Vauxhall Corsa Black

28 Feb, 2013 10:15am Damion Smy

The Vauxhall Corsa Black offers more power and sharper looks than the SRi for not much extra


The Corsa Black Edition is good value when compared to the SRi version. It’s still well mannered around town and is more responsive, but it ultimately lacks the sparkle and entertainment of its rivals. Buyers who demand sharper performance should step up to the VXR models, as the Black falls short in terms of dynamics and fun factor.

Vauxhall has launched this limited-edition Corsa Black in an attempt to steal the spotlight away from the acclaimed new Ford Fiesta. But is this supermini special enough to succeed?

The Black Edition is based on the sporty SRi model, and only 500 will be produced. Three and five-door versions are available, all fitted with foglamps, more aggressive front and rear bumpers and matching side skirts.

Also part of the package is a black grille insert, plus smoked head and tail-lamps and chrome exhaust tips, Carbon Flash paint and stylish 17-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels.

To go with the more aggressive look, Vauxhall has boosted the SRi’s 1.4-litre turbocharged engine by 19bhp, to 118bhp.

It promises the same 51.4mpg fuel economy and 129g/km CO2 emissions as the standard car, though, thanks to stop-start. And while performance isn’t exactly on a par with a hot hatch, the Black is a massive 1.6 seconds faster than a regular SRi in the sprint from 0-62mph, posting a time of 10.3 seconds.

The power hike makes the newcomer responsive to drive, if not quite as exciting as you’d expect given the Turbo badge on the bootlid. The leather steering wheel feels chunky and good to hold, while the seats are firm and supportive, but body control is a little sloppy, despite the fact the Black has stiffer sports suspension.

The ride is neither firm enough to be sporty nor supple enough to be comfortable, while slotting the gearlever home takes a bit of force, as the five-speed manual box is notchy.

On the motorway, there’s a lot of wind and tyre noise, although the engine spins quietly. And around town, the car is as well mannered as any other Corsa; it’s refined at idle and the stop-start works well.

It’ll take a keen Vauxhall fan to notice the differences inside, with silver stitching on the seats the only update over the SRi. But buyers aren’t likely to mind – as the step up in performance and exterior style the Black offers over the regular car is well worth the £395 price premium on its own.

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You can get a brand new Corsa VXR for this price if you don't mind pre-registration.

Needs the 1.4 Turbo in 140ps form rather than this mapping. Also, could do with that engine available in normal SRi versions as the non-turbo 1.4 is too weedy.

Here we go - another car maker convincing the public that a black model car is the one to own. Fine but how many realise it costs the maker much less to produce at car like this. However they often charge you the same, if not more - There is lots missing off missing off a black edition car like: Chrome trims. No need to paint bits that are black anyway etc. So why aren't they cheaper?

Going to make only 500? Be lucky to sell that many. Still only a 5 speed 'box. Eurojunk.

Back in 1994 the Vauxhall Corsa SRi had a 1.4 litre engine and did 0-60mph in 10.5 seconds. Nineteen years later the equivalent model takes a tragic 11.9 seconds to get up to speed. Bung a turbo charger on and the net result is a two-tenths of a second improvement on the original SRi. Is this what Vauxhall calls progress?

"To go with the more aggressive look, Vauxhall has boosted the SRi’s 1.4-litre turbocharged engine by 19bhp, to 118bhp"

Slightly incorrect, the 1.4 with 100bhp is N/A not a turbo.

LOADS more equipment, LOADS safer so LOADS more weight surely you know that?

Absolutely. So, to counter the inevitable weight gain, the bhp/tonne should be matched or equalled from generation to generation. They shouldn't have any problem getting 130+ bhp out of a naturally aspirated 1.4.

Are the ever going to pension this model off? Surely it's due for replacement sometime soon?

Probably for the same reason most manufacturers are now charging extra for solid white paint, whereas until recently it was a standard colour - they know they can get away with it.

Key specs

  • Price: £15,995
  • Engine: 1.4-litre 4cyl turbo
  • Power: 118bhp
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 10.3 seconds
  • Top speed: 120mph
  • Economy: 51.4mpg
  • CO2: 129g/km
  • Equipment: 17-inch wheels, sports suspension, sports seats
  • On sale: Now