Vauxhall Corsa review
The Vauxhall Corsa is a smart-looking supermini that's fun to drive and offers good levels of standard equipment
The latest Vauxhall Corsa is miles better than the car it replaced, offering a much more convincing blend of performance, economy, comfort and driving pleasure. It looks good, boasts one of the best petrol engines in its class and has benefited hugely from the thoroughly modern underpinnings shared with the latest Peugeot 208.
All of the technology on-board is bang up-to-date too, and while the list prices are quite high, the finance offers Vauxhall promotes are much more appealing. There are still better superminis out there to drive though.
About the Vauxhall Corsa
A fifth-generation Corsa (codenamed Corsa F) was planned under General Motors back in 2017, but with Vauxhall’s acquisition by PSA Group (now Stellantis), the project was canned. The new Corsa arrived a little later in 2019 however, borrowing a platform from the Peugeot 208 along with various powertrains and interior technology.
There’s plenty to separate the two closely linked cars, however. Inside and out, the Vauxhall looks and feels unique; sharp, modern lines mean the Corsa looks better than it ever has, while the comfortable interior boasts plenty of good-quality trim and up-to-date tech.
Vauxhall has trimmed the extensive equipment levels previously on offer, although there is still a choice of three specifications, including entry-level Design, sporty GS Line and top-of-the range Ultimate on both the petrol and the all-electric Corsa Electric models. While the range starts at around £19,000, it’s possible to push the price to more than £38,000 for a top-spec electric car.
Petrol-engined options include a 74bhp 1.2-litre, three-cylinder unit, or a 1.2 turbocharged powerplant with either 99bhp or 128bhp. The 99bhp PSA unit won Engine of the Year in 2018 and with good reason; it’s our pick thanks to its balance of surprisingly punchy performance and excellent fuel economy.
Car group tests
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Used car tests
A five-speed manual gearbox is standard on the 74bhp petrol variant, while a six-speed manual 'box is featured on the 99bhp petrol. An eight-speed automatic transmission is offered as an option for the 99bhp petrol version, although standard with the 128bhp model.
The Corsa Electric was initially only offered with a 134bhp 50kWh battery, but the mid-life facelift in 2023 added a new 51kWh battery pack (found in other Stellantis products) which bumps power up to 154bhp.
The new generation of Corsa has been completely reworked from the ground up to take on its rivals in what is one of the most hotly contested market segments. Its closest rivals are the Renault Clio and the Volkswagen Polo. Both sit at the very top of the class as fantastic all-rounders, while other capable challengers include the cheaper Dacia Sandero and the Peugeot 208 which shares so much of its mechanicals with the Corsa.
Used and nearly new
Since its introduction in the UK in 1993 the Vauxhall Corsa has achieved over two million sales, so there should be a ready supply of used or nearly new examples to choose from. It was actually the Vauxhall Nova that was the first supermini to wear the Griffin badge, with the Corsa introduced to appeal to a wider range of buyers. Sporty three-door models are less practical than the family-friendly five-door versions, but if you're after something racy, then the GSi and VXR variants may appeal.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Vauxhall Corsa is a smart-looking supermini that's fun to drive and offers good levels of standard equipment
- 2Engines, performance and driveStrong engines and low weight help the Corsa deliver sprightly performance, but some rivals ride a little more smoothly
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsBrilliant fuel consumption figures are possible, but Corsa depreciates faster than some rivals
- 4Interior, design and technologyImproved design inside and out, but infotainment system and in-car tech lag behind the best in class
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Corsa is comfortable and refined, but below average interior and boot space let the side down
- 6Reliability and SafetyDespite featuring good levels of safety kit, the Corsa misses out on a top Euro NCAP rating