2020 Vauxhall Corsa: new vs used

Fancy a 2020 Vauxhall Corsa? With prices from £15,550 it's expensive for a small car, unlike the outgoing Corsa, yours from £5,000 or less

John Evans
Aug 20, 2019

As the launch of the all-new Vauxhall Corsa draws near (first deliveries will arrive in showrooms in January 2020) canny buyers seeking value for money are turning their attention to the outgoing model and in particular used examples whose low prices contrast sharply with the newcomer.

For example, the cheapest all-new Corsa, the 1.2i 75hp SE 5dr, will cost from £15,550 - serious money for a small, basic car. At the time of publishing, BuyaCar has low-mileage, 2019-registered examples of its predecessor, the 1.4i 75hp Energy AC, priced at less than £10,000.

So, is the old model a better buy with its huge cash savings, or is the new model worth waiting for - and the far higher price? To answer that, let’s examine the newcomer first.

All-new 2020 Vauxhall Corsa

Chances are the all-new Corsa will be better than the old one in every respect. It’s certainly roomier and its engines are more efficient. It also looks more up-to-date and better placed to take on the strong value and fun-to-drive Ford Fiesta.

With Peugeot, Vauxhall’s new owners, now firmly in control, the new Corsa borrows its engines and many of its major parts from the all-new Peugeot 208. As a result, it’s powered by a choice of efficient, three-cylinder, turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engines and a 1.5-litre diesel. We’re familiar with these engines from current Peugeot models and know them to be refined and responsive. A pure-electric version arrives later in April.

Vauxhall says the new model is more comfortable and better to drive than the outgoing car but we’ll reserve judgement until we’ve driven it ourselves.

Trim-wise, there are four main specifications with names familiar from the old model. However, as is Vauxhall’s habit, each offers an enhanced version bringing more kit but multiplying customers’ options to a bewildering degree and pushing up prices in the process.

Opening the batting is SE - also available in SE Nav, SE Premium and SE Nav Premium forms. It’s a misleading name since in basic SE form highlights extend only to 16-inch alloy wheels and an 7.0-inch media system. For essentials such as electric windows you have to go to SRi, the next trim up. This also has a bodykit, tinted windows and parking sensors but costs a hefty £3,000 more than SE.

Then there’s comfort-oriented Elite Nav trim that builds on sportier SRi with a panoramic rearview camera and assorted driver assistance packs, and slightly higher prices. The range is topped off by Ultimate trim with 17-inch alloys, leather seats and radar pack. It costs a steep £25,990 - a staggering £3,000 more than the most expensive Ford Fiesta.

2014-2019 Vauxhall Corsa

This model was launched in 2014 but owes its origins to a version launched as long ago as 2006. Despite this, it remains one of the UK’s best-selling new cars. This is partly due to its keen pricing (discounts and nearly new deals have always been impressive) and its pleasant drive.

Its four-cylinder engines are a little underpowered and not as economical as more recent motors, but are priced accordingly. The newer, three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol turbos are more expensive but punchier, more refined and more economical. On all versions the steering and suspension are impressive.

The Corsa is also a decently roomy car. Five-door versions are easier to live with as are high specification versions with a split-folding rear seat. At launch there were no fewer than 11 trims but as this was written they number around nine.

Avoid the most basic and go for mid-spec version such as SRi and Energy. As Vauxhall geared up for the all-new Corsa, it stimulated sales with the Griffin special edition which is also good value. VX-Line adds sports suspension and a natty bodykit. GSi versions are reasonably quick and comfortable while the sporty VXR is a raw-edged rival to the Ford Fiesta ST.

Price-wise there’s an old-model Corsa to suit all pockets. Prices start at around £5,000 for a 2015-reg 1.2 SXi with less than 20,000 miles. Meanwhile, you don't have to spend more than £10,000 to get a low-mileage, 2019-reg mid-spec 1.4 75hp. That’s terrific value. Meanwhile, £16,000 is enough for a well-equipped, 1.4i 90hp in Energy trim. However, for £16,350, you could have an all-new 1.2i 100hp SE.

2014-2019 Vauxhall Corsa vs 2020 Vauxhall Corsa

No question: a nearly new Corsa – something like a 2019-reg 1.4 75hp Griffin with less than 1,000 miles – is great value for money at less than £10,000. If you’re an undemanding driver requiring a reasonably attractive and well-equipped runabout for a round of urban drives interspersed with the occasional longer motorway run, it’s just about perfect. That it costs £5,000 less than the cheapest all-new Corsa is the cherry on the cake.

In fact, for the same price as the cheapest all-new model, you could have a more powerful old-model Corsa such as a 1.4T 150hp Red special edition; still nearly new and with less than 20 miles on the clock. It’s tempting except that for around the same price – £15,550 – the all-new Corsa is almost as enticing especially since it’s likely to be a big improvement on the old model. However, it would be the most basic 1.2i 75hp SE - with half as much power and a five-speed gearbox where the outgoing Red edition for the same price has a six-speed ’box, and should be better equipped.

Fortunately, the 1.2i is available with a six-speed gearbox but because it’s paired with the more powerful 100hp engine, it costs £16,350. Still, it would be our preference over the cheaper but more basic five-speed, 1.2i 75hp version.


Which to buy - new or used Vauxhall Corsa?

The answer to this question is likely to come down to how much money you have to spend. Simply put, a used or even nearly new, old-model Corsa is much, much cheaper than an all-new one and if it’s all your budget will allow, you get far more car for your money here. It’s still a capable all-rounder.

On the other hand, given how much better the all-new Corsa is likely to be, we’d have to think twice about spending more than £15,000 on an old model. The new car’s 1.2-litre Peugeot engine may be less powerful on paper but it’s a great performer that’s also very efficient. In addition, the new model is likely to be safer, roomier and more practical than the outgoing car so on balance, looks to be the better, long-term buy.

If you’d rather spend less, though, the Corsa offers far better value, with nearly-new models coming in for less than £10,000. If all you want is a comfortable, reasonably spacious supermini, then you’re really not getting 50% more car with a brand new model that costs half as much again than a 2019 version of the current car.

The best deals, however, come in the form of well-equipped two-year old models that are still in warranty - and may have covered less than 20,000 miles - and are available for around half as much as even the most basic new model.

With the Corsa being a relatively simple, long-lasting car, that should prove sturdy and easy to live with, real bargain hunters may want to look at 2015 models for around £5,000 to £7,000 - even in low-mileage form. You can expect to need to spend a little more maintaining a 2015 model compared with a newer car, but parts and servicing for such a common model should prove inexpensive.

Current Vauxhall Corsa-model deals

2019 Vauxhall Corsa deals from under £10,000

Corsa Griffin 1.4 16v 75hp 3dr 2019

2019/68, 1,000 miles, £9,898

Vauxhall means business with the Griffin, a model it has supported with an advertising campaign boasting of its generous specification. It’s not kidding with automatic lights and wipers, a heated windscreen, sports style seats, a comprehensive media system and unique body styling being just a few of the car’s highlights.

The downside is the model’s rather puny 75hp petrol engine that requires a hefty prod of the accelerator to do its stuff but if you’re an undemanding driver more concerned with looks and value, this nearly new Corsa is for you.

Corsa SRi 1.4 16v 75hp VX-Line Nav Black 3dr

2019/68, 20 miles, £12,995

This trim builds on sporty SRi specification with the addition of sports suspension, a body kit and larger alloy wheels. It’s a tasty-looking model pitched at the Fiesta ST-Line but lacks that model’s sharp drive. It’s under-engined, too; the hard-working 1.4-litre motor struggling to exploit the car’s impressive cornering ability.

Still, a one-year-old example with delivery mileage for less than £13,000 is an absolute bargain and underlines just what excellent value for money the outgoing Corsa is.

Corsa 1.4T 150hp GSi 3dr

2019/68, 3,000 miles, £11,991

Unlike the other, lesser-powered 1.4-litre petrol engines in the Corsa range, this 150hp version has no difficulty punting the model along (0-62mph takes 8.9 seconds). It’s an easy drive that requires just a light foot to keep up with traffic.

Think of it as a more civilised antidote to the full-on VXR featured below so has that model’s 18-inch alloys, bonnet vent and a rear spoiler but sits on more comfortable suspension.

2017 Vauxhall Corsa deals from under £7,000

Corsa 1.4 16v 75hp Energy AC 3dr

2017/17, 13,000 miles, £6,827

This mid-spec trim manages to pack a lot of value with air-conditioning, heated front seats, a 7.0-inch touchscreen media system, automatic lights and 16-inch alloy wheels all on the menu.

Again, the 75hp 1.4-litre petrol engine is an underwhelming affair but if your primary objective is to get around in comfort at the wheel of a well-appointed and relatively up-to-date car, it’s well worth a close look.

Corsa 1.4 75hp SRi VX-Line 5dr

2017/67, 10,000 miles, £9,100

Just like the aforementioned Black edition of this trim, SRi VX-Line featured here gives the Corsa head-turning looks allied to a comprehensive specification.

Sporty suspension brings some welcome crispness to the handling but don't expect it to feel quite as sharp as a Fiesta. Instead, focus on this Corsa’s sheer value for money.

Corsa 1.3 CDTi 95 SRi 5dr

2017/67, 21,000 miles, £8,149

There are two diesel engines in the Corsa with this 95hp version being the most powerful. They’re not especially refined but they are economical and would suit a driver doing high mileages, where the diesel engine should pay its way with low fuel bills.

SRi trim is a bit over-the-top for such a workaday car, with more kit than you might need, but it’s welcome all the same and makes the car feel more desirable.

Corsa 1.6T VXR 3dr

2017/17, 13,000 miles, £11,499

The VXR is the hooligan in the Corsa line-up, and we’ re not exaggerating. Where its rival the Fiesta ST is poised and sophisticated, the hot Corsa is a little rough around the edges.

It’s a fairy uncompromising car and not for the faint-hearted, with a firm ride and powerful engine, but again, it’s incredible value for money.

2015 Vauxhall Corsa deals from £5,000

Corsa 1.4 90hp SE 5dr

2015/65, 16,000 miles, £7,199

Going a little older brings the Corsa’s slightly more powerful 90hp 1.4-litre petrol engine into the frame. Paired with high-spec SE trim – heated front seats, split-fold rear seat, parking sensors, chrome body detailing and 16-inch alloys – it’s an enticing proposition and at this money, a compelling one, too.

Corsa 1.4 100hp SRi AC 3dr

2015/64, 19,000 miles, £6,999

SRi trim brings a sporty look without the SRi VX-Line premium (or that version’s sports suspension). It’s a sound choice since you still get an awful lot of kit (a media system with audio streaming and a digital radio, sports-style front seats and 16-inch alloy wheels) for a lot less money, while the standard suspension is more comfortable without being soft and mushy.

Corsa 1.0T 115hp LE 3dr

2015/15, 27,000 miles, £5,890

The 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine is the interesting point about this version. It’s a rival for the ‘EcoBoost’ engines in the Ford Fiesta. It produces 115hp and while it’s not quite as quick as the more powerful Fiesta (0-62mph takes 10.3 seconds - slightly longer than the EcoBoost) it completely changes the character of the Corsa. The engine spins up to speed freely, is responsive and incredibly refined making it a little jewel and well worth seeking out.

Corsa 1.2 SXi AC 3dr

2015/64, 17,000 miles, £5,000

Four years old with a low mileage and in a mid-spec trim is where the Corsa is at its best. You won't find better value for money and weighed against the all-new model whose starting price is £10,000 more, this example makes a whole lot of sense.

Consequently, you could buy three of this model for less than one entry-level new Corsa - just in case you wanted to confuse your friends by turning up to different events in different colour Corsas.


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