Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Vauxhall Corsa hatchback?
The youngest examples came with a three-year warranty. However, don’t think newer Corsas sold in the years when Vauxhall offered a 'lifetime' warranty will be covered, because this wasn’t transferrable between owners.
Be sure to buy a Corsa that’s been properly looked after, with a nice, fully stamped up service book. Check the log book to see who the first owner was, because lots were bought by fleets or run as hire cars, and these examples are more likely to have been abused by their drivers.
Also, if you're buying from a car supermarket, have the car checked over by a professional, because it may have been sitting idle for some time.
When you get inside the car, make sure the screen for the stereo works, because a replacement costs more than £300 (£900 if the optional sat-nav is fitted).
Check around the front bumper where it meets the bodywork, because the bumper can rub – particularly in the VXR – wearing through the paint and creating a spot where the car can start to rust.
What are the most common problems with a used Vauxhall Corsa hatchback?
The smallest petrol engines have weak cam belts, while the 1.6-litre turbo can crack its fourth piston and the 1.3-litre diesel can suffer starting problems; if you experience the latter problem, it’s worth having the glowplugs replaced, and this costs about £160.
The six-speed manual gearbox can be problematic; if there’s rattling then the bearings are worn and it’ll require a replacement. To prevent this happening, the gearbox requires its oil changed with every service.
Rear brake discs are known to seize due to a sticky hand brake linkage: replacement calipers are around £160.
Suspension top mounts are a common failure. Many need replacing within two to three years, or as little as 10,000 miles. Fortunately, they’re not expensive to fix, and the replacement parts seem to last much longer.
Is a used Vauxhall Corsa hatchback reliable?
While the Vauxhall Corsa isn’t without its problems, that’s true of most of its direct rivals, too. It also performs well when it comes to consumables.
Data from CAP Derwent suggests that the Corsa is better than average for electrics, bulbs, wiper blades, air conditioning servicing and brake discs, although it isn’t quite as good as some of its contemporaries when it comes to brake pad wear.