The latest Corsa is the best version yet. It has been brought bang up to date with all the latest technology and safety kit. It looks dynamic in its styling and there is a good choice of trim levels and highly efficient engines to choose from.
The goodFun, funky, economical and great to drive too
The badThe price has crept up and diesel engine is disappointing
Vauxhall Corsa (fifth generation) – First Drive (2019)
It may seem like the Vauxhall Corsa has been around since the invention of the wheel and with European sales topping 13.5 million since 1993, there’s no denying its popularity. But now there’s a fresh new version on the scene and it really raises the bar.
The all-new fifth generation Corsa is the sharpest styled model to date and boasts a fabulously-modern interior that’s packed with the latest mod cons. It’s no coincidence that the smartest Corsa coincides with Groupe PSA taking ownership of Vauxhall and it’s hard not to notice that the new vehicle has a striking resemblance to the very latest Peugeot 208.
With prices ranging from £15,500 to £25,990, there are four core trim levels to choose from called SE, SRi, Elite and Ultimate Nav with plenty of scope to personalise models. The firepower comes courtesy of a 1.2-litre petrol unit with power outputs of 75PS or 100PS, or a 1.5-litre 102PS diesel engine. Factor in the choice of a five or six-speed manual gearbox, along with an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission and there should be a Corsa model to suit all tastes and budgets.
Vauxhall is confident the SRi Nav model powered by the 1.2-litre petrol engine with 100PS and 205Nm of torque will be the most popular so that’s the car we tested on an extensive road route with lots of fast country lanes, some dual carriageways and plenty of stop start town centre driving.
This car, priced at £19,200 (£19,850 with special Hot Red paint and a spare wheel) could sprint to 62mph from a standstill in 9.3 seconds and maxed out at 121mph.
Viewed from any angle, the new five-door Corsa is definitely a looker sitting slightly lower to the ground than its predecessor and our SRi Nav model featured some additional sporty trim. Eye-catching design cues include sweeping light clusters, a black roof and A pillars, chrome-effect exhaust pipes, tinted rear windows, high gloss black B pillars and roof spoiler, sports front and rear body styling and 16-inch silver Hurricane 4-twin-spoke alloy wheels.
The sporty theme is just as apparent within the cabin thanks to really smart black fabric sports seats with neat red and white stripes. There are red and white fascia accents on the dashboard, chrome-effect interior door handles and contrast stitching. The flat-bottomed, multi-function steering wheel is leather trimmed and there are metal sports pedals to complete the dynamic look.
The interior on the outgoing Corsa always looked quite dated and drab, but new Corsa is modern, light, bright and full of top notch kit.
On-board techno treats on the SRi Nav car included a seven-inch touchscreen that is angled towards the driver, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto for smartphone connection, sat nav, Bluetooth, a six-speaker sound system and lots more besides.
So the fifth-gen Corsa looks the business and has all the creature comforts we demand these days, but how does it handle when put to the test? The answer is very well indeed.
The acceleration through the six-speed manual gearbox is both smooth and responsive and there is a constant stream of power on tap from the punchy three-pot petrol engine. The car has shed 108kgs and feels more balanced when being pushed through the faster country lanes with excellent road holding. New Corsa is also one of the most aerodynamic vehicles in its class and that means better performance, handling and efficiency.
It’s a vehicle that can cruise effortlessly at 70mph on dual carriageways, but is also agile when meandering through busy town centres and its compact dimensions help make light work of parking.
Comfort levels are high although back seat passengers will find the legroom a tad limited – as is the case on most superminis. But the boot capacity has increased by 24 litres to 309 litres. This limit grows to 1,081 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat.
We also tested the 1.5-litre diesel Corsa which is a car that will have plenty of appeal to the fleet market thanks to its sub-100g/km carbon emissions figures and impressive fuel economy. However, it was quite sluggish after driving the punchy petrol car. The gears needed to be worked hard to pick up any speed and the engine lacked real guts.
A final drive in the automatic car was far more enjoyable with the super-smooth new eight-speed gearbox proving a delight. It was perfectly timed and, although this model is only likely to account for 10 per cent of Corsa sales, it is well worth test driving.
So, when you also factor in the wealth of safety specifications, new Corsa has certainly been brought bang up to date. Customers have a vast line-up of 27 models to choose from and if that’s not quite enough there will be four new additions in March when the all-electric Corsa hits the showrooms.
Vauxhall Corsa SRi Nav 1.4T 100PS (2018)
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Vauxhall Corsa in the UK and the car is as popular now as ever consistently featuring in the top five best-selling models in Britain.
Of course, the Corsa name is much older than a quarter of a century as it was sold elsewhere in Europe before arriving on UK shores, and in reality, the Corsa actually replaced the Vauxhall Nova over here, but nevertheless it’s still quite a landmark year just the same.
Priced from as little as £11,045 the Corsa line-up is vast with a wide choice of engines, transmissions, body styles and well-equipped trim levels to select from. The car really can be as simple or as specced up as you want it to be.
The simplicity of the Corsa has made it a firm favourite with driving instructors over the years, but there is fire in the belly of the 1.6-litre turbo VXR version pumping 205PS which can blast its way from 0-62mph in just 6.8 seconds.
We tested the 1.4-litre turbo model with 100PS and 200Nm of torque with a six-speed manual gearbox in SRi Nav trim. It was priced at £14,345 although a number of optional extras saw the cost rise to £17,190. This car could reach 62mph from a standing start in 11.0 seconds and redlined at 115mph. According to official figures, it could deliver combined fuel economy of 55.4mpg with carbon emissions of 119g/km.
When it comes to styling, the three-door version looks more dynamic, although anyone with a young family will prefer the practicality the five-door hatchback offers. Our test car looked striking enough though with 16-inch black alloys, sweeping light clusters with LED daytime running lights and front fog lights with chrome-effect trim.
Move inside and the layout is simplistic and clutter-free and there is ample seat and steering wheel adjustment to quickly get comfortable. Standard features include a six-speaker sound system, sports style front seats, a leather-covered steering wheel, air conditioning and an IntelliLink audio system. This was upgraded to a Navi 4.0 IntelliLink system costing £650 extra which acts as an extension of your smartphone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. It also adds an integrated sat nav system.
There were a number of other optional extras on the car such as a rearview camera (£250), electronic climate control (£415), front and rear parking sensors (£465) and connection to Vauxhall’s OnStar system which connects the driver to a ‘real’ person in Luton who is like your own personal assistant. They can offer details on filling stations, supermarkets, parking facilities, hotels and much more with the directions downloaded direct to the car’s sat nav system. They can also assist if the car is involved in an accident by contacting the emergency services and giving the vehicle’s GPS position along with help if there is a break down or the car is stolen.
Space within the Corsa is deceptively roomy with lots of legroom up front. In the back there is enough space for a couple of adults to travel in comfort – add a third and it becomes a little cramped. Storage options are respectable too for its class with a boot capacity that ranges from 280 litres to 1,090 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat.
When it comes to performance, the Corsa is a little fire-cracker of a car to drive especially when powered by the punchy 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine. It whizzed through the six gears with ample power on tap to overtake at short notice.
The road holding was assured and the car can be driven enthusiastically into bends with a degree of confidence. Cabin noise becomes more noticeable at higher speeds and you can expect to feel the odd bump and dip on poorer road surfaces too. I would have likes a little more steering feedback, but that was my only real gripe during the test drive.
The Corsa was awarded four stars when it was tested for its Euro NCAP safety rating and boasts a number of systems as standard such as electronic stability control, six airbags, hill start assist, tyre pressure monitoring and ISOFIX child restraints, but it’s a shame you have to pay extra for parking sensors these days.
All in all, the ever-popular Vauxhall Corsa shows little sign of giving up its top five spot in the UK sales charts and with its all-round appeal to young and old, plus anyone in-between, why should it?
Vauxhall Corsa – 2015 model
With more than twelve million European sales to date the popularity and success of the Vauxhall Corsa has never been in any doubt, but the all-new fourth generation model really raises the bar.
With prices from £8,995 to £16,235, the line-up is actually cheaper than the outgoing model but Vauxhall has increased and improved every other aspect of the car from performance and running costs to design and on-board technology.
Buyers can choose from three or five-door versions with manual or automatic transmissions. There is a wide selection of petrol or diesel engines plus a whole host of trim levels – nine in fact called Life, Sting, Sting R, Design, SRi, Excite, SE, SRi VX Line and Limited Edition.
And designers have been busy refreshing the car’s appeal and replacing every single body panel. New Corsa boasts a lower bonnet, eagle eye-shaped headlight clusters plus sculpted lines and creases along the car’s bodyline to create a somewhat contemporary look. From the back, the car looks very wide and muscular while maintaining its sporty appeal thanks to a large deep bumper and horizontal tail lights.
And despite the dimensions of the cabin remaining the same, almost every feature is new to Corsa with a selection of high quality materials incorporated to help create a top notch, classy and refined environment for all occupants.
Even the entry level models are richly equipped with a heated windscreen, hill start assist, electric front windows and electric mirrors, six airbags and plenty more besides.
And as you move up through the range additional techno treats and creature comforts are included, such as Bluetooth connectivity, part-leather upholstery, city steering, advanced park assist, a lane departure warning system and bi-xenon headlights.
Then there is Vauxhall’s innovative IntelliLink communications system which operates via a seven-inch colour touchscreen and offers apps such as BringGo for navigation, plus Stitcher and TuneIn for global radio stations and internet podcasts. It is also compatible with all modern smartphones.
Interior room in both the three and five door models is very generous. The back of the front seats has been sculpted so there is ample space for knees and headroom is good even for six-footers. In addition the boot is a good size too with a standard 285-litre capacity which can be increased thanks to 60:40 split-folding rear seats to 1,090 litres on the three-door model and 1,120 litres on the five-door variant.
But the changes and improvements are not just limited to appearances as there has been lots of work beneath the bonnet too with 1.0, 1.2 and 1.4-litre petrol engines along with 1.3-litre diesel options offered with a varying range of power outputs.
I tested out two models on a great road route that incorporated motorways, quiet country lanes and built-up town centres.
First up was the 1.0-litre Turbo 90PS petrol model with five doors and a six-speed manual gearbox in SRi trim priced at £14,025 (plus £545 for metallic paint). This particular engine proved the star of the show when it featured in the recently-released ADAM Rocks Air model and once again, it lived up to all the hype.
It can power the car from 0-62mph in 11.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 112mph and along the way it can deliver 64.2mpg on a combined run with carbon emissions of just 104g/km.
The Corsa has always been a firm favourite with buyers of all ages and the latest incarnation has still got it. Fitted with a three-cylinder engine the car whizzes along at pace with ample power on tap when needed for overtaking.
The road-holding is excellent although there is a little body roll at times but nevertheless tight bands can be attacked with confidence.
Acceleration through the six speeds is beautifully smooth and cannot fail to impress mid-range where the power never drops off – even on long steep inclines.
Comfort levels are first-rate – front and back – and the array of on-board technology is easy to operate in the clutter-free yet feature-rich cabin.
Next up was the 1.4-litre Turbo 100PS, also in five-door format and with six-speed manual gearbox. This car in SE trim is priced at £13,840 (plus £985 for metallic paint and 17-inch alloys). It can sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 11.0 seconds and tops out at 115mph. According to official figures it can achieve 53.3mpg on a combined run with emissions of 123g/km.
Once again, the fun-packed Corsa was up for the challenge. And the step-up in trim levels meant the introduction of features such as a heated steering wheel, seat warmers, part-leather upholstery, automatic parking and a sunroof.
This model actually seemed a little more refined than the first car and the extra burst of power is always nice to have at your disposal.
But in all honesty, there was very little to choose between both models.
They were equally impressive in comfort levels, performance and handling. And they were both really great fun to drive – something you don’t say every day!
All in all, the new Corsa has maintained its all-round charm and charisma, but improved its handling, cost, performance, economy and styling – all influences that guarantee it maintains its position as number one seller in the Vauxhall line up.
Vauxhall Corsa VXR Nurburgring 1.6i Turbo (205PS)
Fun, fast and funky – that perfectly sums up the powerful pocket rocket that is the Vauxhall Corsa VXR Nurburgring.
Fittingly named after the world-renowned German racetrack, this Corsa is certainly something special and with 0-60 stats of just 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 143mph, it is not your every-day three-door hatchback.
Guaranteed to stand out in any fashion parade, this Corsa boasts gorgeous streamlining, numerous VXR trademarks such as the honeycomb sports grille, front fog lights with alloy-effect surrounds and a rear roof spoiler.
Then, there are the 18-inch 10-spoke high-gloss anthracite alloys, black Nurburgring Edition door sills, a stainless steel dual exhaust system, tinted windows and a throaty engine roar that will leave onlookers stunned.
And the interior is just as impressive with its sports theme very apparent throughout.
There is a three-spoke leather steering wheel with flat bottom edge, Recaro shell-backed sports seats, metal sports pedals and the Nurburgring logo subtly placed on pillars, the shiny central stack and seat backs.
The test model had a number of optional extras fitted such as Touch and Connect – Vauxhall’s sat nav and media system with connectivity to iPods, Bluetooth and all other modern day devices. There was adaptive forward lighting and a few other features that increased the asking price from £22,295 to just above £24k.
In addition, there are other on-board features that make each driving experience all the more enjoyable like air con, cruise control and a very clear instrument panel, but in all honesty from the second you lay eyes on this car the only thing on your mind is performance.
From the second the ignition is turned on and the 1.6-litre engine bursts into life, the little Corsa wants to show off its big punch. The acceleration is exceptionally fast and road-holding cannot fail to impress even in slippery conditions.
The six-speed manual transmission is very responsive and the extra power at you disposal seems endless.
Cabin noise is not particularly quiet, which again adds to this car’s all-round appeal, and you can expect to bounce around a little but that’s mainly down to the pothole-laden roads.
To be fair, there is room for back seat passengers although leg room is a little limited. But elsewhere, the boot is fairly generous for a car of the Corsa’s size and there is an additional under-floor storage area in the boot.
Obviously, safety features highly on a car with so much power at its disposal and Vauxhall has kitted the vehicle out with a comprehensive range of features, including numerous airbags, an extra strong body shell, top-of-the-range braking systems and plenty more besides.
All in all, when you add in Vauxhall’s lifetime/100,000-mile warranty then this Corsa is guaranteed to be the envy of any neighbourhood.
For more details visit www.localvauxhall.co.uk
Corsa SRi 1.7 CDTi 130PS ecoFlex 3-dr
Boasting great looks and highly impressive performance stats the new Vauxhall Corsa seems to have really come of age.
The latest up-market incarnation is sleeker, more sporty, has better aerodynamics and is available in five bright new colours – the test model was supplied in sunny melon which was a very bright yellow and guaranteed to stand out in any busy car park.
The Corsa now has daytime running lights set within the sweeping lights display, a redesigned front grille housing the new Griffin badge and chrome-finished fog lamps. Other features include body-coloured door mirrors, tinted rear windows, body-coloured bumpers and a chrome effect exhaust pipe.
To be honest, it has a real fun and funky look and from the fron actually seems to be smiling right back at you.
Once you take your seat behind the multi-function leather steering wheel, it soon becomes apparent that there’s plenty of top notch features inside the cabin too.
For example, there’s a very efficient air con system, electric windows, rain-sensitive wipers, automatic lighting, sporty aluminium pedals, cruise control, a winter pack which includes heated front seats and steering wheel (£220 extra) and Vauxhall’s Touch and Connect touch screen sat nav, Bluetooth and USB facility (£750 extra).
The interior is deceptively spacious and there is room in the back for a couple of adults, although leg room is a little limited.
But there’s no restriction on luggage as the generously-sized boot can quickly and easily be increased further thanks to split-folding rear seats.
Elsewhere there are a number of useful storage options – although, be warned, the front cup holders will not hold anything larger than a regular take-away coffee cup.
So it would seem the new-look Corsa has a plethora of plus points, but what about performance?
Well, hang onto your hat because that’s where the real surprise lies.
The mighty 1.7-litre diesel-powered engine delivers incredible power and acceleration as it shifts through the six-speed manual transmission. The road-holding is exceptionally good and cabin noise very low at all times – even on rougher road surfaces.
The Corsa can race from 0-60mph in just 8.9 seconds and has a top speed of 124mph – that gives some idea of the power at your disposal.
But, another very impressive factor is the economy of this vehicle. Combined fuel figures of 62.8mpg will turn any potential buyer’s head.
Of course, Vauxhall has fitted a comprehensive list of safety features, including anti-lock brakes, emergency brake assist, numerous airbags and plenty more besides.
The Corsa is Vauxhall’s second biggest seller behind the Astra and constantly appears in the UK’s top three best sellers list and it would seem the new Corsa will easily carry on that tradition of success.
For more details visit www.localvauxhall.co.uk