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VAUXHALL CORSA

1.4 SRi Nav 5dr

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Vauxhall Corsa - By Jonathan Crouch

Score

Performance

Handling

Comfort

Space

Styling

Build

Value

Equipment

Economy

Depreciation

Insurance

Vauxhall has given some attention to its Corsa supermini to make sure it stays relevant to buyers in this crowded market. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Review

Vauxhall has given some attention to its fourth-generation Vauxhall Corsa supermini line-up, refining the engine range down to variants of an improved version of its 1.4-litre petrol engine and enhancing the value proposition on offer. If you want a sharp deal on a car in this class, you'll get it on this one, but there are also other reasons why a Corsa might suit.

Background

The Corsa supermini remains Vauxhall's best seller even though the brand has two smaller models - the Viva and the ADAM - in its line-up. This MK4 version has continued that trend, but recently, growing competition in the supermini segment has required a bit of a re-think when it comes to this car. Hence some changes on the engine front, extra equipment across the range and the addition of a new hot hatch flagship model, the GSi. Of course, there are still newer and glitzier small hatches vying for your attention in this class, but we reckon you'll probably end up getting a better deal on this one. Which wouldn't be that relevant if it wasn't a class-competitive product. Is it still ? Let's find out.

Driving Experience

The revised Corsa range is built entirely around versions of its improved Euro 6.2-compliant 1.4-litre petrol engine - so no diesels, 1.0, 1.2 or 1.6-litre units any more. There is though, the choice of either 5 or 6-speed manual gearboxes or an automatic. You can have the 1.4-litre powerplant in normally aspirated form with either 75 or 90PS - or with a turbo with either 100PS or (in the top GSi) with 150PS. The Corsa has always been a pretty entertaining steer and it's helped in this regard by a low centre of gravity, a stiff front sub-frame and sharp suspension geometry. This features special front knuckles, plus carefully chosen spring rates and dampers to reduce the pitching movement you'd normally get at the front during sharp braking manoeuvres. Following the current trend, the steering system is electrically-powered and is speed-sensitive with a UK-specific tune to cater for our roads. That's not enough to enable this car to offer the kind of precise feedback you'd get in, say, a Ford Fiesta. But as standard with this set-up, you do get something which most owners will probably find a lot more useful, namely a clever 'City' mode that makes low speed manoeuvring and parking far simpler.

Design and Build

On to design. This fourth generation Corsa was essentially a re-skin of the previous third generation version, but it still looks quite fresh, especially when dressed up in the manner that most variants now tend to be. At the front, 'eagle eye'-shaped headlamps incorporate Vauxhall's signature 'wing'-style LED daytime running lights. Between them is a low, sporty trapezoidal grille with a chrome bar for the Griffin badge that sits above front foglamps embedded in chrome-trimmed air inlets that are intended to make the car look wider, lower and more purposeful. Which is certainly the profile demeanour of the three-door version, always supposed to be the sportier of the two Corsa bodystyles. That's further emphasised by an upper windowline that drops to the rear in an effort to make the car look coupe-like. On the slightly more conservative-looking five-door version, the beltline extends upwards, creating a more dynamic connection with the roof spoiler. Drop inside and you'll find an instrument panel themed around horizontal lines and featuring in most models a 7-inch Intellilink infotainment colour touchscreen that dominates the centre of the dash and is smartly mounted in a high-gloss surround. In the back, this Corsa is much as it always was, remaining one of the more spacious superminis you can buy with plenty of room for two fully-grown adults - or three children - in this five-door model. Inevitably the three door bodyshape is a little more claustrophobic. Out back, there's a 285-litre boot.

Market and Model

Prices start at just over £11,000, but that only gets you the entry-level 'Active' variant which comes only in three-door form and only with the 75PS version of the normally aspirated 1.4-litre petrol engine. Across most of the rest of the line-up, the five-door body style is an option for £600 more. Most buyers will want to start their perusal of the range from at least 'Design' level, which costs from around £13,000 and comes with the same base engine. Stretching up to 'Energy' trim and a £14,500 budget means you get the option of the 1,.4-litre engine in its 90PS guise, in which form you can have an auto gearbox too. The 75 and 90PS units are also the ones on offer at the mid-range 'Sport' level. If you want the turbo version of the 1.4-litre engine, it's available as one of the options on offer to 'SRi Nav' buyers, though you'll need over £17,000 for that engine with this spec. Beyond that, there's a more visually arresting 'SRi VX-Line Nav Black' variant (with only 75 and 90PS power), before the range culminates with the top 1.4i Turbo 150PS GSi warm hatch model. Across the range, standard safety stuff includes twin front, side and curtain airbags plus ESP stability control.

Cost of Ownership

Despite the fact that all the 1.4-litre petrol engines on offer are of the improved Euro 6.2-compliant variety, running costs aren't exemplary by class standards. The base 75 and 90PS normally aspirated units record the same figures - 49.6mpg on the combined cycle and 130g/km of CO2. The 1.4i Turbo 100PS unit actually does a little better - 50.4mpg and 128g/km. The 150Ps version of this unit in the top GSi variant manages 49.6mpg and 139g/km. You'll also need to know that Vauxhall includes a three-year, 60,000 mile warranty as standard, a package that can be extended up to five years and 100,000 miles at extra cost. A year's free breakdown cover is also provided, along with a six-year anti-corrosion guarantee. Service intervals are at 20,000 miles or every 12 months, depending on which comes round sooner and you can opt for a service plan that lets you pay monthly to spread the cost of regular work to your car. As part of this, Vauxhall offers discounts on wear and tear items, such as brake pads and windscreen wipers.

Summary

And in summary? Well what we're looking at here is a Corsa that can. It can be fun to drive. It can deliver a big car feel. And it can deliver the kind of trendy media connectivity that younger buyers are looking for. It's a small Vauxhall for which no apologies need to be made. It's not perfect of course. It doesn't lead its class in terms of either space, efficiency or driving dynamics. And more work is still needed under the bonnet to deliver a more cutting edge engine range. The key though, is that this Vauxhall is now there, or thereabouts, in the three key areas just mentioned. Add to that the wide model line-up and the likely deals on offer and you've a supermini that more than ever, needs to remain high on any family's shopping list.

Vauxhall Corsa - Vauxhall's Corsa hasn't lost that streetwise edge. June Neary gets behind the wheel.

Score

Performance

Handling

Comfort

Space

Styling

Build

Value

Equipment

Economy

Depreciation

Insurance

Vauxhall's Corsa hasn't lost that streetwise edge. June Neary gets behind the wheel.

Will It Suit Me?

Out on the road, you can't help but notice the little Corsa. In the throngs of city traffic, there is very little else that can cut its way as deftly through the queues, and still leave you unruffled at the other end. The first time I met the Corsa, it seemed to beg me to drive it and I did, with great enjoyment. This latest version promised to be something special from my first glimpse of it in the car park. The current model has a front end featuring a deep Vauxhall V-grille with aggressive air intakes under the bumper and a pair of headlamps that smear back along the wings. The result, in three-door form particularly, is a car that now has one of the more appealing shapes in the supermini sector.

Practicalities

I felt at home straight away. The model I was driving was beautifully upholstered, and the interior was light and airy. The driving position was very comfortable, and the controls clear and easy to read. A centre console housed a logical nest of controls for the heater and stereo, all easy to use. In the three-door model I borrowed, there was just about room for two adults in the back but I struggled to fit two child seats in, plus a booster in the middle. Legroom was good but the payback for this was the smallish boot space. Still, take out the parcel shelf and you could still fit in a decent amount of luggage if you needed to. Climb inside and, if you're used to the Astra, you'll feel immediately at home here. The quality of materials used is leagues ahead of previous generation Corsa models and like the Astra, there's the bulletproof feeling of build quality that's as good as anything in the sector. This MK4 Corsa features translucent ambient lighting on the centre console switchgear, one of those 'surprise and delight' features that adds the all-important showroom wow-factor. The round air vents and big Intellilink infotainment screen give the Corsa's dash a modern, integrated look too. In my test car, it was linked to Vauxhall's excellent 'OnStar' concierge system, which gives you Wi-Fi and access to an operator at the press of a button. . Around town, the Corsa is easy to drive but it also feels settled on longer trips. The suspension is well balanced between sporty handling and comfort, giving a smooth, quiet ride even on the most potholed of country lanes. I also continue to admire the Corsa's image. It manages to avoid looking like a cartoon and, at the same time, it's smart enough for business use. What's more, for short journeys, this little Vauxhall is very suitable as a family run-around. Safety is a big consideration for me - and this little car certainly delivers the basics. Double side-impact protection beams are installed in the doors; and the anti-submarine ramps installed into the seats stop you sliding under your seatbelt under heavy braking. Add to this reinforced rear seats (to give protection to occupants from any luggage in the boot) and full seat-belt pre-tensioners and the Corsa looks like a package that I would be happy to transport my whole family around in.

Behind the Wheel

I really liked the power steering as it made running around town easy - it is only three turns from one lock to the other. Where it really came into its own was in my office car park however - the spaces are a little on the narrow side, but the compact Corsa slid in and out without any problems. The accelerator was just about right - enough zip to get me away from the lights but not so much that the front wheels spun on quick getaways. When the car was loaded, the added weight didn't seem to make that much difference, either.

Value For Money

Prices start at around £11,000 and you can have this car's 1.4-litre petrol powerplant in normally aspirated form with either 75 or 90PS - or with a turbo with either 100PS or (in the top GSi) with 150PS. Despite the fact that all the 1.4-litre petrol engines on offer are of the improved Euro 6.2-compliant variety, running costs aren't exemplary by class standards. The base 75 and 90PS normally aspirated units record the same figures - 49.6mpg on the combined cycle and 130g/km of CO2. The 1.4i Turbo 100PS unit actually does a little better - 50.4mpg and 128g/km. The 150Ps version of this unit in the top GSi variant manages 49.6mpg and 139g/km.

Could I Live With One?

For day-to-day driving, the Corsa was brilliant, but I would recommend the 5-door version if you're carrying passengers, especially children, as loading is much easier. For something fun, frugal and cheap to run, I can think of few better small cars.

Driver Aids

  • Rear parking distance sensors (£300.00)
  • Front and rear parking distance sensors with audible warning and distance warning graphic (£465.00)
  • Rear view camera with coloured guidelines (£250.00)

Seats

  • One piece folding rear seat
  • Front passenger seat height adjust (£75.00)
  • 60/40 split folding rear seat (£140.00)

Body Glass

  • Tinted windows
  • Dark tinted rear windows (£285.00)

Entertainment

  • Six speakers
  • CD30 BT audio system - AM/FM radio, CD/MP3 CD player,Bluetooth,USB audio connection, AUX in socket (£0.00)

Heating/Cooling/Ventilation

  • Air conditioning
  • Electronic climate control incorporating air conditioning (£415.00)

Interior Features

  • Passenger under seat tray
  • Leather covered steering wheel

Driver Information

  • Vauxhall OnStar emergency assistance (£415.00)

Trim - Cloth

  • Lace cloth - Jet black (£0.00)

Exterior Body Features

  • Solid paint
  • Two coat metallic paint (£565.00)
  • Special solid paint (£295.00)
  • Two coat Premium paint (£655.00)
  • Tri coat premium paint (£725.00)

Paint - Special

  • Special paint - Brilliant Summit white (£295.00)
  • Special paint - Brilliant lava red (£295.00)
  • Premium tri coat - Abalone white (£725.00)
  • Two coat premium - Dark moon blue (£655.00)

Paint - Metallic

  • Two coat metallic - Sovereign silver (£565.00)
  • Two coat metallic - Satin steel grey (£565.00)
  • Two coat metallic - Mineral black (£565.00)

Wheels - Alloy

  • 16" 4 twin spoke silver alloy wheels
  • 16" 4 twin spoke black alloy wheels (£0.00)

Wheels - Spare

  • Tyre inflation kit
  • Steel emergency spare wheel (£110.00)

Paint - Solid

  • Solid - Aegean blue (£0.00)

General

  • Coin Series: SRi Nav
  • Coin Description: N
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Safety Concerns?: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 8E
  • Service Interval Mileage: 20000
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: 100000
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: 72
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 79
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 77
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 71
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 56
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 4
  • Badge Power: 90
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.4
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1

Performance

  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 13.2
  • Top Speed: 109
  • Engine Power - BHP: 90
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • Engine Power - KW: 66
  • Engine Power - RPM: 6000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 96
  • Engine Torque - NM: 130
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 4000
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 13.3

Engine and Drive Train

  • CC: 1398
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: MULTI POINT FUEL INJECTION
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Transmission: MANUAL
  • Gears: 5 SPEED

Weight and Capacities

  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 45
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 800
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 550
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 285
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1120
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.6

Tyres

  • Tyre Size Front: 195/55 R16
  • Tyre Size Rear: 195/55 R16
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 16" ALLOY
  • Wheel Style: 4 TWIN SPOKE
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False

Vehicle Dimensions

  • Length: 4021
  • Width: 1746
  • Wheelbase: 2510
  • Width (including mirrors): 1944
  • Height: 1481
  • Height (including roof rails): N

Emissions - ICE

  • CO2 (g/km): 130
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N

Fuel Consumption - ICE

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: True
  • EC Urban (mpg): 39.2
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): 58.9
  • EC Combined (mpg): 49.6

Fuel Economy

  • 50.4 MPG (Combined)
  • 40.4 MPG (Urban)
  • 60.1 MPG (Extra Urban)
Fuel Tank Size: 45 Litres

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