Vauxhall Corsa

Popular, easy-to-drive supermini is an ideal first car

This is the average score given by leading car publications from 7 reviews
  • Cheap
  • Handsome
  • Refined engines
  • Struggles on motorways
  • Little flair
  • Jiggly ride at times

£9,740 - £17,725 Price range


5 Seats


47 - 88 MPG


Generous deals meant that the old Vauxhall Corsa was one of the most popular models sold in the UK, but it was outclassed in almost every way by newer rivals such as the Hyundai i20, Renault Clio, Skoda Fabia and Kia Rio. Buy it from one of carwow’s trusted dealers and you could save an average of £1,420 on your new Corsa.

The current Corsa makes improvements in all areas. It looks modern and stylish on the outside, while the inside has a nicer dashboard design built from quality plastics and modelled on the one found in the trendy Vauxhall Adam. It’s good enough to match the Ford Fiesta’s and gets surprisingly close to the plush inners of the Volkswagen Polo – new-found territory for Vauxhall.

If you’ve sat in the old Corsa, you’ll also notice the new model’s extra space. At more than four meters long, it is bigger than the car it replaces and there’s space for four adults to sit comfortably. As before, you can choose between the practicality of five doors or the style of a three-door car.

The new Corsa feels bigger when you get out on the road, too. The noise that makes its way into the cabin is minimal – up with the best in class, in fact. The steering is light – to make the car easier to drive in town – but with the weight a layer of interaction has also been lost. So, although the Corsa arguably has the most refined handling in its class, it isn’t as engaging as the Fiesta.

The obvious engine choice is the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbo petrol. It pulls off the same trick as Ford’s 1.0-litre EcoBoost – being both zippy and cheap to run.

Expression is the lowest trim level and it’s sparsely equipped – offering not much more than central locking, electrically-adjustable door mirrors and a stereo. Excite is the cheapest trim to have air-conditioning as standard – a must in our book. Standard 16-inch alloy wheels mean it also looks nicer than a bog-standard car and it has Bluetooth for easy connection of your smartphone.

To see if the Corsa will fit in your life have a look at our dimensions guide and for help choosing the right shade we have prepared a colour guide.

Cheapest to buy: 1.2-litre Sting petrol

Cheapest to run: 1.3-litre ecoFLEX diesel

Fastest model: 1.4-litre Black Edition petrol

Most popular: 1.2-litre STING petrol

Critics have noted that the new Corsa’s cabin is cleverly executed and well appointed, bringing the new model up to speed with its main rivals – the Ford Fiesta, and the Volkswagen Polo. Vauxhall’s new IntelliLink infotainment system comes as standard on all but entry-level models, and features a seven-inch colour touchscreen.

Reviewers were impressed by the system’s logical layout, and ability to download apps such as BringGo navigation, and internet radio apps. This will no-doubt appeal to the typical, young, supermini buyer.

Vauxhall Corsa passenger Space

With the overall shape of the Corsa remaining largely the same, interior space is still impressive. The car will seat five adults comfortably, although critics have said that lanky teenagers may not enjoy prolonged periods of time sitting behind passengers or drivers who are six foot or more.

Vauxhall Corsa boot space

At 285 litres, the Corsa’s boot is bigger than the one in the Ford Fiesta that can hold 10 litres less. However, it is nowhere near the Honda Jazz with its 379-litre boot. Split-folding rear seats are reserved only for the most expensive models and even so, the seats do not fall flat on the floor.

Improvements to the Corsa’s handling at long last see it as a proper contender against its rivals when it comes to how it drives.

Critics were impressed by the sturdy chassis, and the car’s eagerness when it comes to driving through the twisty stuff. On standard 16-inch wheels, the steering is accurate, and there is a notable improvement in interior refinement over the old model. Vibration and road-noise levels have been reduced, and road-testers have noted that the new six-speed manual gearbox is the slickest-shifting unit fitted to a Corsa yet.

Whilst the Corsa may have a new found eagerness for cornering, it still struggles to compete with the more direct set-up and sharper chassis of the Fiesta. Critics have put this down to the fact that the Corsa was set up with ease of use in mind.

There is a wide range of engines to choose from on the new Corsa, some of which have been carried over from the previous model, while others are all new.

Vauxhall Corsa petrol engines

The engines that have the critics raving, however, are the newly introduced pair of three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbo petrols, offering either 90hp or 114hp. Unlike in the diesel line-up, its the lower-powered model that offers the best fuel economy, returning up to 65.7mpg versus the 114hp model’s best of 57.6mpg. Road tax is also very affordable ranging from just £20 to £30 every year.

Vauxhall Corsa diesel engines

The new petrol engines in the Corsa are so good that most people will struggle to justify a diesel model, they only really make sense if you cover an annual mileage high enough to recoup the car’s more expensive list price. Vauxhall offers the 1.3-litre diesel engine with either 74 or 94hp. Strangely, it’s the 114hp engine that offers the cheapest running costs – returning fuel economy of 88.3mpg and CO2 emissions that mean road tax is free. The lower-powered model is also exempt from paying road, but fuel economy drops to a best of 76.3mpg.


Critics love the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine's smoothness and refinement.

Car magazine notes that it "isn’t a buzzy bundle of revs in the manner of Ford’s EcoBoost or some other triple-cylinder powerplants, but is instead markedly smooth and quiet, especially at a cruise."

That said, it does lack a bit of punch, and overtaking always requires changing down a gear (or two) – but that lack of power is made up for by impressive economy – a claimed 57.6mg on the combined cycle shouldn't be too hard to get achieve.
The 1.4-litre engine available in the Corsa is a bit of a weird mix – it's bigger than the new turbocharged, three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine, but has less punch.

Autocar says that "this may well be the perfect engine choice for someone who likes diesel characteristics but doesn’t want a diesel car." Critics say that if you change up well before the rev limiter like you would in a diesel then you'll make acceptable progress, but revving it out won't actually make you go any faster.

It's noted as a quiet and smooth engine at low revs, and its 119g/km potential CO2 emissions mean road tax is free in the first year, and £30 per year thereafter.

Although this car is yet to be put through the stringent Euro NCAP tests, there is plenty here to suggest that the new Corsa will perform well. Chief among which is the fact that the previous model achieved the coveted five-star rating, so one would imagine that the new model will only improve on this.

The Corsa boasts six airbags, and an electronic stability control system that helps to recover from skids as standard safety equipment, and an impressive list of driver aids on the options list.

Included on this list are aids that will warn the driver if there is a vehicle in your blind spot, as well as a system that will also apply the brakes if it detects a collision with another vehicle in front of you in stop-start traffic.

There’s a range of eight Corsa trim levels to choose from — Life, Sting, Excite Limited Edition, Design, SRi, SRi VX-Line and SE — and that doesn’t include the quick VXR model.

Even basic Corsas come with a heated windscreen that quickly clears a foggy front window, remote central locking, electric front windows, electrically adjustable door mirrors and a raft of safety features. Of the range Excite, Limited Edition and SRi models are expected to be the most popular.

Vauxhall Corsa Excite

While the basic Corsa comes with strong levels of equipment, it is worth investigating the Excite model if you fancy making your Corsa look smarter, while getting a few extra creature comforts thrown in. It rides on 16-inch alloy wheels (not the ugly steel ones of the basic model) and gets body-coloured door handles. Air conditioning is standard, as are auto lights and wipers, as well as cruise control. Vauxhall also includes its IntelliLink infotainment system, so you get a colour screen in the centre of the dashboard that can mirror the display of your smartphone and is compatible with some of its apps.

Vauxhall Corsa Limited Edition

Limited Edition models look even sportier. They have 17-inch alloy wheels that do a better job of filling the Corsa’s wheelarches, when combined with the standard sports suspension. Further appearance-enhancing trinkets include body coloured bumpers and side skirts, front foglights with chrome surrounds, tinted rear windows and chrome-look exhaust tips.

Vauxhall Corsa SRi

As the Monto Carlo does in the Skoda Fabia range, the Corsa SRi gives buyers sporty looks without the running costs of a true performance model. As a result, you get 16-inch alloy wheels on the outside, plus sports seats and pedals on the inside.


Critics have stated that the new Vauxhall Corsa is a very likeable car. The incredibly competitive pricing, coupled with the generous range of fittings equipped as standard makes this a genuinely attractive option. Add to this a roomy interior, low running costs and a competent range of new engines, Vauxhall really does seem to be on to a winner with the new Corsa.

Whilst it may not be able to quite live up to the dynamic ability of the Ford Fiesta, or the quality feel of the Volkswagen Polo, the pricing and standard features make the Corsa a truly attractive option.

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