Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

It’s easy to forget this is a cheap car when you find yourself staring at the steering wheel of the Corsa VXR. A mixture of plastics – both soft, hard, shiny and textured – adorn the surfaces and mix well with the leather found on the steering wheel, handbrake lever, gear lever and seats. The colour theme is black on black, but contrasting white stitching also adds a bit of flair.

In front of the driver there’s a conventional dash with a rev counter on the left and speedo on the right, both flanking a small screen for the trip computer. The steering wheel itself features buttons for the multimedia system, and sports pedals complement the slightly awkwardly shaped gear knob. It’s worth noting that while a strange shape, the gear shift in this car is one of its highlights.

You’ve got a seven-inch touchscreen built into the centre of the dash to control all infotainment systems. We found this system simple enough to use, and it features Intellilink technology which allows users to mirror applications downloaded to their smartphone on their car’s screen. The most obvious example of this is to use sat-nav.

We were particularly impressed with the Recaro sports seats installed as standard on the Corsa VXR. They’re set fractionally higher than we’d like, but are very supportive and finished very nicely indeed.

Again, Vauxhall Corsa VXR comfort levels are very much a game of two halves. If you’re after a hot hatch with a more cosseting ride than a Fiesta ST or a Renaultsport Clio 200 Turbo, 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 or intrudes. The Recaro seats are particularly good too; 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. Well, if you’ve got the Performance Pack installed, at least.

The combination of large wheels, sticky high-performance tyres, lowered suspension and the sports exhaust means this isn’t a comfortable car in its fastest and best-handling format. 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.

If comfort is a consideration for you, we’d suggest looking for a non-Performance Pack car, which is far better to live with day-to-day, or even a car with the option of electronically adaptive dampers like the VW Polo GTI.