Vauxhall Corsa Review logo

Vauxhall Corsa Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2019
      Body type
      Small hatch
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Great engines, but iffy ride ”

Best bits

  • Long list of standard equipment
  • Good to drive on twisty roads
  • Fine petrol engine range

Not so great

  • Ride is too brittle
  • Rear seats are too short on knee space
  • Price of higher spec models

Read by

Vauxhall Corsa Front Side View

Overall verdict

Vauxhall Corsa Front Interior

On the inside

Vauxhall Corsa Front Side View

Driving

Vauxhall Corsa Rear View

How much does it cost to run

Vauxhall Corsa Rear Side View

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"Cheap to run, well-equipped and easy to drive, the Vauxhall Corsa is the embodiment of the supermini all-rounder. However, while Vauxhall's latest small car instalment is easily the best Corsa yet, it still can’t match the fun of the Ford Fiesta or the everyday practicality of the SEAT Ibiza."

Vauxhall Corsa Front Side View

The Vauxhall Corsa has plenty to offer buyers who are in need of an affordable small car that provides decent value and a rewarding drive. Indeed, compared to its predecessor, the latest Corsa is a revelation from behind the wheel. The Corsa borrows a lot of its oily bits from the Peugeot 208, with the platform and running gear all being carried over from the Peugeot. However, while the two are mechanically similar, the Vauxhall is the keener car to drive thanks to being set up specifically for UK roads. This has involved fine-tuning the suspension and steering to suit bumpier roads that also have lots of twists, turns and cambers to throw at the car.


That stiffer set-up does impact comfort, with the Corsa feeling quite unsettled at low speeds. Rough roads and pot holes produce a lot of body movement, which is made worse if you choose one of the higher specification models with larger wheels. In our view, both the Fiesta and Ibiza are more comfortable cars and also more entertaining on country lanes.


The Corsa is offered with petrol, diesel or electric power, but most will choose the zesty three-cylinder 1.2-litre 100PS petrol, which is identical to the 1.2 PureTech engine found in the Peugeot 208. It’s one of the best petrol engines on sale today and is packed with lots of low and medium range urge for relaxed cruising, nippy acceleration and generally easy manners. It works wonderfully well in the Corsa, with 0-62mph taking around nine seconds and advertised economy peaking at a respectable 52mpg.


All versions of the Vauxhall Corsa are generously equipped as standard. Even entry-level models get LED headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels and touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility as standard. However, while the Corsa's spec makes a lot of sense on paper, in reality the cabin is more cheap than cheerful with cramped rear seats and lots of scratchy grey plastics. The infotainment is also a long way behind the quality of the systems used by Ford or the Volkswagen Polo and its cousins from SEAT and Skoda.


Compared to the old model, the latest Vauxhall Corsa does represent a monumental leap forward in terms of handling and refinement. Much of this is down to its PSA partnership. However, while an undeniable improvement, the Corsa's progress is hindered by its cramped and disappointing cabin. This limits its versatility and appeal in the supermini class, where the best contenders are now nipping at the heels of models from the small hatch sector in terms of cabin space, comfort and driving ability.


Is the Vauxhall Corsa right for you?

If you’ve owned a Vauxhall Corsa from a previous generation, you will find plenty to like about this latest version. You’ll also find a couple of points that seem like retrograde steps.


Starting with the positives, this Corsa is easy on the wallet for running costs thanks to its frugal engines. You also have the choice of a zero tailpipe emissions electric version in the Corsa-e, though most buyers will opt for the refined and perky 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol that is shared with the Peugeot 208.


Where the Corsa takes a backward step is in its ride comfort and rear seat space. The firm suspension makes the Vauxhall quite jarring on most roads where its rivals are much smoother. And while we don’t expect limo-like rear leg room, this Corsa offers up less space for knees than the car it replaces, which is a serious demerit when the likes of the Kia Rio and Skoda Fabia both have excellent back seat accommodation.


What’s the best Vauxhall Corsa model/engine to choose?

There’s not much point in looking beyond the entry-point SE model when it comes to choosing a trim for the Vauxhall Corsa. It comes with everything you need and some luxury items on top such as alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It also has plenty of safety gear that includes speed sign recognition and Lane Departure Warning with Lane Assist.


Engine-wise, we’d recommend the 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol motor with 100PS. It has more muscle throughout its rev range than the 75PS non-turbo version, delivers the same emissions and is barely any less economical. We’d also stick with the six-speed manual gearbox that is standard rather than the eight-speeder auto as it has a light, easy shift and well-chosen ratios for town and motorway driving.


What other cars are similar to the Vauxhall Corsa?

Think Vauxhall Corsa and the immediate rival that springs to mind is the Ford Fiesta. This pair have been duelling it out for decades and each has its own merits. For the Fiesta, this has always been the way it drives thanks an agile chassis and peppy engines.


Others in the supermini sector to consider alongside the Corsa are the refined Volkswagen Polo, spacious Skoda Fabia or, if you want a bit of flamboyance, the MINI hatch. You should also think about the Peugeot 208 that shares most of its mechanical components with the Corsa as the French machine is very good.


Learn more

Vauxhall Corsa Front Interior

On the inside

Vauxhall Corsa Front Side View

Driving

Vauxhall Corsa Rear View

How much does it cost to run

Vauxhall Corsa Rear Side View

Prices, versions and specification