Vauxhall Corsa D (2006-2014) used car buying guide

Vauxhall Corsa (2010) front view

If you’re looking to buy a Vauxhall Corsa D, it’s worth getting familiar with its common problems, so that you can avoid being caught out by them. Read on to get the full expert view on these classy and well-made family cars.

Vauxhall Corsa D (2006-2014) known faults and common problems

Arriving on the scene in mid 2006, the third-generation Vauxhall Corsa (Model D) went from also-ran to front runner becoming an instant sales hit. During its production run, they walked out of the showroom and sparked what Vauxhall salesmen like to call the phenomenom known as ‘Corsa-mania’.

As with any hugely popular car though, Corsa doesn’t come without vices. But the trade and customers still like them, and they still trade briskly. Armed with solid build quality and cute looks, the Corsa D continues to be a good buy even to this day. And don’t forget that early examples of this generation of Corsa are now hilariously cheap to buy – yet still capable – even if it’s not that fashionable these days.

Top 10 problems

Buying guide – common issues, and what to look for if you’re looking at getting one.

1 – ‘Easytronic’ transmission

It may have six gears and a clever title but it’s one to miss. Basically it’s an ECU and servo controlled manual gearbox, which isn’t smooth. The electronic control can play up without warning causing big specialist bills. If you want two pedal fun, go for the four-speed automatic instead.

2 – Rattling on idle

Three-cylinder 1.0 and 1.2/1.4 four-cylinder petrol engines can suffer from worn and noisy timing chains if they have been abused or neglected. A car with these symptoms is best avoided, repair is expensive regardless of how cheap the car may be. Lovingly serviced from new however, they can run forever.

3 – Loose lever or non-working handbrake

Give the handbrake lever a good wiggle in both on and off position. Any excessive movement may be down to loose rivets where the lever is mounted to the floorpan. A handbrake that doesn’t work points to an insecure cable mounting component under the car.

4 – Door lock problems

There’s been a number of reported cases of faulty central locking, namely with the deadlock function. It’s worth checking this works properly as contents theft may leave you out of pocket  if the car is examined by your insurance company.

5 – Total recall

The Corsa D has been subject to a number of manufacturer recalls. Contact a Vauxhall dealer to ensure they have been tackled. Scroll down for the link to the DVSA’s recall checker.

Vauxhall Corsa (2010) interior view

6 – Heater controls and displays

Make sure the heater dials or flap controls behind the dash work correctly otherwise expensive surgery is the only fix. Selecting the vents to screen causes the aircon (if fitted) to automatically switch on. This is a feature and not a fault!

7 – Sluggish performance

Petrol engines can suffer from misfiring ignition coil packs that are simple and reasonably cheap to replace. However, 1.2 models sitting on optional larger diameter alloy wheels can feel a bit slow owing to optimistically high gearing – not so much a fault, it’s just how they are.

8 – Contaminated coolant

With the engine cold, look inside the coolant expansion tank for signs of oil contamination on the 1.3 diesel. It’s possibly a failed oil cooler which in severe cases can render the car an economic write off.

9 – Erratic or heavy steering

Problems with the electric power steering motor unit are common place. It’s not unknown for dodgy traders to attempt fobbing customers off by knocking few quid off the deal. It’s a well-known fault that has come down in price over the years to cure.

10 – Thumping front suspension

Listen carefully on the test drive for clonking front suspension. This may point towards worn out front strut bearings and or a broken coil spring. Also ensure the front of the car sits evenly on a level surface. Springs should be replaced in pairs.

Vauxhall Corsa petrol engine options

• 1.0 12v: 60-65hp
• 1.2 16v : 80-85hp
• 1.4 16v: 90-100hp
• 1.6 16v: 150, 190 or 207hp

Vauxhall Corsa diesel engine options

• 1.3 CDTi: 75, 90, 95hp
• 1.7 CDTi: 123-128hp

Transmission options

• Front-wheel drive
• Five- or Six-speed manual
• Four-speed automatic
• Six-Speed ‘Easytronic’ (Semi-Auto)

Model timeline

2006 – All new Vauxhall Corsa (D) launched onto UK market
2007 – Performance VXR launched and revised low emission 1.3CDTi diesel
2010 – Facelift to interior and exterior
2011 – Improved efficiency with Euro 5 ecoFlex and VVT engines
2011 – Ultra High performance ‘Nürburgring VXR’ edition launched
2014 – Production moves over to new Corsa (E)

Main Dealer UK Coverage

• Good

Best Places to Buy

• Used car dealers
• Used car supermarkets

DVSA Recalls

Check vehicle recalls online

You could also try…

Mazda 2
The Mazda 2 is one of the trade’s seemingly best kept secrets as no one seems to be interested in them. The dealer network isn’t the most expansive and some build quality can be poor, but they drive rather well and still look sharp and modern. One of the best in terms of outright value for money but don’t expect to be bowled over with availability and choice.

Ford Fiesta
The original and – arguably – still the best when it comes to affordable, dependable and enjoyable small hatchbacks. Zillions of used ones to choose from, cheap to run, badge kudos and a good looker. A textbook example of why certain cars remain popular for over 40 years, although the extra expense over the similarly faithful Corsa is questionable.

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Further reading

Vauxhall Corsa owners’ reviews
Vauxhall Corsa full review

Vauxhall Corsa prices and valuation
Search for Vauxhall Corsa cars for sale

Vauxhall Corsa (2010) rear view