Vauxhall Corsavan (2013-2015)
Vauxhall’s smallest van, based on the Corsa, is a compact, manoeuvrable urban runabout that combines economy with reasonable load carrying
As the name suggests, the Vauxhall Corsavan is based on the three-door Corsa car, with rear windows and seats removed, and a load platform installed behind the front seats. Despite its compact dimensions, the Corsavan can handle a competitive 550kg payload, but its load space is considerably smaller than high-cube compact vans like the Peugeot Bipper and the Citroen Nemo. For many though, the car-like driving experience, compact size, low purchase price and running costs, make car-derived vans like Corsavan and the Ford Fiesta Van an easy way into the light-commercial market. High specification levels, healthy performance and handling, plus the ability to carry a load, make the Corsavan a convincing alternative to boxier high-cube models.
MPG, CO2 and Running Costs
Not surprisingly for a van based on a supermini car, fuel consumption and emissions are a strong point for the Corsavan. There's a 1.2-litre petrol engine, with 70bhp on offer, which delivers claimed fuel economy of 55.4mpg with stop-start, and emits 119g/km of CO2. Two versions of Vauxhall’s 1.3-litre diesel engine are available, with 75bhp or 95bhp, returning 72.4mpg and 64.2mpg, respectively. The 95bhp engine is also available in an ecoFLEX model, with stop-start, lowered suspension, smooth wheel covers, optimised gear ratios and low-rolling resistance tyres. This returns a claimed 83.1mpg, with CO2 emissions of just 89g/km. That compares well with Ford’s latest Fiesta Van, the ECOnetic version of which returns a claimed 85.6mpg and emits 87g/km from its 95bhp 1.6-litre Duratorq diesel engine. It puts both the car-derived vans well ahead of LCVs like the Fiat Fiorino, which returns a best of 65.7mpg and emits 113g/km from its 1.3-litre 95bhp diesel engine.
Load Space and Practicality
Load space is where the car-derived vans fall down against the boxy high-cube models such as the Fiorino and the Nemo, which both offer a load capacity of 2.5 cubic metres and a payload of up to 660kg. While Corsavan’s 550kg payload is more than acceptable for a vehicle of this size, its load space of just under 1.0 cubic metres is less so. It will be enough for many small business users, but not for anyone looking to maximize carrying capacity. It’s not just the overall size either, but access to that load space, with a relatively high-loading threshold making it difficult to load heavy materials and no possibility of side doors to give access to the load area. Get past that, however, and the Corsavan comes with a durable steel load floor, with a half-height steel bulkhead and half-height sidewall panelling. Lashing rings in the floor are standard and you can order a mesh upper bulkhead section (£65), load area rubber floor mat (£80) and a load compartment cover (£80), if desired. To extend the Corsavan’s load-hauling abilities there are roof bars (£95.83) and a detachable tow bar (£412.50) available, with the compact Vauxhall capable of pulling a 1,200kg trailer, when fitted with the diesel engines.
Reliability and Safety
The Corsavan comes with a driver’s dual-stage airbag, side-impact protection beams in the doors, ABS brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, straight-line stability control (SLS) that is said to optimize directional stability under braking, and cornering brake control (CBC) . Electronic stability control (called ESP-plus) is an option (£240), along with a passenger airbag (£285). ESC is standard in higher-specification Fiesta Van models, including the Trend and the Sport, but remains an option on all Corsavan models. The Corsavan comes with a half-height steel bulkhead as standard and tie-down rings in the load area. A mesh upper protection screen is available as an option. The compact Vauxhall comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty.
Driving and Performance
Both 1.3-litre diesel engines pull well and deliver sprightly performance. In standard trim, the vans come with a five-speed manual gearbox, but the Sportive version gets a six-speed gearbox, delivering improved acceleration and more relaxed high-speed cruising. Despite its compact dimensions, the Corsavan has a reasonably supple ride, thanks in part to its passenger-car origins. This also means that the Vauxhall handles well and is a pleasure to drive on country roads and around town. That said, Ford’s latest Fiesta Van is a more engaging drive and offers even better performance. Both car-derived vans however easily outpace the high-cube Nemo and Bipper from Citroen and Peugeot.
Cab and Interior
Being based on a passenger car, the interior of the Corsavan is very comfortable and well appointed, with a matte-chrome-effect centre console dominating the cab. Standard vans come with a driver’s dual-stage airbag, speed-sensitive power steering, a CD/radio with aux-in socket and MP3 compatibility, a storage tray under the passenger seat and electrically adjustable door mirrors. Move up to the popular Sportive model (£550 more than the standard 95bhp diesel model) and, as well as an additional forward gear in the box, you get a piano-black centre console, sports seats with a driver’s height adjuster, reach-and-rake adjustable steering, air-conditioning, electric windows, sports instruments, heated door mirrors, front fog lights and alloy wheels.
(Width is body width at widest point. Width with mirrors: 1,944mm)
Load area dimensions
(Widths are maximum. Width between wheel arches: 969mm)