’s worthy of your attention.

 

Interior

It won’t worry an Audi A1 or VW Polo for build quality, but the Corsa’s cabin is quite a nice place to be for the class standard, and certainly feels more upmarket than some of its similarly priced rivals. Space is also quite impressive for a supermini, with plenty of storage cubbies up front and useful amounts of head and legroom all round, though taller passengers may not find it the most comfortable place to sit.

The boot is a fairly large size, and becomes one of the largest in its class with the rear seats folded down, but some may be annoyed by the fact they don’t lie down completely flat.

Driving

As you’d expect from a car that’s commonly used by learner drivers to pass their tests in, the Corsa is a fairly easy car to drive. The controls are nice and light, and visibility all round is reasonable, though some critics reckon that the thick rear pillars restrict it a tad, especially on the three door models.

The ride quality is commendable for such a small and short car, and apart from some intrusive wind noise at higher speeds, refinement is also a plus point. However, though many testers agree that it’s a good car to drive, some think that it’s not quite as dynamically composed as a Ford Fiesta.

Engines

There’s a fairly broad array of engines on offer in the Corsa line-up, ranging from tiny 1.0 petrols to a comparatively gargantuan 1.7 diesel. All of them are fairly cheap to run, with impressive fuel economy and low CO2 emissions. Most critics say that the smaller engines don’t quite have enough grunt across the entire rev range, and generally feel underpowered.

The general consensus is that the midrange engines are the ones to go for, as they offer a decent blend of power, performance and fuel economy. However, some of these engines are only available at higher trim levels, so can get a bit pricey, and a few critics thought some were a bit noisy when worked hard.

Value for money

The Corsa is competitively priced in the market place, and should be affordable in the long run thanks to the impressive running costs and low insurance ratings. It’s also possible to get some really good discounts from dealers, and servicing costs shouldn’t be too high.

Although higher spec models come with a fair bit of kit, the base models are incredibly spartan in comparison, and it can get fairly expensive once you start piling on the options. The Corsa also won’t hold its value quite as well as some of its more desirable rivals.

Worth noting

The Corsa is available with either three or five doors. If you want your Corsa to look fairly sporty, the three door model may appeal to you, but buyers who have families or carry people on a regular basis will be better off with the five door option. Rear visibility is also compromised more on the three door version, thanks to the thicker rear pillars.

The larger engines in the range will be potent enough for most people. However, should you want a bit more poke, then there’s always the peppy hot hatch variant, the Corsa VXR.

Conclusion

The Vauxhall Corsa is one of the best selling cars in Britain, so it’s no surprise to hear that it’s a good all-rounder. It rides and handles nicely, there’s a good amount of space and practicality on offer and the Corsa is an affordable car to buy and run. Though some rivals are better than it in some specific and key areas, but the Corsa’s competitive pricing and broad breadth of talents means it’s still a car that’s worth considering if you’re in the market for a supermini.

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