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Ford Fiesta vs Vauxhall Corsa

  • Ford Fiesta EcoBoost vs Vauxhall Corsa ecoFLEX
  • Low CO2 emissions and p11d value means high spec is affordable
  • Yours for £40 a month plus change - but which should you choose?

If you want a well-equipped five-door company car that keeps costs down to a minimum then a small hatchback like the Ford Fiesta or Vauxhall Corsa could be just the thing.

Clever packaging means more practicality than before, and thanks to efficient petrol engines there is even an alternative to the fleet mainstay diesel.

Throw a low p11d value and high standard specification into the mix and the result ticks an awful lot of boxes. But which model is best?

Our pick

  • Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback 1.0T ecoFLEX SE 5d
  • Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 5d

For the smallest tax bill it’s the 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine you want in both cases. Diesel versions offer lower CO2 emissions, but their higher p11d value means you’ll pay more than £40 a month.

In contrast, the turbocharged ecoFLEX and EcoBoost engines in the Corsa (BIK band 15) and Fiesta (BIK band 14) come in at £38 and £37 a month respectively*.

Efficient and powerful three cylinder engines

Running costs are close too - the Fiesta promises the best fuel economy with a claimed 65mpg, while the Vauxhall offers 64mpg.

While you're unlikely to hit these figures, by driving sensibly you can expect the kind of fuel economy that will make you think twice about which pump you need when filling up.

Plus thanks to turbochargers both engines punch well above their diminutive size, providing more than enough power for town driving and the ability to keep up with faster moving traffic on motorways too.

However, as you can see the Corsa can be had in top of the range SE spec instead of the Ford’s second-best Titanium trim for this budget.

Practicality

While neither car resembles Aladdin’s cave inside there is plenty of room for the driver and front passenger, plus respectable boots for carrying larger loads.

It’s also important to note that even though the Corsa’s 285 litres and the Fiesta’s 290 litres doesn’t hold a candle to a saloon like the BMW 3 Series (480 litres), the hatchback bootlid does enable easy access to what room there is. Plus with the seats folded there is 1,050 litres of space in the Vauxhall and 974 litres in the Ford.

Corsa's boot is a bit more practical

Getting three adults in the back is a bit of a squeeze in both cases, however having five doors makes getting into the rear most seats an easier sell.

There’s not a huge amount between them but with a bit more maximum boot space and a lower boot lip, we’d recommend the Corsa here.

Performance

You could be forgiven for assuming that these economy focussed engines would be bereft of pace but they are comparable with the most efficient diesel units - the Fiesta is actually faster.

It’s also the perkier of the two cars on test here, sprinting from 0-60mph in 10.8 seconds compared to the Corsa’s 11.5 seconds.

Fiesta is the faster of the two

This is thanks to an extra 10bhp, giving it 98bhp in total, although both cars have 170Nm of torque, which means decent in gear acceleration without having to resort to dropping down every time you want to pick up the pace.

Although this new Corsa is an improvement on the old one, it can’t match the Fiesta’s agility and precision on a windy road. 

Equipment

Both cars come with 16-inch alloys, automatic headlights and wipers, and LED daytime running lights. The Fiesta also offers power folding door mirrors with lights under them to illuminate puddles, and a quickclear heated windscreen which is ideal for winter. 

The Corsa is the better equipped of the two though adding heated front seats and steering wheel, parking sensors, and cruise control.

For this budget the Corsa is the better equipped

To match the Vauxhall’s specification you’d need to upgrade the Fiesta to Titanium X trim for an additional £3 a month.

Verdict

Based purely on practicality and equipment we’d side with the Vauxhall Corsa. But if the additional kit doesn’t appeal or you prioritise a more engaging drive then the Fiesta is the one to go for.

*Monthly tax costs are based on a 20 percent tax payer for the current 2015/16 tax year, BIK car tax bands and P11D values correct at time of publication