Price range: £4800-£9990
You'll like: Driving it; affordability
You won't: Commonplace; view out
Putting the 'super' into supermini, the Vauxhall Corsa won our Car of the Year award in 2007, so it's no surprise that it's a dependable, affordable used buy, too
What's it like?
Any car that's been given the What Car? Car of the Year award, and won the Supermini of the Year award twice, is going to be good. The fourth-generation Corsa manages to feel like a big car, yet it's just at home on the motorway as it is in town.
Like its contemporaries, the Corsa is larger than the model it replaced, but this means there's enough leg- and headroom to comfortably carry a family of four. The boot is a good size and comes with a clever underfloor storage system. Then there's the car's solid build quality and sensibly laid-out controls.
What to watch out for...
Scroll across to see what you should be looking out for when buying a used Vauxhall Corsa
The 1.0- and 1.2-litre petrol engines are weak and noisy, but the 1.4 is punchy in town and relaxed during high-speed cruising. You can get a 1.3-litre diesel with 74bhp or 89bhp, but the extra pace of the 89bhp version makes it the better choice. If it's performance you want, check out the SRi and VXR models. The SRi comes with either a 148bhp turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol or a 123bhp 1.7-litre diesel, while the VXR has a 189bhp version of the petrol unit.
Each trim is well equipped, with a CD player and central locking, but Club A/C is our favourite – it has curtain airbags, air-con and a steering wheel that's adjustable for reach and rake.
The most economical Corsa is the 74bhp 1.3-litre diesel: it'll average almost 63mpg and sits in VED band B. The 89bhp version is just behind at 61.4mpg and band C. The 1.7 diesel delivers between 58.9 and 57.6mpg, depending on trim, and the 1.0-, 1.2- and 1.4-litre petrols give between 50.4 and 45.6mpg, and lie in VED band C.
Servicing costs are low and below those of most rivals'. Vauxhall dealers are generally cheaper than most, too, but you can still save even more by taking your car to an independent garage.
Vauxhall Corsa buyer's file...
Scroll down for information.
Although it uses the same chassis as the Fiat Grande Punto, the Corsa is better to drive. It's nimble and easy to control around town, and even at faster speeds it stays refined, with little road and wind noise. You'll find the steering is responsive and the controls are slick. The standard suspension smooths out all but the hardest of bumps, but the sports setting (optional on the Design; standard on the SXi) is a bit too firm for the UK's bumpy roads.
Corsas start at around £4800, with five-door versions roughly £350 more than three-door models. An 07-plate 1.4i Club A/C 5dr with 5000 miles is likely to cost £5700 if bought privately. An 07-plate 74bhp 1.3-litre diesel Life 3dr with 36,000 miles starts at £5300. The Corsa is prime car supermarket fodder, but franchised dealers also have well-priced cars. Don't rule out ex-lease or fleet cars, either.
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