I've had this car for the last five days as a fleet demonstrator and I am impressed. My daily commute to work is an 82-mile round trip, about half of which is on the motorway - the rest a mixture of urban crawl and B roads. If you drive it gently (don't go over 65mph and change up as soon as possible) it can do 49mpg. I currently have a VW Polo 1.4TDi, which on the same journey does little better.
In general, I thought the car is well put together and has good quality fittings. It seemed quite VW-like, but less dour. There's the odd 'low-rent' item though, like the interior light. The CD radio sound quality is very good.
It's worth mentioning that my demo car had a slight electrical glitch - the electric windows seemed to drop slightly when the car was unlocked (sometimes)!
The car came with the Plus pack (trip computer, cruise, alloys and fogs) - a £450 option which I think is worthwhile. It also came with reversing sensors, which worked well, though I'm not sure they're worth £250, given that the car has reasonably good rearward vision anyway.
Performance-wise, though it's currently the biggest petrol engine (until the sporty one comes out later in 2007), it's not exactly brisk, being high geared - this does make the car quiet, however. If you stick your foot down and use higher revs, it will move fairly quickly, so long as you don't mind getting lower fuel economy.
All in all, I think this is a good car and probably warrants its 'Car of the Year' accolade.
I've had my Corsa for a little more than a month now. On the first day I fell in love with it! For a diesel it's very quiet and shows its best on the motorway. I test-drove the 1.2 petrol - no comparison.
The suspension is very firm, which is a little uncomfortable on Serbian roads, but it's so stable that the ESP has not once intervened, even during aggressive turns. There is noticable turbo lag when accelerating fast, but it's not a big problem.
The all-adjustable driving position is great and the heated seats and steering wheel make a dramatic difference during cold winter mornings - no more gloves! The hands-free bluetooth mobile phone connection functions perfectly and has superior sound quality.
Front visibility is quite good, but although there is reflection from the dashboard, but I don't find it so intense, probably because it's black. Rear sensors make all the difference when parking in reverse. Curve-illuminating headlights are very helpful at night in poorly lit streets.
Last, but not least, its stunning design turns heads all the time.
I would like to thank What Car? - the excellent expert reviews were a great help in choosing this fantastic car over others in the same class.
My daughter purchased a 1.4 Corsa Design but was horrified driving at night that her attention is distracted by the strobing from the reflection of the strip on the centre console. The black U-shaped strip reflects in the windscreen day and night, relecting the lights from street lamps. The quicker you drive, the faster the reflection gets and the more your eyesight is distracted from the road to the reflection.
The dealer confirmed that Vauxhall are aware of this characteristic (is that another word for design fault?), but nothing has been decided as to what to do about it.
The relection in the windscreen is not small, quite the contary. You cannot fail to have your attention drawn to it every time you drive the car.
I would be interested to hear the thoughts of anyone else who is experiencing this problem, because if something isn't done to rectify this, the strobe effect could lead to someone having a fit whilst driving with the consequences being unthinkable.
Yesterday my girlfriend took the 1.2 SXi Corsa for a test drive. She was horrified that her attention was drawn to the centre of the widscreen where she could see the reflection of the silver strip on the screen. She kept the car until it went dark and also had her attention drawn to the reflection of the silver strip in the centre of the screen from the street lamps.
There is no way she would think of buying the car with that design problem and is writing to Vauxhall to tell them.
I have test driven a 1.3 Diesel Club 3-door. Interior quality is superb. The 3-door bodystyle offers plenty of space. The engine can cope with hills and is nippy enough in town, but is best for cruising. The car drives and rides beautifully, although the designers may have concentrated too much on this aspect and neglected a few other areas that some rivals have covered.
The reflection of the silver centre console in the windscreen is severe, and quite distracting. It can only be avoided by buying expensive Design trim, which uses a black insert. The glovebox is too small to be really useful, and the car now has only 2 rear head rests against the old model’s 3. The fuel tank is also too small, increasing the amount of time you will have to spend at the pumps. The level of standard equipment can be meagre, as you must pay £500 for air-con and an extra £450 to get alloys/fogs/trip computer even on Club spec.
For diesel buyers the Corsa is not as attractive as some, with no model in the golden £50 a year tax “B” bracket, and only expensive buying options – the 90bhp engine is not available in Club spec. Overall the car is very good, but Car of the Year or no, when the Clio offers more than adequate ride and quality, with bigger discounts and does not have the same issues, the choice becomes less clear to me!
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