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A brief history of the Vauxhall Corsa

Written by Parkers Published: 21 June 2017 Updated: 21 June 2017

Since the Vauxhall Corsa burst on to the market – and our TV screens with a supermodel-laden advertising campaign – it’s remained one of the best-selling small cars available.

Replacing the ageing Vauxhall Nova at the start of 1993, the popular line-up of three- and five-door hatchbacks launched its fourth generation in 2014, following on from all-new replacements in 2000 and 2006.

With a multitude of trim levels available, there’s always been a Corsa variant to suit customers’ tastes, whether that be a no-nonsense entry-level model or a more luxurious version packed with features normally seen on larger cars, such as a heated steering wheel.

Powered by an efficient range of petrol and diesel engines, not every buyer was necessarily interested in fuel efficiency, Vauxhall finding its faster Corsas had quite a following. The original SRi and GSi models gave way to Sport, followed by SXi and then a return of the SRi tag.

Fastest of all are those wearing the VXR badge, including a number of special editions eking out a little more power and improving the Corsa’s handling.

While the latest Corsa isn’t a brand new design, instead based upon its spacious predecessor with fresh bodywork, its improved driving characteristics and overhauled range of engines sees it take a step closer to the likes of Ford’s Fiesta, Renault’s Clio and Volkswagen’s Polo.

Read our full Vauxhall Corsa review
View the latest Vauxhall Corsa cars for sale

All images © Vauxhall except 2012 entry which is © Parkers/Bauer Media