2020 Vauxhall Corsa: new vs used

With prices from £17,015 the new Corsa is expensive for a small car, unlike the previous-generation Corsa: yours from £6,000 or less

John Evans
Oct 5, 2021

The latest Vauxhall Corsa may bring with it the latest technology and arguably better looks than the previous model but, being a brand new car, it also brings a much higher price tag. Something of a sister car to the Peugeot 208, the new Corsa is also available in both petrol and electric forms, and is intended to compete with the likes of the hugely popular Renault Clio and Ford Fiesta.

The cheapest all-new Corsa, the 1.2 75hp SE, has a starting price of £17,015, and while offers and discounts may help to bring this price down a bit, this is still a very large premium over the late examples of the previous Corsa that are readily available on the used market.

So, is the old model a better buy with the huge cash savings available, or is the new model worth waiting and saving for? To answer that, let’s examine the newcomer first and then compare the pros and cons of both cars.

All-new 2020 Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa

The new Corsa is much more sophisticated than the old one in pretty much every respect. It’s certainly roomier and it's kinder to the environment thanks to new, more efficient engines. It also looks more up-to-date and better placed to take on the strong value and fun-to-drive Ford Fiesta.

With Stellantis, 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. There's also an electric version, though this is notably more expensive than the petrol and diesel versions.

Vauxhall says the new model is more comfortable and better to drive than the previous car but if all you want is a small, comfy, good value car, is the new version really worth spending so much more money on, or does the outgoing car give you everything you need for many thousands less? This is the question you have to ask yourself.

Trim-wise, there are four main specifications with names shared with the old model. However, as is Vauxhall’s habit, each offers an enhanced version bringing more kit along with a higher price, and multiplying customers’ options to a bewildering number.

Opening the batting is the SE. It’s a misleading name since in basic SE form highlights extend only to 16-inch alloy wheels and a seven-inch media system. For basic features such as parking sensors you have to upgrade to SRi trim, which also has a bolder bodykit, tinted windows and 17-inch alloy wheels but costs a whopping £2,500 more than the standard SE.

Next is the comfort-oriented Elite Nav trim that builds on the sportier SRi with a reversing camera and assorted driver assistance packs, resulting in slightly higher prices again. The new Corsa range is topped off by the Ultimate trim which adds a larger 10-inch touchscreen media system, leather seats and radar pack, which gives the car some autonomous driving capabilities.

Pricing for this version starts at a steep £25,700 - nearly £3,000 more than the most expensive  you can buy. So is the new Corsa really worth such high prices, or would you be better off spending much less and getting the previous model? Keep reading and we'll help you decide whether old or new suits you - and your budget - best.

2014-2019 Vauxhall Corsa

This model was launched in 2014 but owes its origins to a version launched way back in 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 how pleasant it is to drive.

Its four-cylinder engines are a little underpowered and not as economical as more recent motors, but are priced accordingly and actually represent pretty good value for money. 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, providing a good balance of comfort and control.

This generation of Corsa is also a decently roomy car for its size. Five-door versions are easier to live with, as are high specification versions with a split-folding rear bench. At launch you could pick from no fewer than 11 trim levels but this was reduced to nine later in the car’s production life.

We'd recommend avoiding the most basic models and going for a mid-range version such as the SRi or Energy trim. There's also the later Griffin special edition models, introduced as Vauxhall geared up for the all-new Corsa to stimulate sales of the outgoing model. VX-Line adds sports suspension and a natty bodykit while GSi versions are reasonably quick and comfortable. The sporty VXR is a raw-edged rival to the Ford Fiesta ST.

Price-wise there’s an old-model Corsa to suit a range of budgets. Prices start at around £5,000 for the earliest versions of the previous-generation Corsa. Meanwhile, you don't have to spend more than £9,000 to get a low-mileage, 2019-reg 1.4 75hp Griffin. A sporty VXR model will cost you at least £9,575.

2014-2019 Vauxhall Corsa vs new Vauxhall Corsa

No question: something like a 2019-reg 1.4 75hp Griffin – 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.

The 1.2i engine is also available with a six-speed gearbox, but only when paired with the more powerful 100hp version. While there are used examples to be found, they are less common that other variants.

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, we’d have to think twice about spending more than £13,000 on an old model. The new car’s Peugeot-sourced 1.2-litre 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 it looks to be the better long-term buy.

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 2018 models for around £6,000 to £8,000 - even in low-mileage form. You can expect to need to spend a little more maintaining a 2018 model compared with a newer car, but parts and servicing for such a common model should prove inexpensive.

Nearly new Vauxhall Corsa-model deals

If, after comparing both models side-by-side, you've got your eye on the latest version of the Corsa, don't jump head first into buying new. Nearly new models often come with a handful of delivery miles, but savings of thousands of pounds are to be had.

Vauxhall Corsa
Nearly new Vauxhall Corsa

BuyaCar prices from £14,495
Monthly finance from £217*

Vauxhall Corsa-e
Nearly new Vauxhall Corsa-e

BuyaCar prices from £25,000
Monthly finance from £364*

 

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