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Vauxhall Corsa: Par for the Corsa

By Roger St. Pierre and Hazel Kempster

Published 15/05/2015

The Vauxhall Corsa
The Vauxhall Corsa

Together with its Ford Fiesta competitor, Vauxhall’s pert little Corsa has been a mainstay of the nation’s motoring diet for several decades.

Priced from £8,995 upwards to £15,980, there are no fewer than 59 variants of the latest rendition of a car – an ‘all-new’ fourth generation – that is aimed fair and square at the everyday motorist whose priorities are comfort, reliability and, above all, purchase price and running cost affordabilty.

“Get me from A to B safely, in comfort, and without fuss and without straining my budget ,” is the mantra.

It pays to scan the entire range – and take a look at opposition from not only the Fiesta but, among others, Skoda’s latest Fabia, the VW Polo, Citroen’s DC3 and others – before making a purchasing decision.

Best buys are not the under-spec entry-level renditions nor the over-priced high-end SE version but the ones in the middle of the range featuring the refined and flexible three cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine rather than the four-cylinder 1.4-litre turbocharged option. The diesel variants rattle a little

at low revs but are well able to keep up with the flow but the petrol ones also do well when it comes to fuel economy.

Unlike most cars that tend to upsize with each new generation, the new Corsa retains the same basic under-tray as its predecessor/. Three-door and five-door layouts are available. Styling wise there’s nothing – apart from the smiling chrome grille – to distinguish the Corsa from all those car park lookalikes. It’s not a thing of exquisite beauty but then it’s no ugly duckling either.

Handling is competent, with plenty of grip in the corners, but the steering is a tad too light for my tastes and the soundproofing could be better, especially when it comes to tyre noise.

Safety has been given due consideration, all Corsas being endowed with six airbags, hill-start assist and stability control.

The cabin is neat, tidy, well sorted though some of the materials might not prove to be hard wearing, a point worth considering for a vehicle that might stay in single ownership for a good many years – all the way from the showroom to the breakers yard.

Down the years, the Corsa has regularly accounted for around a third of all Vauxhall’s sales. Besides private buyers it has always found a string market with fleets and, in particular, driving schools and that’s all set to continue with the new car.

Like a slumbering giant coming back to life, Vauxhall is scheduling a comprehensive raft of new generation updates right across its range. New Corsa is just the beginning – I’m looking forward to testing the re-modelled Astra when it hits the dealerships later this year.

Online Editors

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