The All-New Corsa from Vauxhall, a very good car indeed

In Car Reviews, Vauxhall by Tom Scanlan

They seek perfection, but that’s well-nigh impossible when compromises have to be made. But Vauxhall’s All-New Corsa has got pretty close!

After 450 miles, mostly in awful weather and all-too-often in horrendous traffic, this little car proved to have twanged my heartstrings. Looks are subjective, but my Power Orange (£650 option) black-roofed 1.2, was very smart on the outside and coolly-executive inside.

And I have changed my mind about 3-cylinder engines. The Corsa’s 1.2 was the 100PS version: particularly quiet on tick-over and enjoyably growly as the revs build up…at which point, from 2000 rpm upwards, the performance is vivacious. The manual six-speed gearbox is up with the best for neat gear-changing. Zero to 62mph in 9.3 seconds, as is typical with these engines, it just feels faster.

Torque of 205Nm from 1750rpm provides the main driving fun and whereas using the pulling power, I used to find in older such cars compromised the fuel consumption, the test car‘s trip computer told me that the overall consumption was 50.3 mpg. A figure slap bang in the middle of the official consumption figures and, in itself, an outstanding result given especially the conditions throughout the test, including constant use of the wipers, lights, demisting and heating. Given that sort of consumption, you could get a driving range of up to 500 miles between refills.

The car handled securely and an emergency stop I had to make was outstanding — very smooth, no fuss.

I have to admire how automotive suspension engineers can get a short wheelbase car to cope with some of the bad roads and traffic-calming humps we have; again, the Corsa scored very well here.

Sometimes very heavy rain, sometimes just rain, sometimes on-and-off rain: automatic wipers are not always in sync with what this driver wants; the Vauxhall’s, though, pretty much read my mind throughout a very wet week!

The heating and lights were also much in use and were very efficient. For me, the fact that the heating/aircon controls were good old-fashioned knobs and not touchscreen-operated was a real bonus, even if they were just a bit of a stretch to reach down to below the dashboard. And, when it comes to ergonomics, the driving position (I am of average height, I guess) was a nine out of ten: for perfection, I would have been able to see the whole of the two top instruments in the cluster, whereas the top of the steering wheel obscured the view just a bit.

The fact that this is worth a mention is proof that the Corsa is such a good car that faults are minor and have to be dug out rather than staring you in the face.

The space inside is pretty good. The front is perfectly comfortable for two adults, as usual. The rear is not bad for two adults, with quite good access past doors that open just wide enough.

The boot is on a par with rivals of this new Vauxhall Corsa’s and the seats’ 60/40 fold-forward system is as easy as any and allows a flat floor that extends to the back of the front seat(s). A £110 option is an emergency steel spare wheel.

One strange moment occurred: I press the key fob to unlock the boot and nothing happened; tried again and the same result: I tried the door: wouldn’t unlock. Waited a minute, same result. Told my wife we had a problem. “Let me try,” she said…..and it all worked (dammit! I’m supposed to be the car-person). And after that, there were no more strange moments.

The Corsa Elite Nav Premium as tested was £21,000.
That’s not cheap, but it’s a very well-equipped car especially for anyone who must have all the techno-connectivity on offer, with a 10-inch touchscreen.

Safety features abound so that you are driving a car that will do it’s absolute best to prevent accidents and to mitigate the damage should the laws of physics actually take over.

A very good car indeed…highly recommended.

Car reviewed: Vauxhall Corsa Elite Nav Premium 1.2 (100PS) Turbo, on the road price £20,350 price as tested £21,000 0-62mph 9.3secs Top speed 121mph Engine 1199cc inline 3-cylinder unleaded Euro 6.2 Fuel Economy Combined 47.9-52.3mpg CO2 emissions 96g/km Max Power 100PS@5500rpm Torque 205Nm@1750rpm Transmission 6-speed manual

Tom Scanlan

Motoring Journalist

Tom Scanlan has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, particularly the Reading Evening Post for ten years, having got into motoring journalism in 1973 via the somewhat unlikely back door of the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BFBS produced a weekly radio motoring show for the services overseas and Tom produced it, as well as interviewing experts and eventually reporting on cars.
He is into classic cars and has owned Porsche, Ferrari, pre-war Alvis and Rileys and currently owns his fifth old Alfa Romeo, a 1984 GTV 2.0.
In his spare time, Tom is a professional cricket coach.

“Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair.” – George Burns