This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.7 out of 5 3.7
  • Dashboard feels high quality for this segment
  • Logical layout with decent switchgear
  • Plenty of driving position adjustment

While similarities between previous and this generation of Corsa are obvious inside and out despite the makeover, the its dashboard does much to lift the ambience inside the Vauxhall.

It’s a significant quality jump from the harder, unappealing plastics of its predecessor, to this one with lots of glossy black surfaces and a squidgy soft-touch moulding for the top of the dashboard. Not only does it feel more premium, it’s better built and suppresses noise more effectively too.

Some of the switchgear is carried over from other Vauxhalls, including the thick, cylindrical steering column wands for wipers and indicators, but there’s a pleasing action to most of the buttons and controls.

Multimedia system is one of the best in a supermini

Particularly easy to use is the seven-inch IntelliLink multimedia colour touchscreen, fitted to Design models and above. Its clear graphics and responsive interface make it simple to use on the move, as well as providing a USB audio connection and Bluetooth syncing for phone and streaming purposes, but why the screen has to go black when the volume’s adjusted is as distracting as it is baffling.

Optimising your driving comfort is a doddle, with a height-adjustable driver’s seat fitted to all Corsas, as are a steering wheel adjustable for reach and angle and electric door mirrors.

Forward visibility is good, aided by the small triangular windows ahead of the front doors, while rearward vision can be improved with the optional reversing camera and parking sensors.

Comfort

  • Standard suspension is the best set-up
  • Sports suspension lacks compliance at speed
  • Performance Pack VXR is rock hard

Stick with models riding on 16-inch wheels or smaller and the improvements in Vauxhall Corsa comfort levels are impressive.

It remains a very easy car to drive, but with superior bump and rut absorption than before, as well as a lighter, more direct electric power steering system, which can be lightened even further to improve urban nimbleness.

Overall, it feels a plusher environment to spend time in, with lots of equipment and higher-grade materials used throughout the cabin, although its dimensions are carried over from before.

How much room is there in a Vauxhall Corsa?

This isn’t such a bad thing as the outgoing Corsa was a spacious small car, meaning two six-footers should be able to relax in reasonable room behind front-seat occupants of a similar height. Squeezing a fifth person in the centre rear seat is less bearable.

Finding a suitable driving position is easy – all models have a height-adjustable driver’s seat and a steering column adjustable for both angle and distance. Visibility is good too, the Corsa’s large glass area continuing from before.

All models barring the base-spec Active have air-con as standard while climate control is optionally available on versions in the upper echelons of the Corsa hierarchy.

Infotainment is boosted with the Energy models onwards, complete with Vauxhall’s IntelliLink touchscreen. The graphics are clear and responsive, Bluetooth connectivity is useful too, but we didn’t like how when you adjust the volume the whole screen goes black save for the white numbers – a bit distracting in your peripheral vision when using the steering wheel controls.

Vauxhall Corsa front cabin

Ride comfort not a Vauxhall Corsa VXR strength

With the VXR it’s very much a game of two halves. If you’re after a hot hatch with a more cosseting ride than a Ford Fiesta ST or a Renaultsport Clio 200, this is it. We found it relatively quiet in the cabin and the engine, while sounding a little hard-worked at the top of the rev range, never drones on irritatingly.

The Recaro seats are particularly good; it’s a firm noted for its motorsport-derived seating and these ones are very supportive if not the last word in soft, sofa-like luxury.

However, if you’re looking for a hot hatch with a bone-jarring chassis, loads of road noise, a loud exhaust and brilliant handling, this is it too, once you’ve specced the Performance Pack.

The combination of large wheels, sticky high-performance tyres and lowered suspension isn’t a comfortable car in its fastest and best-handling form. That differential doesn’t help here either, because it has a tendency to tug at the steering wheel when cornering so it’s a constant battle. Sure, this helps it to handle well, but it’s not the most relaxing experience.

Also remember comfort is compromised on core Corsa models with their 17-inch alloy wheels and the Sports suspension settings that come with them. It’s noticeably stiffer, but still compliant, around town, yet on rougher surfaced roads at higher speeds the firmness can become tiresome.