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Vauxhall Corsa

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7.2 wowscore
 
 
Vauxhall corsa 2011 facelift
  • 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.

Read Vauxhall Corsa reviews >>

Key Details

Price range:
£8,995 - £22,400
MPG:
37 - 85
Date released:
2006
Replacement due:
Within a couple of years
Model history:
In early 2011 Vauxhall gave the Corsa a slight facelift, all our photos show the new look. The differences include a more stylish front bumper, a few tweaks to the interior and some new engines. Not huge changes, just enough to make it look smarter!
Engine to go for:
The 1.3 CDTi 95 is a great mix of power and fuel economy
Other variants:
There’s a faster version too, the Corsa VXR
Engine naming:
CDTi engines are diesel, all the others are petrol
Other:

Further reading:
Corsa colours guide
Corsa dimensions guide
Vauxhall Corsa vs Vauxhall Astra

wowscore:
7.2 out of 10 from 19 reviews
Read Vauxhall Corsa reviews >>
Type Reviews Score
1.2 6 6.8
1.3 CDTi 75 ecoFlex 4 6.3
1.3 CDTi 95 5 7.3
1.4 100 2 8.0
1.7 CDTi 1 8.0
General 4 8.0
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Vauxhall Corsa User Reviews

1.4 SE (2011) 42.0 mpg
7 wowscore

This is a quality car, you can feel how well built it is inside and out. From the get-go the ride is very smooth, i'd recommend the 1.4 as I read many reviews saying the 1.2 is particularly sluggish. I'm very happy with the performance of the 1.4. Fuel economy is decent but not incredible. I regret not getting the 5 door Corsa now as the 3 door isn't terribly practical. The only other complaint I have is that the A pillars are slightly too wide, constricting my view slightly as you need to sort of move around them to see. It doesn't cause me great trouble though.

All in all it's a great small car, definitely give it a test drive as I found it compared very favourably against other options like the Polo and i20.

  • By Alex Tindel, who owns this car
1.4 VVT SE (2010) 45.0 mpg
9 wowscore

Truly love this car. Its full of all the toys you could ever want. E.g heated steering wheel the reserve of mercs and BMWS till now. But the toys are a small part. The engine is a lovely, so smooth while delievering punchy performance, also pulls like a diesel kind of :). The ride and handling are both great, the ride is a touch firm, well its not but i live in an area riddled with potholes so you know, as the handling its sharp crisp and has some feel through the wheel. The interior is a very pleasant place to be, with its high standard of build. One tiny critism might be the gearbox, although has quite a direct postive feel, is a tad more notchy than in a fiesta zetec(new shape) which i test drove, reason i ultimately bought a corsa was due to it being slightly less money, better spec-ed , more meaty engine and it seemed slightly more refined than the fiesta. In terms of looks i think maybe the fiesta has the edge but in 3 door form the corsa and the fiesta are equally as stylish!

  • By Alex Evans, who owns this car
petrol 1.4 (2012)
8 wowscore

although it is not a perfect car, i believe that the corsa is the best choice in its class. i bought the 1.4 petrol which according to the specs sheet delivers 100 bhp. i got it equipped with 17 inch rims and a panoramic sunroof which adds to the looks. the problems with this version is that it has a sporty suspension which is a bit rough on the ground and the visibility is not great for the driver. as for the performance i got to 190 km/h which is great for an engine this size. consumption i believe is average for its class so no downsides there. all in all i believe that its a good german car considering the price. if it is compared to cars like the polo buyers will find it a bit more appealing to get the corsa because of the looks and i believe that it much more fun to drive. as for the Corsa vs. fiesta fight, i think that the only upside is that the corsa has a bigger leg room in the back.
it is a great car as i said if you look at the price but it should have been better equipped.

  • By yensen aftershavingcol, who owns this car
1.2 (61)
1 wowscore

I Hate this car, i have had bad cars in the past but this one tops it off. its a 61 plate and have had 2 break failures, 4 new radios, and vauxhall about a month ago had to rebuild the engine because the cams had gone. they then descoverd that the water pump had gone too.... driving to work today the engine management light came on, now it has to go back into the garage where it has spent most of its 12 months in!!!! if you are thinking of buying a new vauxhall then dont please.... i wish i had never gone for a new one.

  • By Rob, who owns this car
1.0 s petrol (2012) 29.0 mpg
7 wowscore

my second new eco flex 1.0 s petrol. they have at last sorted the noisy brake pads, the car is well put together and ideal for town/city driving. but the fuel consumpion is very poor. my first averaged 31mpg during the 3 years of ownership. and the new one after 2 months is returning 29mpg.

  • By Tony, who owns this car
1.4 vvt automatic (2012) 36.0 mpg
9 wowscore

Great looks,interior room, powerful and smooth engine,good fuel economy,good driving,plenty of choice,decent boot,quality interior.

  • By steve valentine, who owns this car
  • Vauxhall corsa 2011 green
  • Vauxhall corsa 2011 yellow
  • Vauxhall corsa 2011 yellow (2)
  • Vauxhall corsa 2011 yellow (3)
  • Vauxhall corsa 2011 yellow (4)
  • Vauxhall corsa 2011 steering wheel
  • Vauxhall corsa 2011 interior
  • Vauxhall corsa 2011 sat nav
  • Vauxhall corsa 2011 back seats
  • Vauxhall corsa 2011 boot
  • Parkers' TV review

    Excellent video review by Parkers.co.uk. They review the Corsa range and say what they like about the car.

     
  • NCAP crash test

    Video from the NCAP crash tests.

     
  • Advert for the 2011 Corsa

    TV advert for the new Corsa. Shows the new styling.

     
  • Vauxhall Corsa Video Review

    Excellent video review of the Vauxhall Corsa. They show the interior, how much space there is and tell us what it's like to drive. Video from carbuyer.