10 October 2003

The Vauxhall Corsa has got a shot in the arm after receiving a mild makeover and four new engines.

The current model, which last month overtook the Ford Focus as Britain’s best seller, gets redesigned front and rear bumpers, and a new chrome grille. Larger clear glass headlamps and beefier wheel arches round up the exterior mods. Inside, there’s been a quality uplift for cabin materials. Four new engines were developed for the Corsa: a 60bhp 1.0 12-valve three cylinder and 90bhp 1.4 16-valve, plus two new diesels, a 70bhp 1.3 CDTi and 100bhp 1.7 CDTi. Vauxhall’s Easytronic clutchless manual ‘box, previously only available with the 1.2-litre petrol motor, is now also an option on the 1.0-litre. Fuel-saving twinport technology, featured on the 1.0-litre three-cylinder and 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrols, employs a variable intake manifold and high exhaust gas recirculation to vastly improve fuel consumption figures over the old engines. The 1.4-litre petrol returns 47.9mpg – 13 per cent better than the old 1.4. Diesels benefit from the latest common-rail direct injection technology – the 1.3 CDTi manages a frugal 62.8mpg. Two new trim levels, Life and Design now complement the Corsa’s previous four trim line-up. Starting at £8175, the Life model receives CD, electric windows, remote locking and ABS. Add twin-airbags, air-con, and electric mirrors for the Design model, which starts at £9220. Greater steering precision and better handling are promised with the Corsa’s modified speed-dependent electric power steering system. All but the Expression models receive anti-lock and emergency brake assist as standard equipment. Servicing has been extended to 2 years or 20,000 miles for petrol or 30,000 miles for diesel models. Prices will start at £6995 for 1.0 12-valve Expression 3dr, topping out at £12,780 for the 1.7 CDTi SRi 5dr.

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