Vauxhall Corsa ecoFLEX vs rivals

Vauxhall’s new-look Corsa is more efficient than ever. We see how it stacks up against eco rivals from Ford and Peugeot

Vauxhall Corsa ecoFLEX vs rivals
Whether it’s buildings made of shipping containers, or cars that drink less fuel, the rush to embrace the greener side of life is good for our wallets, as well as the environment.
The new-look Vauxhall Corsa is a prime example of how green, rather than greed, is good. The firm’s best-seller looks better than ever, and the new 1.3 CDTi ecoFLEX is available with stop-start, boosting claimed fuel returns to 78.5mpg. The five-door emits only 94g/km and, in high-spec Exclusiv A/C trim, costs £15,840.
Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Vauxhall Corsa
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Not to be outdone, Peugeot has rebadged its eco-friendly line-up, changing the Economique badge for the new Oxygo label. The 207 undercuts the Corsa on price, but you pay for this saving at the pumps, with lower economy of 74.3mpg.
The Ford Fiesta ECOnetic completes our trio. It’s efficient – returning 76.0mpg – stylish and great to drive. A list price of £14,495 makes it the cheapest on test – but is it too short on kit to be a contender?

Verdict

Fuel economy and emissions are the main focus of the cars in this test, but the winner has to be more than eco-friendly. What marks out the best eco warriors is how little dynamic appeal, kit and comfort you have to sacrifice along the way. And when you apply that logic, there can be only one winner here. The Ford Fiesta ECOnetic has already seen off the VW Polo BlueMotion, and its unbeaten record remains intact. Not only is it the cheapest car on test, but it’s also the best to drive, sharpest to look at and most enjoyable to sit in.
The Peugeot was the surprise package. It returned impressive economy, comes well equipped and is keenly priced. Its 1.6-litre engine feels more eager on the road than our figures suggest, and its quiet cabin and supple suspension make it an appealing proposition on longer journeys. This leaves the Corsa third. The Vauxhall’s raucous engine and uninspiring dynamics undermine the latest changes, and it’s by far the most expensive model on test. Its stop-start technology is sure to aid economy for urban drivers, but the Ford and Peugeot both beat it at the pumps.

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