Advertisement Feature

The new rules of the Vauxhall Corsa

A look at the changing face of the Corsa, from a reworked ’90s Nova to the all-electric Corsa-e

The Vauxhall Corsa has been a mainstay on our roads for years, with more than 2.1 million sold in the UK since 1993. From its reworking of the Nova in the early 1990s to the latest Corsa-e, it has evolved over the years, but never lost its familiar charm. We take you through the history of this popular hatchback and bring you right up to date with the latest models.

’90s Nova beginnings

The Nova, Vauxhall’s supermini offering in the ’80s and early ’90s, really marks the beginning of the Corsa we know and love today, as it was named ‘Corsa’ in markets outside of the UK.

But in 1993, the Nova was rebranded and replaced by the Corsa B in the UK, a hatchback with mass appeal offering more room, an attractive and curvy design and upgraded safety features, including front airbags, anti-lock brakes and power steering. Buyers could choose their Corsa B with three or five-doors, and with a choice of several engines, including 1.2, 1.4, and 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engines, and an economical 1.5-litre turbodiesel.

A millennium makeover

At the turn of the millennium, Vauxhall introduced a new, upgraded model, the Corsa C. Although the design was evolutionary rather than revolutionary, the new model boasted more interior space thanks to an increase in length and a longer wheelbase. There was a wider variety of engine options, too, with 1.0, 1.2, 1.4 and 1.8-litre petrol units and a 1.7-litre turbodiesel option.

It was a huge success in the UK, becoming the second most popular car in 2002, 2003 and 2004. It was a smash hit with young drivers due to its affordable purchase price and low running costs. It was easy to drive, too, and many motorists learning to drive in the early ’00s will fondly remember it as ‘the car they learned to drive in’.

One of the longest-running Corsa models was the Corsa D, which was on the market for eight years (replacing the Corsa C in 2006). This model saw a sportier design and continued the pronounced differentiation between three-door and five-door models. Still cost-efficient with great handling, it also boasted a five-star Euro NCAP rating and efficient engines.

Designed based on feedback from customers, the next iteration was the Corsa E, a car well-suited to small families and young drivers alike, but not to be confused with the current all-electric Corsa-e. It seriously upped the game in terms of technology, an important upgrade to stay competitive. It came with an all-new Intellilink touchscreen infotainment system, sporting features such as DAB radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Other high-tech additions and options included climate control, heated seats and steering wheel, parking sensors and lane keep assist for improved safety. The Corsa E also featured new styling inside and out and new petrol engine options, including a three-cylinder 1.0-litre with 90PS or 115PS, and a 1.4 turbo with 100PS.

Entering the EV era

The fifth generation of Corsa brings something new to the table. Combining the latest technology, easy handling and the familiarity of the Corsa design with the environmental benefits of an EV is the Corsa-e, an all-electric Corsa released alongside the new petrol and diesel models. With the automotive industry putting a big emphasis on electrification, the first all-electric Corsa is an important addition to Vauxhall’s supermini offering.

The Corsa-e has a 136PS electric motor, 50kWh battery, and a maximum range of 209 miles. It can accelerate from 0-60mph in just 7.6 seconds, and reach a top speed of 93mph. Eco mode boosts your range whereas Sport mode gives you that extra power. With a 100kW rapid charger, the battery can be recharged to 80 per cent in around half an hour, and using the MyVauxhall app, smartphone users can easily monitor battery status and find the cheapest charging option.

Like its internal combustion engine counterparts, the Corsa-e is kitted out with the latest technology and safety features, including driver-assistance such as traffic-sign recognition, forward collision alert, speed-limit recognition, automatic emergency braking and a driver drowsiness warning system.

It also features an all-new colour touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone mirroring. With its familiar design, there’s very little compromise in practicality when it comes to the  Corsa-e. The back seats are comfortable for adults, and with a 267-litre boot capacity there’s plenty of room for luggage and shopping.

With an impressive range and low running costs, the Corsa-e gives you everything you love about the nostalgic little hatchback – but with a big green environmental tick. From its ’90s Nova beginnings, this reliable supermini has driven firmly into the 21st century.

Discover more about the first all-electric Corsa

Recommended

Electric car charging in the UK
Charging
Electric cars

Electric car charging in the UK

The UK’s electric car charging infrastructure has changed substantially in the past 12 months but can it make an EV suit your lifestyle?
19 Mar 2021
How to buy an electric car
Electric cars

How to buy an electric car

Buying an electric car can be easier than you think, we visit a new type of EV and hybrid dealership to find out how easy
16 Dec 2020
Vauxhall looks towards Britain's electric future
Advertisement Feature

Vauxhall looks towards Britain's electric future

As the UK’s EV landscape grows rapidly, we look at Vauxhall’s plans to have its entire model range electrified by 2024
20 Aug 2020
5 key features of the Vauxhall Corsa-e
Advertisement Feature

5 key features of the Vauxhall Corsa-e

Explore Vauxhall’s all-electric Corsa with these infographics
19 Aug 2020

Most Popular

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox
Dacia Duster gear lever
News

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox

With more drivers learning in autos and electric cars, the DVSA is looking to update the driving test so people can still drive manuals in future
16 Jun 2021
New 2021 Vauxhall Astra to offer plug-in hybrid power
Vauxhall Astra render
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra to offer plug-in hybrid power

The new Vauxhall Astra will get a plug-in hybrid powertrain and a more premium image - here’s how it could look
17 Jun 2021
Tesla Model 3 police car all set for evaluation by UK emergency services
Tesla Model 3 police car - front
News

Tesla Model 3 police car all set for evaluation by UK emergency services

Tesla hopes to offer UK police forces a new zero-emission emergency responder option with the Model 3 police car
17 Jun 2021
Motorists think they can get away with driving offences due to lack of road police
police speed gun
News

Motorists think they can get away with driving offences due to lack of road police

Lack of road traffic police officers in the UK is making it easy for drivers to break the law, according to a survey of 15,500 British motorists
16 Jun 2021
New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review
Audi Q4 e-tron 2021  front
Audi Q4 e-tron

New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review

We get involved with the new all-electric Audi Q4 e-tron SUV on UK roads for the first time
17 Jun 2021
Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review
Ineos Grenadier prototype
Ineos Grenadier 4x4

Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review

Can the Ineos Grenadier really fill the mud-splattered void left by the old Land Rover Defender? We take a first drive in a prototype to find out...
15 Jun 2021
Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition revealed
Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition
Ford Puma

Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition revealed

Ford unveils a special edition Puma ST, with a black and gold colour scheme chosen by Ford fans over social media
18 Jun 2021
UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars
Electric car charging
News

UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars

Analysis reveals lithium refining takes 65 per cent of Chilean region’s water, while 40,000 child miners dig for cobalt in DRC
14 Jun 2021
New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review
Nissan Qashqai 2021
Nissan Qashqai

New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review

We get behind the wheel of the larger, more comfortable and higher-tech Nissan Qashqai SUV in the UK
16 Jun 2021
New 2021 Hyundai Tucson N-Line hybrid and PHEV on sale now
Hyundai Tuscon N Line - front
Hyundai Tucson

New 2021 Hyundai Tucson N-Line hybrid and PHEV on sale now

Hyundai names price for new Tucson N-Line hybrid duo with plug-in offering 38 miles of electric running
18 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021
New Mercedes-AMG S 63 spied in minimal camouflage
Mercedes-AMG S 63
Mercedes S-Class

New Mercedes-AMG S 63 spied in minimal camouflage

AMG will soon launch a tuned version of Mercedes’s flagship limousine, probably powered by a 603bhp twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine
18 Jun 2021
Dacia unveils new badge design
Dacia badge
Dacia

Dacia unveils new badge design

The new Dacia branding will feature on the company’s cars from 2022, with the Bigster being the first candidate
17 Jun 2021
Porsche unveils next-generation PCM infotainment system with Android Auto 
Porsche Communication Management 6.0 911
Porsche

Porsche unveils next-generation PCM infotainment system with Android Auto 

Porsche’s sixth-generation touchscreen will be rolled out across the firm’s line-up, adding new connectivity features and natural voice control
17 Jun 2021