Vauxhall Corsa Review & Prices
The Vauxhall Corsa looks good, has a range of efficient engines and offers a pure-electric version. Its interior is a bit drab, though, and space in the back is tight
What's not so good
Find out more about the Vauxhall Corsa
There have been a few decent things to come out of the 1990s. The Foo Fighters, Take That, Friends and Liz Hurley’s Versace dress. Add to that the Vauxhall Corsa, which has been a stalwart of the UK car sales top 10 since 1993, and this latest model looks set to continue the trend because it’s higher-tech, safer and better quality than ever.
Just as well, because the Corsa faces a tough job standing out next to a long list of great small cars, including the Ford Fiesta, Seat Ibiza, Skoda Fabia and Volkswagen Polo, plus the Peugeot 208, with which the Corsa shares most of its underpinnings including an all-electric version.
The Vauxhall has a bold grille design, the option of a contrasting roof colour and some super-bright LED headlights across the range. Inside, you’ll find lashings of shiny black plastics and different seat designs depending on which model you pick, but next to the Peugeot 208, the Vauxhall Corsa looks a bit drab.
At least the standard 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system is pretty sharp and all Corsas come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It isn’t the most intuitive system out there, though – even if you upgrade to the larger, easier to read 10.0-inch screen in higher-spec cars.
Whichever Vauxhall Corsa you pick, you’ll find there’s good space for a couple of adults in the front, but knee room in the back isn’t as good, while headroom is tight. The trade-off for this is that the Vauxhall Corsa has a fairly spacious boot for a car this size, though it's some way off the Polo and Fabia.
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
You can choose between petrol, diesel and 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 130hp 1.2 Turbo which is as close as you’ll get to a hot hatch nowadays in the Corsa.
Like the Peugeot 208, the Vauxhall Corsa is also available as a pure-electric car. It makes a great choice for those worried about the environment or their company car tax bill, but it is the priciest Corsa on sale.
To drive, the Corsa feels different from the 208 – it steers more keenly, turns more eagerly 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. We also have a large selection of used Vauxhall Corsas on offer, and if you need to sell your car, you can do that through carwow, too.
The Vauxhall Corsa has a RRP range of £17,045 to £30,110. Monthly payments start at £193. The price of a used Vauxhall Corsa on carwow starts at £8,666.
It’s a bit an eye-opener to realise the Vauxhall Corsa is now far from being pitched as a low-cost small car. If you don’t mind the dull 75hp 1.2-litre engine and base spec Design trim, it’s on a par with many in the sector.
However, if you want a bit of poke from the engine and some decent kit, be prepared to fork out for a car that’s not the budget bargain it once was.
The Vauxhall Corsa is good to drive thanks to a strong engine line-up, though the ride becomes a bit choppy on rougher roads
The Vauxhall Corsa has been designed very much with town driving in mind, so its compact size makes it very handy to park.
Big door mirrors give you a good view of what’s happening behind, which is just as well because the rear pillars are very thick and hinder the driver’s view over the left shoulder for swapping lanes.
Parking is simple thanks to a tight turning circle, and the mid-level GS comes with rear parking sensors. Opt for the top spec Ultimate and that’s upgraded to a reversing camera that gives a good view of what’s behind.
The petrol engines all work well in the city, though the entry-point 75hp non-turbo motor can feel a little flat once you’re on the ring road at higher speeds.
The 100 and 130hp motors can be had with an automatic gearbox as an alternative to the five-speed in the 75hp models, or six-speed manual for the rest of the options.
For the best urban experience in the Corsa, you need the electric version. It’s all but completely silent, swift and has a generous range. It also has a ‘B’ mode to regenerate more from wheels as the car slows, though this isn’t quite as good as the one-pedal driving modes of some EVs.
In any Corsa model, the only notable point against the Vauxhall is the ride can be a little too firm on bumpy roads, where the Corsa gets a little agitated compared to a Fiesta’s smooth responses.
On the motorway
In the Corsa-e, motorway driving is enjoyable thanks to strong acceleration up to 70mph. It’s also largely quiet other than a bit of wind noise from around the door mirrors.
The petrol engines, however, have a much longer range and the turbo versions have plenty of pep for getting up to motorway speeds. Choose the 75hp non-turbo motor and it begins to feel a touch strained on these faster roads.
However, all Corsas are stable and composed on the motorway, so you don’t need to brace as you pass trucks or encounter crosswinds. It also deals well with uneven patches of road.
On a twisty road
It’s all very safe and straightforward when driving the Vauxhall Corsa on country lanes. It doesn’t lean much in bends, even if you have to make a sudden correction to avoid a puddle or other obstruction.
The steering is quite light, so the Sport setting that comes with the two upper trim levels is very welcome as it adds some extra weight and feel as you guide the Corsa through bends.
The ride that can be a bit firm around town settles to a good balance between control and comfort, and the Corsa is also one of the most refined cars in its class.
Roomy but gloomy in the front of the Corsa sums up this Vauxhall for the driver, and it’s quite cramped in the rear
Up front, the Vauxhall Corsa is largely very good, so it’s just a shame the cabin is finished in a lot of black and grey. It also misses the styling flair that its cousin, the Peugeot 208, enjoys so it's just a bit gloomy to look at.
However, that’s about the only downside to sitting behind the steering wheel of the Corsa. The wheel itself adjusts in and out, and up and down to fit drivers of all sizes.
The seat can be slid back and forth by quite a distance, so even the very tallest drivers will find enough leg room in the Vauxhall.
There’s also seat height adjustment in all models using a simple ratchet lever. However, to alter the back rest angle, there’s a rotary knob at the base which is jammed up against the door pillar, so you end up scuffing your knuckles every time you try to change the seat angle.
No Corsa comes with any sort of lumbar adjustment, but the top spec Ultimate has electric seat adjustment and a massage function. It also comes with Alcantara suede-like upholstery and heated front seats and steering wheel.
When it comes to storage, the door pockets are big, there’s a tray in front of the gear lever with the only USB charger in the car, and two cupholders plus another tray between the front seats. You can add more USB chargers as an optional extra, though. A lidded cubby is in the middle of the front seats and its top doubles as a sliding armrest. Only the glovebox lets the side down, as it’s tiny.
Space in the back seats
The Corsa’s rear doors open good and wide, so fitting a child seat in is simple. You also get ISOFIX mounts in the two outer seats as standard, but the lugs are hidden by little zip-opening flaps that just make it fiddly to access when you’re heaving a kiddy seat into place. Also, you have to raise the rear headrests, which is just another faff.
For adults sitting in the back, there’s just enough headroom, but space for knees is limited and anyone sitting in the middle seat will find there’s not much room for their feet.
Kids won’t have any trouble sitting three abreast in the back, and there are triple-point belts for all.
Small door bins provide some storage, along with map pockets in the seats, but there are no USB chargers back here, which will be to the horror of your kids.
The Corsa’s boot is best described as adequate. With 309 litres of space with the seats up in the petrol models, dropping to 267 litres in the Corsa-e due to the batteries under the floor, it’s okay but not great for space. That puts it on par with the Ford Fiesta's 311 litres but some way off the class-leasing Skoda Fabia (330 litres) and Volkswagen Polo (351 litres).
There’s a bit of a drop from load sill to boot floor, and that’s seems to be about it as far as Vauxhall’s thought processes went.
It’s the same when you fold the 60-40 split rear seat. It’s easy enough to do, but there’s quite a large step in the load floor, making it trickier than it should be to slide in bigger items.
An adjustable-height load floor could have solved these issues, but it’s not even an option for the Corsa.
Cabin quality is impressive, but there’s little flair to wow passengers
Vauxhall has gone with a restrained, conservative look for the Corsa’s cabin. That’s fine if all you want is the information and controls all in functional places, but a bit of added glitz wouldn’t go amiss to brighten things up. Ah well.
Still, the quality of the Corsa’s cabin is right up there with the very best in the class, and that includes the likes of Mini and Audi. It’s all very solid and made from decent materials, which does lend the Corsa a classy air in this respect.
The main dash display in the Design trim sticks with traditional round analogue dials, and there’s nothing wrong with this. It’s clear and easy to read, and comes with all the info you need regarding speed, revs, fuel and engine temperature. It also has a small digital display for the onboard computer readout that can be scrolled through using the steering wheel buttons.
With the upper GS and Ultimate trims, you get a fancier 7.0-inch digital colour instrument cluster.
It might look good and be able to show functions such as the sat nav display, but the screen’s resolution and graphics are a bit dull and simple, so it’s not the best, and certainly not a patch on Audi’s virtual cockpit layout.
In the centre console, Vauxhall keeps with traditional rotary knobs for the heating controls in all trims of the Corsa, which is perfect for adjusting the temperature or fan speed while driving.
In the Design, you get a 7.0-inch colour touchscreen for the infotainment. It works with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
In the GS, the infotainment screen is uprated to a 10.0-inch item and, like the Design model, you can pay an extra £500 to have integrated sat nav.
An option for the Corsa is a wireless charging pad for your phone that sits in the tray beneath the heater controls.
For the Ultimate model, Vauxhall includes sat nav with its 10.0-inch infotainment display but, like the main instrument cluster, the graphics are the sharpest and it looks a bit washed out.
Ignoring the Corsa-e tested separately, there are three petrol engines.
The 75hp non-turbo 1.2-litre Corsa manages 53.3mpg and 118g/km of carbon dioxide emissions, while the 100hp 1.2 Turbo has an official 52.3mpg and 117g/km with the six-speed manual gearbox, or 48.7mpg and 121g/km with the eight-speed auto.
Go for the 130hp 1.2 Turbo and it’s only offered with the automatic transmission, giving 50.4mpg and 123g/km.
This means all the petrol Corsa attract a first-year road tax payment of £190.
The Corsa scored four stars when it was tested by Euro NCAP in 2019.
In addition to the six airbags fitted to all Corsa models, Vauxhall includes a lane departure warning system with lane keep assist, speed sign recognition, and driver fatigue alert. There’s also forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, plus cruise control with speed limiter in all models.
The GS Line gains rear parking sensors, while the Ultimate has a reversing camera as standard along with front parking sensors. This top trim level also gains lane positioning assistance to keep it in the centre of the road, and Vauxhall’s IntelliLux adaptive headlights that give the best view of the road ahead at all times without dazzling drivers in oncoming cars.
Vauxhall provides a three-year/60,000-mile warrant for the Corsa, which is in line with the basic offering from most brands, apart from the more generous offerings from those such as Kia, Hyundai and Renault.
A small number of Corsa-e models were recalled by Vauxhall for a possible fault with their on-board charger.
*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.