Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016
- Excellent build quality
- Nice new styling
- Good diesel engines
- Some reliability problems
- Poor petrol engines
The Vauxhall Corsa has finally been transformed from a rather dull looking car into a vehicle that comes with sharp and modern styling and a decent interior. The handling is superb with plenty of grip and accurate steering that inspires confidence in the driver. The petrol engines are rather disappointing, but the diesels more than make up for this providing both performance and fuel efficiency.
Exterior and Interior
The Astra used to be known for coming with a dull exterior but that was before this new model came along with its modern and sharp styling and excellent interior in both the five and three door models. Inside there is enough room for four adults to sit comfortably, especially in the five-door that feels a lot roomier. The boot space is a good size topping both the Ford Fiesta and Peugeot 207 at 285litres. In the Club, SXi and Design models there is an additional false floor compartment that is a useful area for storing things such as jump leads, triangles and high visibility vest. The boot space can be increased to 1,100litres by folding the back seats flat for any large items. The cabin comes with plenty of other little storage areas. Vauxhall have thought of everything on the new Corsa and they have even added a bike carrier that comes out of the back bumper as an optional extra.
The interior is made to a high spec with everything feeling well constructed and robust. The dash and central console are both laid out logically. The interior is where the vast improvement has been made on the previous model. Although it still is the best in the market, the Corsa has made up a lot of ground.
All models come with CD stereo, power steering, ABS, front airbags, electric mirrors and central locking as standard. The all round favourite trim is the design that comes with electric windows, automatic headlights, heated wing mirrors, 16 inch alloys, rain sensing windscreen wipers, an MP3 compatible stereo and air-con. Higher trim levels add 17 inch alloys, sports suspension, stability control, sat-nav, six-CD changer and rear parking sensors.
Performance and Economy
The small 1.0-litre engine is underpowered taking a very leisurely 17 seconds to get from 0-60mph and the engine is rather noisy, but the 1.2-litre is a much better unit coping with motorways and town driving equally well and achieves a fairly respectable 48mpg. The 1.4-litre makes motorway cruising more enjoyable as it feels less forced going from 0-60mph in 11.8 seconds, but it does need to be revved too hard to get momentum to begin with. The 1.6-litre turbo gives a much more sporty feel accelerating from 0-60mph in just 7.6 seconds and but it does only achieve 35mpg.
The diesels are the pick of the bunch as all of them return good fuel efficiency and aren't too slow either with the smallest 1.3-litre 75bhp engine going from 0-60mph in 13.6 seconds and achieving 62mpg. The slightly more powerful 90bhp unit is over a second and a half quicker taking 11.9 seconds to get from 0-60mph and still returns a respectable 59mpg. The top of the range 1.7-litre engine has 125bhp and is surprisingly economical returning the same 58mpg as the larger 1.3-litre, but is a lot quicker taking only 9.3 seconds to go fro a standing start to 60mph. However, if its fuel efficiency that you're after then it's the ecoFLEX engines you have to go for. The original 75bhp unit achieves 71mpg and wasn't too slow either managing 0-60mph in 14.4 seconds. The 2010 upgraded version producing 95bhp is quicker going from 0-60mph in 12.3 seconds and yet it still comes with an even more impressive fuel efficiency of 76mpg, it also has the added bonus of only emitting 98g/km meaning it is free to tax. The only real let down is that all of the gearboxes feel stiff and are slow to change gears.
Like to Drive
The Corsa handles very well with plenty of grip in the corners and minimal body roll that inspires confidence in the driver. The suspension is silky smooth ironing out all the bumps in the road except for in the SXi and SRi models. They come with stiffer suspension which gives even better road handling, but you suffer for it with an uncomfortable ride especially around town. It's a great little car around town feeling nimble and is exceptionally easy to park in tight spaces. The driving position is good, but the front pillars are unnecessarily thick and as such block a large portion of your view especially at junctions where you'll find yourself stretching to see past them.
Faults and Repairs
The Corsa is generally well built only a few issues cropping up. The first is squeaky brakes that in some cars that can't seem to be fixed as dealers can't seem to find the cause, but it doesn't harm the performance of the brakes. Other faults include clunks from the rear suspension, central locking not working, the engine failing to start occasionally, but by just removing the key and trying again seems to sort it out on most occasions. Some good news is that the Corsa will not prove any more expensive to service and repair than many of its rivals with Vauxhall dealers usually being cheaper than most. You can save extra pennies by using a good independent garage instead which should cut costs by about 15%.