Vauxhall Corsa Review

The Vauxhall Corsa is good to drive, has strong, efficient engines and offers a pure-electric version. Its interior is a bit drab, though, and space in the back is tight.

7/10
Wowscore

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car

What's good

  • Fun to drive
  • Generous equipment
  • Efficient engines

What's not so good

  • Bumpy at low speeds
  • Infotainment
  • Rear space

Vauxhall Corsa Review

The Vauxhall Corsa is good to drive, has strong, efficient engines and offers a pure-electric version. Its interior is a bit drab, though, and space in the back is tight.

7/10
wowscore

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car

What's good

  • Fun to drive
  • Generous equipment
  • Efficient engines

What's not so good

  • Bumpy at low speeds
  • Infotainment
  • Rear space
Vauxhall Corsa
RRP £15,550 Avg. carwow saving £1,941 Discover your best deals upfront Build your car

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Review contents

Overall verdict

The White Cliffs of Dover, Big Ben, the Vauxhall Corsa. It’s fair to say all three are very much part of the British landscape. Indeed, the Corsa has been one of Britain’s best selling cars for years, but this latest model is higher-tech, safer and better quality than ever.

And it’ll need to be, because the Corsa faces a tough fight to stand out next to a long list of great small cars including the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, Skoda Fabia, Seat Ibiza and the closely related Peugeot 208.

The Corsa and 208 share underpinnings, yes, but the Corsa gets its own look outside and in. There’s a bold grille design, the option of a contrast roof colour plus sharp LED headlights across the range. Inside, you’ll find lashings of piano black and different trim and seat designs depending on your trim level, but next to the 208 the Corsa’s more conventional design and grey and black plastics cause it to feel comparably drab.

Still, livening up a little is a standard 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that comes with DAB radio and Bluetooth, but no built-in sat-nav. This isn’t an issue as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and their navigation apps are better than the built-in sat-nav on Vauxhall’s upgraded 10-inch screen system on more expensive trims anyway. In fact, you’ll enjoy using Apple or Google’s system menus more too, as they’re more intuitive than Vauxhall’s.

The Vauxhall Corsa is a much better car than the model it replaces, but its interior and infotainment don’t have the wow-factor of a Peugeot 208’s.

Mat Watson
carwow expert

There’s good space for a couple of adults in the front, too, while drivers of all shapes and sizes won’t struggle to find a decent driving position. However, the amount of knee room for adults in the back isn’t as good, and headroom also tight. It seems, knee room has been traded for boot space, because the Corsa’s boot is a good size and shape.

You can choose between petrol, diesel and pure-electric power for your new Corsa. A 75hp 1.2-litre petrol kicks off the range, although it’s rather slow so is best if you mainly stay in town. A better bet is the turbocharged 100hp version of the same engine, which handles motorway slip-road sprints and overtakes with more ease, yet doesn’t use much more fuel.

There’s also a 1.5 diesel with 102hp and range-best fuel economy, but it isn’t worth considering unless you’re constantly doing long journeys on the motorway.

Like the Peugeot 208, the Vauxhall Corsa is also available as a pure-electric car. It has 136hp, will do 205 miles on a full charge and you can charge it from 10-80% in 30 minutes with the right charging equipment, making it a great choice for those who mainly cover short distances. It is the priciest Corsa on sale, though.

To drive, the Corsa feels different to the 208 – it steers more keenly, turns more eagerly (especially the stiffer SRi model) and puts a bigger grin on your face as a result. That said, a Ford Fiesta feels more agile still, and the Corsa struggles to stay settled over lumps and bumps in and around town like a Polo.

So, the Vauxhall Corsa comes with strong but efficient engines, is good to drive and is generously equipped. That said, if you prioritise comfort or interior design, there are better choices.

If you don’t, check out our Vauxhall Corsa deals pages for the very best prices.

What's it like inside?

The Vauxhall Corsa gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, but its infotainment screen isn’t the best and its interior is pretty unexciting.

Read full interior review

How practical is it?

Two adults will have no issues in the front, but space in the back is more limited. The Corsa’s boot is also average in size for the class. 

It’s debatable how often small car owners cart around adults in the back, but if and when you do, there are better options than the Corsa for doing it.

Mat Watson
carwow expert
Boot (seats up)
309 litres
Boot (seats down)
1,015 litres

Space is a bit of a mixed bag. Two adults will have no problems getting comfortable in the front seats and the driver gets loads of standard manual seat and wheel adjustment. Leather, electric front seats are standard on range-topping Ultimate trim.

However, adults in the back seats will find their knees brushing the front seatbacks and their heads brushing the ceiling while trying to seat three across the rear seats will result in lots of shoulder-rubbing. The standard Isofix mounts on the outside rear seats are easy to locate, though.

All told, a VW Polo is much better at accommodating people in the back.

The Corsa’s front door bins will easily accept a 1.5-litre bottle of water, the two cupholders are a good size and there’s a shallow cubby beneath the front armrest. The glovebox is a little stingy, mind you.

In the back, the door bins are smaller but still take a one-litre bottle. There are no pockets on the backs of the front seats, though, and there’s no option for a rear armrest or cupholders. 

When it comes to the Vauxhall Corsa’s boot size, at 309 litres it’s average compared with its alternatives. To put it into context, it’s slightly larger than the boot in a Ford Fiesta, but around 10% smaller than the boots in the VW Polo and Seat Ibiza.

If you need more space, the Corsa’s rear seats split in a 60:40 configuration and fold almost flat, although even then a VW Polo offers more space with its own rear seats folded.

There’s quite a pronounced lip at the entrance to the Corsa’s boot to lift your bags over, but the access is good via the opening and once your bags are inside the space on offer is a usefully square shape – albeit without any handy extras such as hooks, lashing points or 12v sockets.

How practical is it?

Two adults will have no issues in the front, but space in the back is more limited. The Corsa’s boot is also average in size for the class. 

It’s debatable how often small car owners cart around adults in the back, but if and when you do, there are better options than the Corsa for doing it.

Mat Watson
carwow expert

Dimensions

Boot (seats up)
309 litres
Boot (seats down)
1,015 litres

Passenger space

Space is a bit of a mixed bag. Two adults will have no problems getting comfortable in the front seats and the driver gets loads of standard manual seat and wheel adjustment. Leather, electric front seats are standard on range-topping Ultimate trim.

However, adults in the back seats will find their knees brushing the front seatbacks and their heads brushing the ceiling while trying to seat three across the rear seats will result in lots of shoulder-rubbing. The standard Isofix mounts on the outside rear seats are easy to locate, though.

All told, a VW Polo is much better at accommodating people in the back.

Storage space

The Corsa’s front door bins will easily accept a 1.5-litre bottle of water, the two cupholders are a good size and there’s a shallow cubby beneath the front armrest. The glovebox is a little stingy, mind you.

In the back, the door bins are smaller but still take a one-litre bottle. There are no pockets on the backs of the front seats, though, and there’s no option for a rear armrest or cupholders. 

Boot space

When it comes to the Vauxhall Corsa’s boot size, at 309 litres it’s average compared with its alternatives. To put it into context, it’s slightly larger than the boot in a Ford Fiesta, but around 10% smaller than the boots in the VW Polo and Seat Ibiza.

If you need more space, the Corsa’s rear seats split in a 60:40 configuration and fold almost flat, although even then a VW Polo offers more space with its own rear seats folded.

There’s quite a pronounced lip at the entrance to the Corsa’s boot to lift your bags over, but the access is good via the opening and once your bags are inside the space on offer is a usefully square shape – albeit without any handy extras such as hooks, lashing points or 12v sockets.

What's it like to drive?

The Vauxhall Corsa is good to drive and has strong yet efficient engines on offer. It can get a little bumpy on lumpy roads around town, though. 

The Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 208 feel distinctly different to drive, despite being built on the same underpinnings. The Corsa is the more fun to thread along a country road.

Mat Watson
carwow expert

You can choose between petrol, diesel and pure-electric power for your new Corsa.

A 75hp 1.2-litre petrol kicks off the range, although it’s rather slow so is best if you mainly stay in town. A better bet is the turbocharged 100hp version of the same engine, which handles motorway slip-road sprints and overtakes with more ease, yet doesn’t use much more fuel. You should see more than 40mpg if you drive carefully.

There’s also a 1.5 diesel with 102hp and range-best fuel economy, but it’s much noisier than the petrols and isn’t worth considering unless you’re constantly doing long journeys on the motorway. If that’s you, though, a healthy 60mpg is more likely.

Like the Peugeot 208, the Vauxhall Corsa is also available as a pure-electric car. It has 136hp, will do 205 miles on a full charge and you can charge it from 10-80% in 30 minutes with the right charging equipment, making it a great choice for those who mainly cover short distances.

Entry-level petrol models get a five-speed manual gearbox as standard, while a six-speed manual comes with the 100hp 1.2 and 1.5 diesel. Both are fairly notchy to use. An eight-speed automatic gearbox can be had with the punchier petrol model, and is slick and responsive as auto boxes go. 

Despite being largely the same underneath, the Peugeot 208 and Vauxhall Corsa feel distinctly different to drive. The Corsa’s steering feels more direct to starters, and it generally turns into corners with more gusto, meaning it’ll put a bigger grin on your face along a country road. That said, a Ford Fiesta is still the most fun you can have in a small car.

This is especially true in SRi versions, which are stiffer and have a Sport driving mode that improves throttle response, quickens the auto gearbox if fitted and weights the steering.

Where the Corsa and 208 are more similar is their tendency to feel unsettled over lumps and bumps at low speeds, such as along your local high street. The Corsa is truly uncomfortable, but it struggles to sponge away potholes and manhole covers like a VW Polo does.

Still, the Corsa is better at speed on the motorway, where it remains nicely planted in its lane and doesn’t kick up much wind or road noise. Vauxhall also includes safety equipment like automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, traffic sign recognition and lane assist to take the stress out of long drives.

Read about prices & specifications

What's it like to drive?

The Vauxhall Corsa is good to drive and has strong yet efficient engines on offer. It can get a little bumpy on lumpy roads around town, though. 

The Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 208 feel distinctly different to drive, despite being built on the same underpinnings. The Corsa is the more fun to thread along a country road.

Mat Watson
carwow expert

Performance and Economy

You can choose between petrol, diesel and pure-electric power for your new Corsa.

A 75hp 1.2-litre petrol kicks off the range, although it’s rather slow so is best if you mainly stay in town. A better bet is the turbocharged 100hp version of the same engine, which handles motorway slip-road sprints and overtakes with more ease, yet doesn’t use much more fuel. You should see more than 40mpg if you drive carefully.

There’s also a 1.5 diesel with 102hp and range-best fuel economy, but it’s much noisier than the petrols and isn’t worth considering unless you’re constantly doing long journeys on the motorway. If that’s you, though, a healthy 60mpg is more likely.

Like the Peugeot 208, the Vauxhall Corsa is also available as a pure-electric car. It has 136hp, will do 205 miles on a full charge and you can charge it from 10-80% in 30 minutes with the right charging equipment, making it a great choice for those who mainly cover short distances.

Entry-level petrol models get a five-speed manual gearbox as standard, while a six-speed manual comes with the 100hp 1.2 and 1.5 diesel. Both are fairly notchy to use. An eight-speed automatic gearbox can be had with the punchier petrol model, and is slick and responsive as auto boxes go. 

Driving

Despite being largely the same underneath, the Peugeot 208 and Vauxhall Corsa feel distinctly different to drive. The Corsa’s steering feels more direct to starters, and it generally turns into corners with more gusto, meaning it’ll put a bigger grin on your face along a country road. That said, a Ford Fiesta is still the most fun you can have in a small car.

This is especially true in SRi versions, which are stiffer and have a Sport driving mode that improves throttle response, quickens the auto gearbox if fitted and weights the steering.

Where the Corsa and 208 are more similar is their tendency to feel unsettled over lumps and bumps at low speeds, such as along your local high street. The Corsa is truly uncomfortable, but it struggles to sponge away potholes and manhole covers like a VW Polo does.

Still, the Corsa is better at speed on the motorway, where it remains nicely planted in its lane and doesn’t kick up much wind or road noise. Vauxhall also includes safety equipment like automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, traffic sign recognition and lane assist to take the stress out of long drives.

What's it like inside?

The Vauxhall Corsa gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, but its infotainment screen isn’t the best and its interior is pretty unexciting.

Next Read full interior review
Vauxhall Corsa
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