Vauxhall has hit some fine form in recent years – both the Astra hatchback and the Corsa supermini prove the British brand can compete with the class best. We compare the two to see how they fare against each other.
If you’re sold on either, put the Vauxhall Astra or the Vauxhall Corsa in our car configurator to see the deals carwow could help you save. To see more options, check out our list of the best hatchbacks and our list of the best superminis on sale.
Vauxhall Astra vs Corsa – styling
While the Astra’s sporty side profile looks similar to the model it replaces, small details help to freshen the new car’s overall appearance. The new headlight design, grille and bonnet are all much sharper in appearance than before, while the flanks feature a blacked-out C-pillar to give the appearance of a floating roof.
The latest Corsa isn’t a bad looking car by any means, but with little more than a new grille and set of lights to differentiate it from the model it replaced, it won’t be long before it’ll appear dated in the face of newer competition. Nevertheless, it’s a cohesive design that’s noticeably more upmarket than its somewhat anonymous forebear.
Vauxhall Astra vs Corsa – interior
From behind the Astra’s wheel, the dashboard is well-laid out, easy to use, and far less cluttered than the model it replaces. Passenger space is much improved, too, with rear seat occupants benefiting from an extra 35mm of legroom. Build quality has taken a leap forward and, overall, the Astra can now boast one of the best interiors in the class.
The Corsa’s insides are a pleasant place to sit, too. It shares the same attractive steering wheel design with the Astra, and the dashboard looks uncluttered and modern – especially on models equipped with the seven-inch touchscreen which only the entry-level version does without.
Being the smaller car, the Corsa loses out on cabin space compared to the Astra and, though the 285-litre boot can’t match the Astra’s 370, it’s still competitive within its own class.
Vauxhall Astra vs Corsa – driving
The Astra offers a brilliant compromise between being good to drive and comfortable over poor surfaces. It’s almost as fun to drive as the class-leading Ford Focus – body roll is well contained and the steering is intuitive and accurate. Though the ride is firm, it could never be called uncomfortable – it can’t quite match the cosseting Volkswagen Golf but counters by being more fun to drive.
Though the latest Corsa shares its chassis with the previous model, the difference between the two is like night and day. The old car’s greatest letdown was the steering – vague, slow-witted and heavy. Much like the Astra, however, the new Corsa benefits from light and precise steering, resulting in a much more enjoyable drive if not quite on par with the Ford Fiesta or Mazda 2. Refinement and ride comfort are impressive for such a small car, too.
Vauxhall Astra vs Corsa – engines
The most popular engine for the Astra is the 1.6-litre diesel, and it’s ideal for those who cover high mileages – it’s quiet, brisk and, in the case of the most frugal ecoFLEX version, capable of an official 85.6mpg. Buyers who prefer petrol power get a frugal 1.0-litre turbocharged unit, a 1.4-litre motor with a little more pep or a 197hp 1.6-litre – currently the fastest Astra available, covering 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds.
The smaller two of those petrol units are offered in the Corsa, too. The 1.0-litre delivers smooth power, nippy performance and a pleasant noise thanks to its three-cylinder layout. The larger 1.4 feels enthusiastic too and, with 150hp, makes a great case for a warm hatch. The basic petrol, a 69hp 1.2-litre non-turbo engine, offers group 2 insurance, making it an ideal candidate for young drivers. The 1.3-litre diesel sounds a little more gruff than the more insulated Astra, but a claimed 88.3mpg can’t be sniffed at.
Vauxhall Astra vs Corsa – value for money
If a low purchase price is the priority, it’s the smaller Corsa that predictably comes out on top. The entry-level model costs from £9,265 more than £6,000 cheaper than the most basic Astra.
That isn’t to say the Astra doesn’t represent good value, though all models feature alloy wheels, cruise control, air conditioning and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard. Higher-spec models gain LED headlights, a heated steering wheel and a larger eight-inch touchscreen.
Vauxhall Astra vs Corsa – verdict
The Vauxhall Corsa represents a massive leap forwards compared to the model it replaces. It keeps one of the few plus points of the old car impressive refinement and adds a genuine sense of fun, improved build quality and better engines. It’s a great choice in the supermini segment.
If you can afford the bigger car, however, it’s the Astra which wins this comparison. If we’re being picky, a Volkswagen Golf is still slightly better built, but otherwise it has very few weaknesses. Not only is it better than the Corsa overall, but it’s a contender for the best car in its class.
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