3.5 out of 5 3.5
Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

French makeover has done popular supermini a world of good

Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback (20 on) - rated 3.5 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £17,440 - £26,175
Lease from new From £186 p/m View lease deals
Used price £9,640 - £22,605
Used monthly cost From £241 per month
Fuel Economy 45.6 - 70.6 mpg
Road tax cost £165
Insurance group 10 - 23 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Impressive fuel economy
  • Excellent 100hp and 130hp engines
  • Good levels of standard equipment

CONS

  • Interior feels a little low-rent
  • Lack of storage space in the cabin
  • Jerky automatic gearbox

Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback rivals

Written by Luke Wilkinson on

Vauxhall has been under foreign ownership since 1925, but its cars remain immensely popular in Britain. The Corsa is the company’s greatest success story – this humble supermini has regularly topped the UK’s sales charts since it was launched, with more than 22,000 examples sold in the first half of 2022 alone. To put that into perspective, that’s around 4,000 more than the next best-selling vehicle, the Ford Puma.

The Corsa is an incredibly important car for Vauxhall. Superminis have been a key part of the brand’s portfolio since it entered the class in the mid-1970s with the Chevette, which topped the UK sales charts during its first few years on sale. Vauxhall then refined its small car formula in the early 1980s with the Nova, which also enjoyed strong sales until it was replaced by the Corsa in early 1990s. Since then, the Corsa has regularly outsold rivals such as the Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio and Volkswagen Polo.

This latest generation of Vauxhall Corsa is perhaps the most important to date. It was the first car the company launched after it was sold to Peugeot and Citroen, which meant it ditched the previous-generation model‘s GM underpinnings for PSA’s more modern EMP1 architecture. The Corsa was also designed very quickly – it only took Vauxhall two-and-a-half years to go from the concept to the finished product, which is barely half the usual development cycle for new cars.

The Corsa hit UK showrooms in 2019, but it’s been updated a couple of times since then. The most welcome change was Vauxhall’s decision to simplify the supermini’s confusing range of trim levels. There used to be 11 specifications to choose from, but that’s since been reduced to just three options called Design, GS-Line and Ultimate, bringing the Corsa into step the rest of Vauxhall’s vehicles.

Prices for the entry-level Design model start from £17,340. You get a good amount of standard equipment for your money, such as 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, lane-keeping assist, cruise control, automatic emergency braking and a seven-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The mid-range Vauxhall Corsa GS-Line is pitched as the “sporty” model in the range. You get a few racy styling tweaks, such as 17-inch alloys, more aggressive front and rear bumpers, a chrome exhaust tip, a black roof and rear privacy glass. Inside, you also get aluminium pedals, a black headliner and a seven-inch digital gauge cluster. Prices start from £19,490.

Sitting at the top of the line-up, there’s the Corsa Ultimate. It’s priced from £23,375 and features an arsenal of technology such as Matrix LED headlights, a panoramic rear-view camera, front and rear parking sensors, climate control, adaptive cruise control and a 10-inch infotainment system with built-in sat-nav. You also get the same styling pack as the GS-Line car, albeit with a set of unique 17-inch alloys.

The Corsa’s engine range is equally simple. Vauxhall ditched the Corsa’s 1.5-litre diesel engine in April 2022, leaving you with a choice of three 1.2-litre petrol engines and a pure-electric powertrain if you’re buying new. The entry-level petrol model develops 75hp, while the middling option produces 100hp thanks to the addition of a turbocharger. Both feature a manual gearbox as standard, although the latter unit can be optionally specified with an automatic.

Spend a bit more money and you can have a 130hp version of the turbocharged 1.2-litre engine. However, this unit is only available with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and can only be specified on GS-Line models and up, which means it’s quite expensive. Prices start from a shade over £23,000.

Set aside even more cash and you can have a the pure-electric Corsa-e. There’s just one powertrain option here – a 136hp electric motor mated to a 50kWh battery pack, which Vauxhall says offers a maximum range of around 200 miles. Again, the lowliest specification you can have that car with is Vauxhall’s GS-Line trim, which means prices start from just over £27,000.

Over the next few pages we’ll review each aspect of the Vauxhall Corsa, taking into account its practicality, technology, running costs and driving experience, before offering our final verdict on the car.

Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback rivals

Other Vauxhall Corsa models: