Used car of the week: Vauxhall Corsa

* New Corsa unveiled at Paris Motor Show * Current model great-value small car * Our favourite Approved Used models available from £7000...

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Doug Revolta
8 Oct 2014 10:0 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 0:3

Ideal model 1.4 Exclusiv AC 5dr
Prices from £7000

Why should I buy a used Corsa?

The Corsa is a great value small car that provides plenty of comfort and space inside the high-quality cabin.

A new 2015 version of the popular hatchback was shown earlier this month at the Paris Motor Show and goes on sale today. We’ll be releasing a first drive of the new Corsa soon.

Sharp steering and impressive refinement make the current Corsa a fine small hatchback.

Which model should I choose?

There’s a big range of petrol and diesel engines available, but the underpowered 1.0 and 1.2-litre petrols should be avoided if you do a lot of motorway miles. 1.3 diesels run well but are on the expensive side, so our pick is the 1.4-litre petrol that does a claimed average of 51.4mpg.

We’d go for the more practical five-door model, especially since the three-door only has four seats.

Two chassis settings are available. The standard arrangement gives a smooth ride and the SRi models are firmer but not well suited to UK roads.

Standard equipment is decent but Expression and S models are quite bare, with driver’s seat-height and two-way steering column adjustment as optional extras. SE trim upwards gives split-folding rear seats and the option of a boot floor that can be lowered. Exclusiv trim, our spec of choice, is the best balance between price and equipment and includes luxuries such as steering wheel-mounted stereo controls.

How much should I pay?

Prices for a used model of our recommended 1.4 Exclusiv AC 5dr start around the £6000 mark.

If you’re after a fuel-efficient 1.3-litre diesel three-door that offers a claimed fuel economy of 67.3mpg, prices start around £5500. However, you’re unlikely to notice the saving in fuel compared to the petrol, and the three-door is nowhere near as practical, so we’d still go for the 1.4-litre petrol.

What problems should I look out for?

There were three recalls in 2011 due to handbrake failures and reduced braking performance. Be sure to check the handbrake and brakes thoroughly on the test drive and ask your dealer if the car you are looking at was recalled.

A common fault seems to be the bonnet lip rusting from the inside out, so double check for rust when you look over the car.

Other owners have said that the air-conditioning has failed, make sure it’s working before purchasing.

As it’s a small hatchback that may have been driven hard, check for wear on the tyre tread.

The ECU has caused engine and stereo system problems, be sure to check the electrics are all in working order.

Oil leaks have been reported, often traced back to problems with the oil pressure switch so make sure there’s no sign of leaking on the forecourt.

Head to What Car?'s Approved Used section to find more Vauxhall Corsas for sale.