Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa review

Performance & drive
What Car? Target Price:£11,735
Search new deals
Review continues below...

In this review

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

The Corsa's engine range is mercifully simple: all four options are 1.4-litres in capacity and petrol-fuelled.

Unless you rarely stray from the city limits, you can probably cross the rather slow 74bhp engine off your shortlist. The 89bhp version is better, but still has to be worked hard if you’re to get the best from it.

Our pick of the range is the 99bhp engine which throws a turbocharger into the mix for much punchier acceleration, particularly at low revs. At the top of the range is a more heavily boosted version of this engine with 148bhp, available exclusively in the Corsa GSi; it's brisk but certainly not hot-hatch fast.

Suspension and ride comfort

Corsas with 17in alloy wheels (SRi VX-Line Nav Black and GSi models) come with sports suspension as standard. This firmer set-up imposes a slightly harsher ride over sharp-edged bumps, although things are still reasonably settled over most surfaces.

The comfort suspension is better, though; it’s appreciably more supple over big bumps and more composed over intrusions such as drain covers and expansion joints. It can still be slightly fidgety along rippled town roads, though, and no Corsa rides as comfortably as the Volkswagen Polo.

Vauxhall Corsa

Handling

The regular suspension doesn’t keep body movement in check particularly well through tight twists and turns, and it can feel a bit like the car is leaning over on to its door handles. Still, there’s enough grip that the Corsa doesn't feel in danger of leaving the road unless you're deliberately heavy handed. The sports suspension (also fitted to SRi VX-Line Nav Black and GSi models) reduces body sway through bends.

Unfortunately, all Corsas have somewhat vague steering that’s inconsistently weighted and doesn’t provide much sense of what’s going on with the front wheels. All Corsas feature a button labelled City that lightens the steering even further to make the car easier to park.

Noise and vibration

Wind and tyre noise combine to form a constant background din at motorway speeds, particularly on Coras with 17in and 18in wheels. All of the Corsa’s engines are coarse-sounding, even at moderate revs. Rivals such as the Polo and Ibiza are quieter cruising companions.

Depending on which engine you go for, there's either a five or six-speed manual gearbox as standard. Neither are as good as the equivalent ’box in the Polo or Fiesta, but the six-speeder is at least reasonably light and precise.

If you need an automatic, avoid the jerky five-speed Easytronic gearbox and go for the six-speed unit; it’s only available with the 1.4-litre 89bhp engine, though.

 

open the gallery9 Images
Trims
There are 8 trims available for the Corsa hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
Active
This entry-level trim is cheap but still comes with a heated windscreen, electric windo...
View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£11,735
View Trim
Griffin
This limited-edition trim is seriously well priced and well worth a look. The only draw...
View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£11,908
Average Saving £518
View Trim
OUR PICK
Energy
Alloy wheels, the 7.0in infotainment system and air conditioning feature on this mid-sp...
View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£12,061
Average Saving £2,765
View Trim
Sport
Like Energy, but with sports seats and sports pedals. Worth considering but the Energy...
View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£12,912
Average Saving £2,893
View Trim
Design
Worth considering. It gets a 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system, air conditioning an...
View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£12,963
Average Saving £502
View Trim
SRi Vx-line Nav Black
SRi trim with a racier bodykit and bigger wheels. Not worth the added cost...
View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£14,503
Average Saving £2,992
View Trim
SE Nav
Adds OnStar automatic crash response, heated front seats, front and rear parking sensor...
View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£14,829
Average Saving £1,047
View Trim
SRi Nav
Gets air conditioning, automatic lights and wipers and a 7.0in touchscreen infotainment...
View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£15,773
Average Saving £1,032
View Trim