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What is the Vauxhall Corsa?
Vauxhall’s latest Corsa is an all-new car and shares its platform with the second-generation Peugeot 208. Aside from a range of new features and an efficient engine-line up, the ever-popular hatch is also available as a pure electric vehicle for the first time, badged Corsa-e.
- Top speed: 108-117mph
- 0-60mph: 9.9-13.2 seconds
- Fuel economy: 44.1-70.6mpg
- Emissions: 85-99g/km of CO2
- Boot space: 309 litres (maximum/seats folded TBC)
Which versions are are available?
The new Corsa is offered with a choice of petrol, diesel or electric powertrains. Three engines are offered in conventional versions of the Corsa: a 75hp 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol, a turbocharged 100hp 1.2-litre petrol and a 102hp 1.5-litre diesel, also with a turbo.
In entry-level 75hp form, the Corsa comes with a five-speed manual gearbox. The more powerful petrol and diesel come with a six-speed gearbox; an eight-speed automatic is also available for the 100hp petrol versions.
The electric version, called the Corsa-e, packs 136hp and is the quickest of the new line-up – dispatching 0-60mph in 8.1 seconds. It has a claimed range of 205 miles, too, so few should have any qualms about needing to recharge too frequently.
Only five-door models will be offered this time around, but four distinct trim levels serve to inject a little more choice into the Corsa line-up: SE, SRi, Elite Nav and the flagship Ultimate Nav. The Corsa-e, however, is only offered in SE Nav and Elite Nav specifications.
Technically, this is actually the sixth-generation model, known as Corsa F by aficionados – but, in the UK market, the first generation was sold as the Vauxhall Nova. As a result, this is the fifth generation of car to carry the Corsa nameplate on these shores.
What is the Vauxhall Corsa VXR?
Currently, however, there’s no indication that a new VXR based on the fifth generation of Corsa will be produced – although rumours are circulating regarding a high-performance electric or hybrid version, badged VXR, which could arrive in a few years’ time.
Styling and engineering
The previous Vauxhall Corsa was just a significant update of a long-standing model and, despite the company’s efforts, it felt a dated and often sub-standard car. As a result, it struggled alongside more competent alternatives such as the SEAT Ibiza and Ford Fiesta.
Vauxhall’s latest Corsa, however, is a very different beast. Overhauled interior and exterior aside, it uses a freshly designed platform that is shared with the recently launched second-generation Peugeot 208.
Crucially, this new platform is significantly lighter and allows the Corsa to clock in at 980kg in base form. That, as a result, means the new car is up to 108kg lighter than its predecessor; aside from improving the handling, the Vauxhall’s reduced kerb weight will help boost its efficiency and performance.
It’s even slightly larger than the old generation and offers more boot space with the rear seats up. A range of frugal engines are also offered and a selection of modern features, such as full-LED headlights, are available.
Is it good to drive?
We’ve yet to drive the new Corsa in full production guise, but early tests of its sister car in prototype form, the Peugeot 208, hint at a pleasant and comfortable car which is good to drive.
Fortunately, in any case, one positive aspect of the previous Corsa was that it markedly improved during its transition to fourth-generation guise. For the most part, the ride quality was comfier and the steering sharper, with greater feedback. As an entry-level supermini it worked well.
Where there was less success was with the zippier models with a Sports Chassis option that included larger alloy wheels. Here the Corsa was fidgety over small imperfections in the road and its stiffer nature made it less pleasant to drive at both lower and higher speeds. Hopefully, the fifth-generation Vauxhall will build on the improvements of its predecessor and – should quicker versions arrive – the ride will be a little more resolved.
How much does the Vauxhall Corsa cost?
Small hatchbacks should be relatively inexpensive, especially from a mainstream brand such as Vauxhall, but that’s often not the case with the Corsa.
That said, at launch, the most basic Corsa was several hundred pounds less than the equivalent Ford Fiesta – but alternatives including the Suzuki Swift, Renault Clio and Hyundai i20 are available for far less. Even an entry-level Volkswagen Polo can be had for similar money.
However, in the Corsa’s defence, even the entry-level SE comes with a substantial amount of equipment – which may go some way to justifying its premium.
Find out what Vauxhall Corsa drivers think of their cars with our comprehensive owners’ reviews.
Vauxhall Corsa Model History
Fourth-generation Vauxhall Corsa (2014-19)
In October 2014, a heavily revised Corsa range was launched. Three- and five-door versions were offered, initially in Sting, Sting R, Life, Excite, Limited Edition, Design, SRi, SRi VX-Line and SE trims. A range of petrol and diesel engines were also offered – and, in April 2015, a 205hp 1.6-litre VXR variant arrived.
Numerous special editions and minor upgrades would follow, including the introduction of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in November 2015 with the new IntelliLink R4.0 media system.
A major overhaul of the range was carried out in April 2018 and, two months later, a warm GSi version of the Corsa was launched. This sat below the VXR model in the line-up, and was powered by a 1.4i Turbo petrol engine, but deliveries would not begin until September.
By April 2019, as the launch of the next-generation Corsa drew closer, Vauxhall began stripping-back the line-up – a process which saw the GSi model, which was still comparatively new, fall under the axe.
Third-generation Vauxhall Corsa (2006-14)
Launched in 2006 as a sister car to the Fiat Grande Punto, the Mk3 Corsa (or Corsa D) was significantly larger and positioned further upmarket than its predecessor – options such as a heated steering wheel had not previously been seen on a car of this size.
Like the Mk1 Corsa, this time around there were different bodystyles for the three- and five-door versions: the former was almost coupe-like in profile, the latter a more practical, spacious shape.
Power came from a range of petrol and diesel engines, with the sportiest Corsa VXR as the performance flagship. This time around, though, there were no Tigra-badged spinoffs.
Second-generation Vauxhall Corsa (2000-06)
Vauxhall attempted to capture the cuteness of the original Corsa with a sharper suit for the Mk2 models on sale from 2000, but somehow failed to score a hit.
Both three- and five-door cars looked much more similar this time around, although the latter retained the original’s third side window behind the doors for an airier cabin, and all models had high-set tail lamps, with a red, silver or black finish depending upon the trim level and year.
Often known as Corsa C, the petrol and diesel engine range stretched from 1.0- to 1.8-litre capacities, with the Corsa GSi attempting to fill the performance brief.
A mild facelift was ushered-in during 2003, with shapelier bumpers and revised lighting, a year ahead of the arrival of the Corsa-based Mk2 Tigra – this time the name was applied to a two-seater roadster with a folding metal hard-top.
First-generation Vauxhall Corsa (1993-00)
‘The new supermodel from Vauxhall’ was the tagline that accompanied the arrival of the Mk1 Corsa (or Corsa B) in 1993 – a rather apt title given how good looking the newcomer was in comparison with the dowdy Nova it replaced.
Unlike the Nova, there were no Vauxhall Corsa Saloons – just three- and five-door hatchbacks, but they were differently styled from the windscreen rearwards.
Pert, with a more aggressively sloping tailgate, the three-door majored on cuteness, while the taller, more upright rear end of the five-door gave an impression of roominess even before you got in.
While better than the Nova to drive, it was still a tad ordinary and the engine range hardly fired the imagination either – how does a 50hp non-turbocharged diesel sound, for instance? Even the Corsa GSi, the supposed performance flagship lacked lustre, with barely more than 100hp to its name.
Driving gripes aside, the Corsa formed the basis of two later curious. First to arrive in 1994 was the rather glamourous looking Tigra coupe, with an enormous wraparound glass canopy tailgate – overall it was more fun to look at than to drive. Less commercially successful was the Corsa Cabriolet of 1998, based on the three-door body with a canvas roof and exposed rollbars to act as a frame for it. It smacked of Heath Robinson, and few were sold.