Used buyer's guide: Vauxhall Corsa

29 Sep, 2010 10:45am Richard Dredge

The Corsa is a fixture at the top of the new car sales chart – but does it make sense used?


It's easy to overlook the Corsa’s faults when you consider its low prices and running costs. This is an ideal first car for young drivers, with its five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating, and it’s great in town. Stick to more powerful engines and less sporty trims for the best mix of comfort and performance.

As used car buyers rush to follow the downsizing trend, bargain small hatchbacks can be hard to track down – and that’s why the Vauxhall Corsa is such a breath of fresh air. With its low running costs, high-quality cabin and decent refinement, it’s a solid second-hand buy. There is plenty to tempt you. A split-level boot floor increases versatility, while the car’s huge popularity with driving schools proves it’s easy to get on with. Here’s how to find a good one.


The third-generation Corsa hit dealers in July 2006, in three or five-door hatchback forms. There was a choice of 1.0, 1.2, 1.4 or 1.6-litre petrol engines, along with 1.3 or 1.7-litre diesels.

In February 2007, the sporty 192bhp VXR followed, with 1.6 turbo power. The same engine was offered in the SRi from June 2007, but detuned to 150bhp. The ultra-economical ecoflex debuted in April 2009, while there have been various special editions along the way, too.


For years, the Corsa’s main rival has been the Ford Fiesta. And whether you opt for the blue oval’s current or previous generation, you’ll get a car that’s fun to drive and affordable.

The VW Polo offers a stronger image, but prices are higher. Another superb all-rounder is the Skoda Fabia.