Vauxhall Corsa (2014-present)

The latest Vauxhall Corsa is comfortable and stylish, with enough space for a family

Strengths & Weaknesses


Big boot and spacious interior
Well priced and equipped
Rides smoothly


Four-star Euro NCAP rating
Outclassed by newer rivals
Looks old against Fiesta
Vauxhall Corsa prices from £4,090   Finance from £80 per month

There are some rivalries known the world over: Ali vs Frazier, Coke vs Pepsi, Senna vs Prost and, er, Fiesta vs Corsa.

Last year almost 200,000 drivers bought a Fiesta or a Corsa - accounting for one in every 14 cars sold in Britain - and the Ford Fiesta came out on top with 120,000 sales. That lead is growing, thanks to a new Fiesta that arrived in 2017. With more room, more quality and improved technology, the Ford is now a match for the Corsa in virtually every area.

But Vauxhall doesn't intend to be caught napping. In June 2018 it improved the Corsa and streamlined its engine range.

On that last point, the only engine now offered is a 1.4 petrol (the 1.0-litre petrol and the 1.3 diesel have both been dropped). It’s available in turbo and non-turbo forms and in a total of four different power outputs. One of them, the 100PS turbocharged engine, is Euro 6.2 compliant for improved emissions and economy although due to the way road tax bands are structured, it makes no difference to the road tax it attracts. Meanwhile, extra technology has been added to selected trims.

The latest changes come on top of a supermini that was already a sensible choice, offering so much space, equipment and performance that some families will question whether they need another car.

Five-door versions are more practical, making it far easier to get into the back, but if you’re rarely going to carry rear passengers, then the three-door might appeal because its curvier roof gives it a more attractive shape. That curve does reduce rear headroom though, which can make it uncomfortable for tall adults. In contrast, the five-door Corsa has enough headroom and legroom to keep two adults, or three at a squeeze, comfortable. The Corsa's dimensions, including 285 litres of boot space, are fairly average for a supermini.

The Corsa scores strongly in two areas that many supermini buyers value. It's cheap, thanks to regular large Vauxhall Corsa discounts, and it's also one of the most comfortable small cars that you can get, soaking up bumps to give a smooth ride.

The wide range of versions mean that there's probably a Corsa to suit you. Active and Design models represent good value for money. Meanwhile, with their sporty looks, low insurance and keen prices, Sport models are aimed at younger buyers.

The very cheapest Corsas come with cruise control, electric front windows, heated windscreen and Bluetooth, to connect your phone wirelessly. Higher up the range, you can opt for cars that have Vauxhall’s OnStar system, which creates a mobile wi-fi hotspot and will track your car if stolen. All but basic Corsas come with a touchscreen, which - since 2016 - has included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can switch the display to operate in a similar way to your smartphone. You can control apps - including mapping ones - so there's no need for new car buyers to pay the £650 that Vauxhall wants for the optional sat-nav.

The Corsa lacks the latest safety equipment - particularly automatic emergency braking, where the car can slow itself down to avoid a crash. This affects the car’s safety score: it was awarded four stars out of five after crash tests by the independent Euro NCAP organisation. The Honda Jazz and Skoda Fabia have five.

Its poor crash performance is a reminder that for all the recent changes, the Corsa has fallen behind the competition, especially in the past year. Not only is it lagging behind its bitterest rival, the Ford Fiesta, it's now also fallen behind the Seat Ibiza.

While the new Fiesta ST is winning legions of admirers, Vauxhall has dropped its rival VXR model that was easily outclassed by the Ford, and replaced it with a three-door model it calls the GSi. It’s powered by a less powerful engine and is aimed squarely at the Fiesta ST-Line. It’s a bit of a let-down we’re afraid. While it’s not meant to be as hardcore as the VXR, it has retained the VXR’s super-hard suspension. This makes it nearly unbearable at low speeds as its crashes and thumps over and under potholes. On a smooth and fast road it’s still fun, but not in the same league as the similarly priced Fiesta.

For excellence in particular areas, both the previous-generation VW Polo and the latest one, have a quieter and more sophisticated interior. The Honda Jazz offers maximum interior space, while the Seat Ibiza, Ford Fiesta, Mazda 2 and Mini Hatchback are more agile in corners. It makes them more fun to drive, but the Corsa isn't far off the pace in this respect.


Last Updated 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 16:30

Key facts 

Three years/60,000 miles
Boot size: 
280-285 litres
£165 to £205 in the first year (few remaining VXRs are £1,240) £140 thereafter

Best Vauxhall Corsa for... 

Vauxhall Corsa 1.4i Turbo (100PS) SE Nav S/S 5dr
With a diesel engine no longer offered, the most economical Corsa is this petrol-powered model. Even then, it’s just 1mpg more economical than most other engines in the range. It’s not available in a cheaper trim so this slight gain comes at some expense.
Vauxhall Corsa 1.4i Turbo (100PS) SE Nav S/S 5dr
There are a lot of Vauxhall Corsa trim levels but to cut through the confusion, the Design includes most of the essentials, except alloy wheels, which are optional extras. The 1-litre turbocharged petrol is economical but powerful.
Vauxhall Corsa 1.4i Turbo GSi (150PS) 3dr
This is not as fast as the old VXR, but it is cheaper, and cheaper to insure.
Vauxhall Corsa 1.4i (75PS) SRi VX-Line Nav Black
This version is dressed to impress but in weedy 75PS form it is not only underpowered but expensive, too. The slightly more powerful 90PS version is slightly dearer and no less unappealing.

Vauxhall Corsa History 

  • July 2014 Current Corsa unveiled by Vauxhall
  • September 2014 70,000 Corsas recalled for potential steering column defect
  • December 2014 Car gets four-star Euro NCAP safety rating
  • November 2015 New Intellilink software added to all cars except Sting and Sting R, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • February 2015 6,300 Corsas recalled for separate potential steering problem
  • March 2015 Corsa VXR hot hatchback announced
  • March 2016 Corsa Red special edition with 1.4T engine announced. Since extended to Black and White special editions
  • 2017 EcoFLEX engines rebranded EcoTEC
  • 2018 Vauxhall streamlines the Corsa range and adds extra kit. The 1.0-litre petrol and 1.3-litre diesel engines are dropped meaning all engines are now 1.4-litre petrols, two of them turbocharged, in four different power outputs. Air-con now standard from Design trim upwards.
  • 2018 GSI hot(ish)hatch added to line up.

Understanding Vauxhall Corsa car names 

  • Corsa
  • Engine
    1.4i 100PS Turbo
  • Trim
  • Gearbox
  • Engine
    From new, there’s only one base engine, a 1.4-litre petrol. It’s offered in turbo and non-turbocharged forms, and in a total of four different power outputs expressed in PS, a measure roughly equivalent to horsepower. The 100PS engine is turbocharged for extra power and improved economy.
  • Trim
    The trim level indicates how much equipment comes as standard. The Corsa comes in eight different trims ranging from basic Active to range-topping GSi.
  • Gearbox
    Lower-powered (75 and 90PS) Corsas come with a five-speed manual gearbox as standard. The 100PS and 150PS models have a six-speed gearbox. The 90PS engine is also offered with a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Vauxhall Corsa Engines 

Petrol: 1.4i, 1.4i Turbo

There’s now no diesel engine and no small 1.0-litre turbo petrol in the Corsa line-up. Instead, buyers are offered a choice of two, 1.4-litre petrol engines, one of them turbocharged, in different power outputs. Apart from the most powerful 150PS version in the GSi, the engines all do around 50mpg. The automatic gearbox that you can have with the 90PS engine brings economy down to around 45mpg.

The entry-level engine is a non-turbo 1.4. It's the cheapest way to get behind the wheel of a Corsa but isn't very exciting to drive, especially in 75PS form, where accelerating from 0-62mph takes a ponderous 15.5 seconds. You're better off with the more powerful 90PS version.

The two turbocharged engines produce 100PS and 150PS. The latter can be found in the new GSi. Meanwhile, despite its extra performance, the 100PS is actually slightly more economical than the 75 and 90PS engines.

Vauxhall Corsa Trims 

Active, Design, Energy, Sport, SE Nav, SRi Nav, SRi VX-Line Nav Black, GSi, Griffin

There are certainly cars with simpler line-ups than the Vauxhall Corsa. There are eight basic specification levels to choose from (listed above), plus the manufacturer from time to time offers special editions.

Regardless of what Corsa you decide to buy, you’ll get a heated windscreen, Bluetooth and USB, to connect your phone, electric windows, cruise control and power-adjustable door mirrors.

The entry-level Active model, which is only available in three-door form, has 15in alloy wheels, cruise control and a heated windscreen.

Move up to Design and not only can you choose from three or five-door body styles but you get air conditioning, front foglights and a touchscreen display. Strangely, though, the wheels are steel rather than alloy.

The next trim, Energy, sees the return of alloy wheels, this time 16in rather than the 15in affairs fitted to Active trim.

Sport adds sporty front seats, alloy-effect pedals, a leather-covered steering wheel and dark tinted windows.

As its name suggests, SE Nav has a sat nav and is just that little bit more comfort-oriented than Sport. Both are around the same price. SE Nav trim buyers can now specify an optional Lux pack which, for £1,500, brings features including special 17in alloy wheels, a rearview camera and climate control.

SRi Nav is a blend of Sport and SE Nav, with a price to match.

SRi VX-Line Nav Black is more eye-catching still with elements of the old VXR (rear spoiler, 17in alloys and a body kit). However, it’s only available with the 75 or 90PS engines so performance-wise doesn't live up to its visual promise. It’s also very expensive.

The range-topping GSi replaces the more powerful VXR. It’s only in three-door form and looks like the VXR (rear spoiler, bodykit, Recaro seats and aluminium pedals). It is cheaper to buy and to run than the VXR, but not as fast.

The latest special edition is the Griffin, brought out to celebrate 25 years of the Corsa. Named after the mythical creature that makes up Vauxhall’s logo, this version sports sat nav, air conditioning, front fog lights, and a set of unique ‘Griffin’ badges on the front wing of the car.

Vauxhall Corsa Reliability and warranty 

The Vauxhall Corsa is more reliable than the model that it replaced - although that's not saying much, given its predecessor's lowly reputation. The current car has a mid-table reliability ranking of 67 out of 75 in the 2018 Auto Express Driver Power customer satisfaction survey.

The result is also similar in the vehicle reliability index, compiled by the aftermarket warranty firm Warrantywise. Based on real-life claims, Vauxhall is 24 out of 38 brands, ahead of Volkswagen, BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes.

In terms of warranty, the Corsa is in line with most of the competition in offering three years or 60,000 miles of cover (whichever comes first).

Used Vauxhall Corsa 

In common with several other Vauxhalls, the Corsa suffers a steep drop in value in the first year of ownership, with even the desirable VXR hot hatchback shedding around a quarter of its new list price. Vauxhalls are popular with company-car drivers and rental firms, so you could save even more if you don't mind choosing a relatively new, yet fairly high-mileage Corsa that may be close to exceeding its 60,000-mile warranty limit.

There are currently 1585 Vauxhall Corsas available on BuyaCar, with prices ranging from £4,090 to £23,000 for nearly-new models.

Monthly finance payments start from £80 per month.

The complicated series of trim levels and lengthy options available mean that it's simpler to simply check the specification of a vehicle that you like, rather than having to learn exactly what differentiates an SRi from an SRi VX-Line.

One option that complicates matters is Vauxhall's OnStar service, which many buyers regard as a nice-to-have gadget rather than an essential. It was only fitted to Corsas from November 2015 and comes with a one-year subscription. If you want to continue benefitting from its features, which include a WiFi hotspot, use of a call centre that can program your sat-nav to direct you to any destination, and tracking if your car is stolen, then it will cost around £90 a year.

Vauxhall Corsa: used car prices1 year old2 years old3 years old

Best for performance Vauxhall Corsa GSI


Best for families Vauxhall Corsa 1.4i Turbo (100PS) SE Nav


Best for economy Vauxhall Corsa 1.4i Turbo (100PS)