Matt Prior
25 May 2010

What is it?

You might well ask. It's a Vauxhall Corsa Ecoflex that looks just like any other Vauxhall Corsa Ecoflex – but underneath an unaltered shape are a few changes for the 2010 model year.

Most significant when it comes to the Ecoflex is that the engine now develops 94bhp, up from 74bhp, while economy has risen to a combined cycle 76.3mpg, thus it emits only 98g/km of Co2. Thank a turbo with variable geometry and new software, plus gear ratio changes for the increase.

The Corsa – a supermini whose refinement and maturity we like – has also been subject to some chassis changes. The electric power steering has been tweaked on all Corsas, while springs, dampers and anti-roll bars are changed on most models, too.

On the Ecoflex, the springs are unchanged sports ones (lower than regular ones for a better drag coefficient), but the dampers are softer, as are the bump-stops and the anti-roll bars thicker to compensate for the softer dampers.

What's it like?

Noisier than the to-2009 Corsa Ecoflex. I drove a pair back-to-back and the more powerful 2010 car has more diesel tap, which is unsurprising given its extra power. It has a bit more 'whoosh' than before, too – less linear, and a bit quicker when you wind it up.

Also noticeable as soon as you get underway is the Corsa's revised steering, which is more responsive just off straight ahead, with less stiction. Effectively it feels lighter and more consistent at low speeds.

Despite the sport springs the Ecoflex's high profile tyres means it rides pretty well, and the softer dampers mean it deals with high-frequency bumps and road ripples a tad better.

Otherwise the Corsa feels little different to before. It's still the same kind of driving experience; less agile than, say, a Fiesta but more mature and comfortable than most cars in the class. Not a bad compromise.

Should I buy one?

Maybe. In this Ecoflex form the Corsa is a fair bit cheaper than the (admittedly slightly better equipped) Ford Focus Econetic. The Fiesta is still the preferable car to drive, but the Corsa is pleasingly refined and, given cost of ownership is likely to score rather higher on customers' priorities than driving dynamics, we can see why you'd pick the Vauxhall.

Join the debate

Comments
8

Re: Vauxhall Corsa 1.3CDTi Ecoflex

4 years 26 weeks ago

I think the first sentence of your What's It Like section in this article has been the culprit of some keyboard gremlins. 'Noisier than the to-2009 Corsa Ecoflex' doesn't make a lot of sense, and conflicts with your refinement message later in the article.

Another question: why does the Corsa still feature the old Vauxhall badges (except on the engine cover)?

Re: Vauxhall Corsa 1.3CDTi Ecoflex

4 years 25 weeks ago

and also you mention the Focus or do you mean the Fiesta as you talk about both!

Re: Vauxhall Corsa 1.3CDTi Ecoflex

4 years 25 weeks ago

i'm a bit dissapointed that Vauxhall/Opel/GM did not give the Corsa a facelift to go with some recent changes! We currently have a 2007 Corsa 1.3 Diesel 90bhp sxi in the family and its been a fantastic little car (apart from the dodgy heater that was replaced under warranty) not the quickest thing in the world but its great on fuel and good fun to drive and looks good with the optional styling pack! but why not give this car at least the new corporate nose to keep it in line with the new astra and insignia! i'd have another corsa in a minute but it still looks the same outside and it would just be like owning the same car! i'm guessing due to latest so called changes an all new model is at least a couple of years away! dissapointing :(

Re: Vauxhall Corsa 1.3CDTi Ecoflex

4 years 25 weeks ago

VX220EDDIE wrote:
i'm a bit dissapointed that Vauxhall/Opel/GM did not give the Corsa a facelift to go with some recent changes!

To be fair, what GM Europe 'facelift' or mid-series update in recent times did significantly change the look of the car? The last model Astra was (visually, at least) unchanged throughout its model life. Same with the Astra before that.

The previous Corsa (Corsa C) was hardly touched, too - reshaped bumpers and brightwork changes was about all that was done. There were of course mechanical and trim changes but we're discussing the look of the vehicle.

Zafira? Meriva? Same story.

The one exception I can think of was the Vectra C. It was given a new face in 2005 which considerably improved its looks.

Re: Vauxhall Corsa 1.3CDTi Ecoflex

4 years 25 weeks ago

evanstim wrote:

To be fair, what GM Europe 'facelift' or mid-series update in recent times did significantly change the look of the car? The last model Astra was (visually, at least) unchanged throughout its model life. Same with the Astra before that.

The previous Corsa (Corsa C) was hardly touched, too - reshaped bumpers and brightwork changes was about all that was done. There were of course mechanical and trim changes but we're discussing the look of the vehicle.

Zafira? Meriva? Same story.

The one exception I can think of was the Vectra C. It was given a new face in 2005 which considerably improved its looks.

i see your point actually! well pointed out! i guess i'll just to hang off for the new model when it eventually comes

Re: Vauxhall Corsa 1.3CDTi Ecoflex

4 years 25 weeks ago

I think this is a cracking little car.looks good especially in 3 door form,and is reliable and enjoyable to drive.Opel/vauxhall have a strong range at present.lets hope the General does not screw it up!!!!

Re: Vauxhall Corsa 1.3CDTi Ecoflex

4 years 25 weeks ago

I suspect this car may be just about the most economical car to run in the real world. Hybrids sound great in theory but fail to deliver in practice.

Re: Vauxhall Corsa 1.3CDTi Ecoflex

4 years 24 weeks ago

I have always liked the Corsa, it has gotten a bad image in the past due to boy racers and so on but with this new model they are moving away from that which is good, but I owuld not buy this ecoflex if I were to get the Corsa because even with it's amazing 76.3MPG, you are only going to get that figure if you drive extremely carefully and slowly everywhere, and it doesn't matter what age you are, that is never, ever going to happen, when people go out for drives they do not just go on economy drives, so I would just buy a normal petrol or preferably for economy, a diesel corsa (one of the normal models in the range) because they will give you nearly the same fuel economy on the combined cycle when you are driving normally and they will be a lot more fun to drive than this thing !!

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Our Verdict

The Vauxhall Corsa is very refined, stylish and practical. Engines are not so good

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