Used Vauxhall Corsa 2014-2019 review

Vauxhall Corsa cornering
The Corsa E raised its game to become a competitive and classy supermini, but is it a better used buy than a Fiesta?

With more than 4000 for sale, ranging in price from £2500 to £13,000, with a choice of three or five-door bodies, petrol or diesel engines and manual or automatic gearboxes, and even the hot hatch VXR version, there’s sure to be an example of the Vauxhall Corsa E of 2014-19 to suit you – or at least someone you know.The fact is, with the exception of the 202bhp VXR, it isn’t the most entertaining of drives but is cheap to run, a breeze to own, roomy and comfortable.It’s loosely based on the previous model launched as long ago as 2006 but comprehensively redesigned and refreshed and with some new engines, including a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol in two power outputs.What Vauxhall didn’t mess with were the proportions (the rear cabin is particularly roomy and the boot is a decent size) and the driving position, which is fine for all but those with long legs (the seat doesn’t move back far enough). With more permutations than the Pools, it makes sense to focus first on the best engines.Of the two 1.0-litre triples, the 113bhp unit is our favourite. It’s a good all-rounder that’s nippy in town but not overwhelmed by the open road. It’s paired with what was then an all-new six-speed manual gearbox, billed as slick by Vauxhall but found by us testers to be notchy.It fires to a near-silent idle, and in general it’s responsive and keen. It revs willingly, and such is the quietness and consistency of output that there are times while cruising when you could be in any of, say, three gears and you wouldn’t notice much difference in either noise or throttle response. It drives as standard through a six-speed gearbox that is occasionally notchy but otherwise positive.There are cheaper, naturally aspirated four-pot 1.2 and 1.4s, but towards the end of 2018 these and the 1.0 triples were replaced by a turbocharged 1.4 in four different power outputs, our pick being the 99bhp version.If economy is your goal, then go for the more powerful of the two 1.3 CDTi Ecoflex diesels.With 94bhp, it makes good progress yet can return up to 80mpg. Sporty drivers are served by the 202bhp VXR – a rapid but flawed machine bested by the Ford Fiesta ST. Lower down the scale is the 148bhp GSi. It’s a quick car but off the pace set by contemporary rivals including the Suzuki Swift Sport.Bar the VXR, all versions of the Corsa ride comfortably and quietly, especially on smaller wheels.The steering is light and lively, sprightly and responsive, not least because it has been tuned specifically for the UK. It doesn’t have the dynamic moves of a Ford Fiesta, but all of the controls, which again are consistent and easily modulated, have a lighter touch. It’s an easy car to drive. The quality of the interior is also good. It’s not as classy as a Volkswagen Polo’s but a definite improvement on the previous model, with quality plastics much in evidence and excellent seats on higher-grade trims. It’s classier but less distinctive than its brother, the Adam, presumably because that’s what supermini buyers like.There is a huge choice in specifications, spanning poverty (Life) to luxury (Elite). It can all be quite baffling so, instead, we’ll focus on the most plentiful.In ascending order of kit count, they are Sting (16in alloys, a heated windscreen and driver’s seat height adjustment), Design (air-con, 7.0in infotainment system and Bluetooth) and SRi VX-Line cars get 17in alloys, sports suspension and a more aggressive bodykit.Note that if you’re buying a Corsa as a cheap runabout or for a young driver, insurance groups vary widely between trims, from group 2 for 1.2-litre cars to group 20 for the 1.4 GSi; the VXR is group 30. In short, more miserly, the cheaper.
Source: Autocar

Leave a Reply