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Vauxhall Corsa: Second report

Surprising load capacity makes baby Vauxhall a hit for trips to the tip

  • You only have to look at the quality of the interior to realise where your money goes on this car. From the steering wheel to the dash plastics, everything feels solidly put together and sturdy – there are no scratchy surfaces to be found in the cabin. It’s all superbly appointed.
  • The ride lets the Corsa down. It’s firm, and the 15-inch alloys crash into potholes. Worse still, speed bumps can unsettle the steering, which makes for an uncomfortable journey. Stiff suspension usually goes hand-in-hand with a sporty car, so it feels out of place in a 95g/km, road tax-exempt supermini.
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I’ve been enjoying the easy life in our Vauxhall Corsa. Our long-term five-door has made everything so simple for the past few weeks that I’ve even been able to put my feet up.

The green machine is classed as a supermini, but it’s not short on space inside. With the rear seats folded flat, our Exclusiv A/C model easily swallowed a load of old junk I needed to take to my local waste disposal plant for recycling.

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There are certain to be a few more trips like this in the coming weeks, as I’m about to move house and need to get rid of a lot of the stuff I’ve accumulated over the past few years.

But the Vauxhall has already done the hard yards; it shifted an old desk, a creaky cabinet and countless bin bags.

Sure, there are bigger, more capable load carriers on our test fleet, but the Corsa was more than up to the job. And while I was initially annoyed that the 60:40 split-fold seats don’t lie completely flat, the 285-litre load bay has such a wide opening that I even managed to shoehorn in the armchair in our picture.

When it’s not helping me take stuff to the tip, the Vauxhall earns its crust carrying anything from car stereos to wheel waxes as part of the wide range of kit I test for the magazine. 

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Plus, a raft of car care products has been put through its paces on the bodywork. That’s why the metallic paint – a £495 extra – looks so sparkling clean.

Unfortunately, all of this load lugging has hit efficiency. With the car fully laden, the 94bhp engine has had to work harder than usual. The tall gearing is set up for efficiency rather than pace and is well suited to long distance cruising. But pull away from the traffic lights when the car has a big load on board, and you’re forced to hold on to ratios if you want meaningful acceleration. As a result, I’ve seen the economy tumble from 51mpg in my last report to 47.9mpg this time around – some way off Vauxhall’s claimed 78.5mpg. Let’s hope things improve again once I’m settled into my new home.

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Even after all the load lugging, the car is still immaculate inside. I’ve yet to find a single piece of loose interior trim. In fact, it all has a really high-quality feel. This has been enhanced by the deep-pile floor mats, which Vauxhall delivered a few days ago.

Then again, our Corsa should feel expensive – because it costs a hefty £17,600. You get loads of kit for the money, including a touchscreen sat-nav system and air-conditioning, as well as Bluetooth and iPod connections.

Despite the big car equipment, the model is as capable around town as any other supermini – even when it’s been packed to the rafters, the Corsa’s visibility is superb. I particularly like the design of the front, and the way the A-pillars meet the windscreen. Rather than blocking out the window near the door mirror with trim, the designers added an extra pane 

of glass in the corner. This makes parking simple, and has helped prevent damage to the smart 15-inch alloys. They come as part of the £515 Plus Pack.

The 95g/km CO2 emissions also mean the Corsa is exempt from the London Congestion Charge – so it’s a great city car, as well as a surprisingly good load carrier. Just keep it quiet, 

or I’ll face a fight for the keys.

Extra Info

“The 285-litre load bay has such a wide opening that I managed to shoehorn in a large armchair and take it to the tip. But even after all the load lugging, the Corsa is still immaculate inside. I’ve yet to find a single piece of loose interior trim. In fact, the 
whole interior has a really high-quality feel.”

Jamie Fretwell, Staff Writer

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