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Peugeot 207 S v Renault Clio v Toyota Yaris v Ford Fiesta v Vauxhall Corsa

In its first British test, we line up Vauxhall's Corsa against four key rivals

The supermini class is the toughest and most fiercely contested in Brit­ain. New offerings from Renault, Fiat, Toyota and Peugeot have all arrived in the past 12 months, giving drivers more choice than ever.

And now, the buying decision has got even harder, as Vauxhall’s new Corsa hits dealers next month. There are three and five-door versions, each with their own distinct look, and six engines (1.0, 1.2 and 1.4 petrols, plus a 1.7 and two 1.3-litre diesels).

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The Corsa’s arrival is huge news, as the car has been Britain’s best-selling supermini for 29 of the past 50 months, with just under 90,000 finding homes here last year alone. In its first UK test, the model meets three of its freshest rivals, plus Ford’s big-selling Fiesta. We covered more than 1,500 miles of varied roads to bring you our comprehensive verdict.

Verdict

In the most fiercely contested sector of the market, it’s the Ford Fiesta which is first to fall. It’s fun, but showing its age. In fourth is the Toyota Yaris, which can’t match its rivals dynamically, but has good stowage space.

The Peugeot 207 is let down by its flimsy gearbox and tight rear seats – which leaves the Renault and Vauxhall. The Corsa is keenly priced, well built and refined. But the 1.4 engine isn’t the strongest, and the SXi’s ride is too firm. So despite our concerns over its residual values, in this test at least victory goes to the roomy, attractive Clio.

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