For years a near permanent fixture in the UK’s top-three best-sellers list, Vauxhall’s pert little Corsa has undergone a major face-lift that takes premium styling cues from the Luton company's bigger models.
The changes start from the distinctive smiley-face grille and make their way backwards to a purposeful looking sporty rear that facilitates a generously sized boot for such a small car.
Framing the Corsa’s bright new chrome-lined face are ‘Eagle-Eye’ headlamps, which have also made an appearance on the recently launched new Meriva. The chrome finish and daytime running lights as standard across the range. New chrome-finished fog lamps and housings complete the picture at the front of the car.
Complimenting the Corsa’s fresh new looks are five new exterior colours and a range of attractive cabin trim hues too.
Also inside, is Vauxhall’s new optional Touch & Connect multi-media system, which replaces the existing CD60 unit. The new kit uses a five-inch touch-screen display featuring both 2D and 3D maps for the navigation system, as well as a CD/tuner, aux-in, USB and Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity.
Outside, the new Corsa benefits from new 16-inch alloy wheels on both SE and SXi models, while the 192PS VXR receives a new 18-inch alloy wheel, modelled on the design of the optional 20-inch wheel worn by the Insignia VXR.
The new offering is a very different car from the one that hit the market just a year ago. Before the latest exterior and interior design changes were made, the Corsa had already benefited from a long list of significant upgrades to its chassis and powertrains. For example, certain ecoFLEX engines now feature Vauxhall’s Start/Stop technology, which has reduced emissions on the 1.3 CDTi (95PS) ecoFLEX model to just 94g/km, combined with fuel consumption of 91.1mpg on the government’s extra urban cycle and 80.7mpg combined.
These impressive figures gave me a very busy week’s motoring on little more than half a tank of fuel.
To maintain the Corsa’s success in the small-car class, Vauxhall’s engineering team have also made important revisions to the car’s steering and suspension set-ups. Softer springs were employed in the front suspension, mated to an anti-roll bar with new bushes and an increased diameter, improving ride and control characteristics.
With a starting price for the range starting at £9,995, the much improved new Corsa models are only marginally more expensive than the ones they have replaced, most of the increase being down to VAT increases.
Down the years, previous Corsa versions have left me unimpressed – but this one I loved and it now stands high on my list of options for when I downsize my own car.