The Corsa is very keenly priced, often undercutting core rivals. Discounts and finance options are competitive, too, but while resale values are reasonable by class standards, the Corsa will still be worth less used than some rivals, notably the VW Polo.
Business users who go for the 89bhp 1.0 will get one of the cheapest small cars in the class. Economy is reasonable; this engine achieved 43.6mpg in our real-world TrueMPG tests, while the 1.4T returned 41.0mpg and the 1.2 40.6mpg. These engines are pretty evenly matched, therefore, and they’re not far off the figures you’ll get from the Ford Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost. The 1.2 fitted to Skoda’s Fabia is more efficient again, though.
If you’re a private buyer whose priority is purchase price rather than efficiency, then the 1.4T engine is very good, because it’s punchy and usefully cheaper than the 1.0.
Vauxhall Corsa equipment
All Corsas get a heated windscreen and electric front windows, but base Life and Sting lack air-con. Excite gets air-con, a multifunction steering wheel, colour touchscreen, Bluetooth and a USB input, plus automatic headlights and wipers and alloy wheels. Engine choices are limited on Excite, though, so we’d recommend you go with mid-spec SRi; it opens up more of the engine range and adds sports seats, cruise control, heated door mirrors, and 60/40 split rear seat. Design is intended for business users; it’s cheaper than SRi, but does without alloy wheels and auto lights and wipers.
Vauxhall Corsa reliability
Reliability should be better than the class average in the Corsa; our most recent customer satisfaction survey revealed few major problems with the pre-2014 model, with which this generation shares many core mechanical parts.
One of the more common issues reported with the older car was poor windscreen demisting, but that should be solved by the heated windscreen that’s standard right across the range.
Vauxhall Corsa safety & security
All Corsas get six airbags, height-adjustable front seatbelts, tyre-pressure monitoring to warn when you might have a flat tyre, traction control and hill-start assist (so you don’t need to use the handbrake to stop rolling backwards on a hill). There are also packages of high-tech safety aids, including forward collision alert and lane-assist. You have to pay extra for parking sensors on all but top-spec models, though, and a spare or space-saver tyre costs extra. Remote central locking and engine immobiliser are standard.
The Corsa scored a respectable four stars in its EuroNCAP test, with ratings of 79% and 77% for adult occupancy protection and child occupant protection respectively. These figures are just behind those of the Skoda Fabia, which received the maximum five stars and 81% for both adult and child protection.
Security expert Thatcham has given the Corsa four stars out of a possible five for resisting theft, and three out of five for resistance to being broken into.
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The most basic Corsa is cheap, but it has a heated windscreen, remote central locking and electric front windows. Air-con isn’t included, though, and the interior doesn’t look as classy as those in models that get the colour touchscreen. There’s only a radio, too – not even a CD player – so we think there are better options.
Sting is intended for those who want a sporting Corsa without the costs, so it gets a white stripe down its bodywork and white 16-inch alloys, as well driver’s seat-height adjustment, a USB input and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. You’re still going to have to live without air-con and the colour touchscreen, though.
This trim level is the same as Sting, but with a leather steering wheel and gearlever, a chrome-tipped exhaust, and black stripes and alloy wheels. It also gets sports suspension.
This is the Corsa to go for if you’re a business user; its P11D value is very low but the key equipment is all there, including all the infotainment kit you could want, cruise control and air-con, a leather steering wheel with audio controls, and a height-adjustable driver’s seat. It has no alloys nor a split-folding rear seat though (the back seat folds as one piece).
Our pick SRi
The best trim to go for as a private buyer, SRi brings everything you could want, including automatic lights and wipers, cruise control, a colour touchscreen with Bluetooth, USB input and DAB radio, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, a height-adjustable driver’s seat and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, plus electrically adjustable, heated door mirrors and 16-inch alloys.
This brings all of the kit that you get on SRi, but adds 17-inch alloys, more aggressive styling, and stiffer suspension that’s 10mm lower than that on the standard SRi (sports suspension is added to any Corsa that’s specified with 17-inch alloys). We think it isn’t worth the extra over the standard SRi, though.
Excite includes air-con and the Intellilink colour touchscreen system with DAB radio and Bluetooth. It also gets auto lights and wipers, foglights, and heated front seats. Confusingly, this can also be bought as a low-cost trim, with all the above features except air-con, on manual 1.2 and 1.4 models. More tellingly, Excite is isn’t available with the 1.4T or 1.0T 90PS engines that we’d recommend.
This trim brings front and rear parking sensors, body-coloured door mirrors and chrome highlights to the exterior styling, plus heating on the steering wheel and front seats, and classier-feeling upholstery.
The performance-focused Corsa gets the touchscreen infotainment system, plus Recaro sports seats that a particularly comfortable over long distances. The dashboard gets smart high-gloss trim, although the air-con controls are the same as those in other Corsas, and they feel a bit cheap for an expensive hot hatchback.