Vauxhall Corsa Review
The Vauxhall Corsa is one of the most popular cars in Britain and the latest version is the best in many ways
Strengths & weaknesses
The Vauxhall Corsa is one of the most recognisable names in the car world, at least in Britain. It’s a big-selling supermini that goes toe-to-toe with the Ford Fiesta and these two have battled for the top sales spot for years here in the UK.
Other rivals for the Corsa include the Peugeot 208 - it shares many parts with this model - as well as the Volkswagen Polo and Renault Clio. There’s the Nissan Micra, the Skoda Fabia, the Seat Ibiza and Toyota Yaris, among many others, too.
This 2020-on version is the first to be produced under the ownership of Stellantis (a large group of car companies that includes Vauxhall, Peugeot and Citroen). It uses a 1.2-litre petrol engine, a 1.5-litre diesel and there’s also an electric version called the Corsa-e (or later, the Corsa Electric). We have a full buying guide for that model, so on this page we’re focusing only on the petrol and diesel versions.
The 1.2-litre petrol engine is available in three forms, with lower, middle and higher-powered versions to suit different buyers. The lower is good for low insurance costs and younger drivers, while the mid-range version is a good all-rounder. There are also automatic and manual gearboxes to choose from.
The new Corsa is the best yet, since it’s really well equipped: even the most basic models come with a seven-inch colour touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. It’s also good to drive, comfortable and looks smart. The interior isn’t the best, as it looks a bit dull, but quality is decent and it’s practical enough to work as a family car for some.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the petrol and diesel versions of the Vauxhall Corsa, or click here to read about the electric Corsa-e.
Should I get a Vauxhall Corsa?
✔ Good engine range
✔ Well equipped
✔ Smarter looks than previous Corsas
✘ A bit expensive
✘ Dull interior
✘ Doesn't look as good as Peugeot 208
The Vauxhall Corsa has always been a sensible choice, offering plenty of equipment for the money and an inoffensive driving experience, and this version is the same as ever - but with some of the faults ironed out. It’s better-looking than ever and more enjoyable to drive as well, plus it has two good engine choices and is comfortable.
These things are also its downfall, as it’s still not a very interesting choice and there are lots of models that do things better than the Corsa. The Ford Fiesta is more fun, the Toyota Yaris is more efficient, and the Peugeot 208 does everything the Corsa does with a better-looking exterior and interior.
- Models explained
- Trim levels
- Best Corsa for
- Boot space
- Should I buy used?
Vauxhall Corsa (2020-present): models explained
The normal version of the Vauxhall Corsa has either a 1.2-litre petrol engine or a 1.5-litre diesel. The diesel was taken off-sale, but there are still a good number available second-hand. This version was manual-only but you can get an automatic gearbox on the 100hp or 130hp versions of the 1.2-litre engine.
There’s also a 75hp entry-level model, which is manual-only and suited to those needing cheaper insurance costs. It doesn’t really improve fuel economy over the 100hp version, so we prefer the mid-range model as an all-rounder - it has the best mix of economy and performance.
There’s also an electric model called the Corsa-e, which has a 50kWh battery and a 136hp electric motor. It has a driving range of about 222 miles, according to official figures, so it’s potentially even more appealing than the piston-powered models - but it’s a lot more expensive to buy, meaning you’d have to do a lot of miles to offset that added cost.
In 2022, it was rebranded to the Corsa Electric which Vauxhall hoped would clear any confusion that this is the electric variant, however the battery and motor tech remained unchanged.
Which Vauxhall Corsa to buy: trim levels
|Design||From £13,199: The entry-level Vauxhall Corsa comes with a seven-inch touchscreen with smartphone connectivity, digital radio, LED lights and 16-inch alloy wheels. Air-con is included too, plus a leather steering wheel and autonomous emergency braking.|
|GS Line||Limited stock: The mid-spc GS Line model adds a digital instrument cluster in place of regular dials, 17-inch alloys, black roof colouring, climate control, auto lights and an auto-dimming mirror.|
|Ultimate||Limited stock: The top-spec model comes with everything you could need, including adaptive LED lights, high beam assist, a wide-angle reversing camera, a larger 10-inch media screen with built-in sat-nav, suede seat trim, keyless entry and even a massaging driver’s seat.|
|Other trim levels||From £6,058: SE, SRi, Elite Nav and Ultimate Nav. The SE model is quite basic but still has the seven-inch media screen, while SRi models look a bit sportier and Elite Nav is a great mid-spec option with lots of kit including sat-nav. There’s also Ultimate Nav, which adds keyless go and adaptive cruise control, but it’s expensive.|
Best Vauxhall Corsa engine
Our top pick of the engine range is the 100hp petrol motor. It has the best balance of performance (good, with enough power to make overtaking stress-free) and economy (around 50mpg according to official figures).
The 75hp engine is okay, but it also achieves around 50mpg and is quite a lot slower, so it’s one to avoid unless you are a young driver. The higher-powered 130hp motor is less economical but doesn’t feel significantly faster than the mid-spec version.
The 1.5-litre diesel is only really worth choosing if you do a lot of miles on motorways and A-roads each year.
Best Vauxhall Corsa model for…
Before you buy a Vauxhall Corsa, think about how you’ll use it. Those who do a lot of miles will be best off with a diesel, which is most economical at higher speeds, but people who tend to do shorter trips will be better choosing the petrol versions, as these are cleaner for the air (marginally) and better to drive at lower speeds. Here we’ve put together a guide to which model is best for a handful of situations.
|Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 100hp Design: The entry-level version of the Corsa is actually really well equipped, as you get a media system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (which you can use for sat-nav) and air-conditioning. It looks a bit dreary with its 16-inch wheels, though.|
|Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 100hp GS Line: The GS Line model is better overall than the Design, even if it’s a bit more expensive. We’d choose the manual as it’s better value but the automatic model might be useful if you spend a lot of time in traffic.
|Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 130hp automatic: The most powerful model you can buy is the 130hp version of the 1.2-litre petrol. It’s automatic only and it doesn’t matter which trim level you choose - 0-60mph takes 8.2 seconds.|
|Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 130hp Ultimate: Avoid the top-spec model. It’s really expensive and hardly offers much more than a mid-spec car in terms of looks and the added equipment you get is really not needed to enjoy the car.|
Vauxhall Corsa rivals
The Vauxhall Corsa is a supermini, which is one of the most popular kinds of car in the UK. Rivals include the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo and Renault Clio, plus there’s the Peugeot 208, which is built using the same engines and a lot of the same tech as the Corsa.
You could also consider a Nissan Micra, Honda Jazz, Toyota Yaris, Seat Ibiza, Skoda Fabia or Mazda 2. All have something that’s appealing about them - for example the Ford Fiesta is really fun to drive, the Skoda Fabia is really spacious and the Toyota Yaris is really efficient.
The Corsa falls somewhere in the middle, as it’s not really outstanding in any one area. It’s decent in most ways, but there’s usually something better depending on what you’re looking for in a car.
Vauxhall Corsa practicality: dimensions and boot space
Vauxhall Corsa dimensions
The Vauxhall Corsa is about 4.1m long, 1.8m wide (mirrors excluded) and 1.4m tall. It’s a little longer than a Ford Fiesta, and wider too, although the Ford is a little taller. The Corsa is also about the same size as a Peugeot 208, which it shares many parts with, despite the visual differences between the two.
The Corsa is roomy enough for family life, but adults might not want to spend too much time in the back seats. Legroom and headroom is merely okay, and there are rivals - such as the Honda Jazz or Skoda Fabia - that have a lot more room for passengers inside. It also feels a little dark in the back of Corsa models with tinted windows.
|Length 4,060mm||Width 1,765mm|
|Height 1,433mm||Weight 980kg - 1,530kg|
Vauxhall Corsa boot space
The Corsa has a decent boot capacity of 309 litres, which is more than in a Ford Fiesta but less than in a Skoda Fabia. The rear seats can be folded down to open up a total of 1,118 litres of space, which again is somewhere in the middle of the supermini class - not outstanding, but far from the worst of its type either.
Big things like bicycles are a bit of a stretch for the Corsa but the normal weekly shop will be absolutely fine.
|Seats up 309 litres||Seats down 1,118 litres|
Vauxhall Corsa reliability
The Vauxhall Corsa came in 37th place in the 2022 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, which was a pretty impressive result and it even finished ahead of the very reliable Toyota Corolla. It’s likely that the Corsa-e electric car will be even more reliable than the petrol or diesel models, but all should be dependable enough. The large number of Corsas sold also means there are plenty of experts and Vauxhall garages around the country to look after your car.
Vauxhall Corsa warranty
The Vauxhall Corsa has a normal warranty of three years or 60,000 miles, which is on par with most of its rivals. You can pay to extend the warranty past this if you expect to own the car for longer, but models such as the Kia Rio come with seven years as standard, and the Toyota Yaris has up to ten years of cover.
|3 years||60,000 miles|
Used Vauxhall Corsa: should I buy one?
Getting a good deal on a Vauxhall Corsa comes down to the price you’ll pay, so a used example is far more appealing than a new one. This is because prices for new models are quite high, so choosing a version with a few miles on the clock at a much-reduced cost makes it a much better buy. The Corsa is good to drive, comfortable, well-equipped and smart-looking, so it’s worth considering.
You should also consider some other models in your search, though. A Ford Fiesta is a lot more fun (and better value), the Peugeot 208 is better-looking, a Toyota Yaris is more efficient and a Skoda Fabia is more practical. If you love the look of the Corsa, though, go ahead - this model is the best yet.
Best Vauxhall Corsa deals
We prefer the 1.2-litre petrol in 100hp form, as it has good fuel economy of around 50mpg but it has much better performance than the 74bhp model. The manual gearbox is our pick as well, saving a bit of cash over the auto.
The 1.5-litre diesel model was taken off sale as a new car, but you can still find it second-hand. It’s a decent choice if you do a lot of motorway miles, and it’s a fine engine - it has a good amount of power and returns decent fuel economy too.
As for specification, you should almost always go for a lower- or mid-spec model such as the Design or GS Line versions. The top-spec models are too expensive, and since all versions have air-con and smartphone connectivity, the lower specifications are better value for money.
*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:
|PCP representative example||APR rates available|
|Cash price £12,000||APR 7.90%||Value of loan||From|
|Fixed monthly payment £218.12||Annual mileage of 8,000pa||£25,000+||6.9%|
|Total cost of credit £2,755.55||Term 48 months||£12,000-£24,999||7.9%|
|Optional final payment £4,285.79||Loan value £12,000||£8,000-£11,999||8.9%|
|Total amount payable £14,755.55||Deposit £0||<8,000||9.9%|
BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.