Imagine developing a car for three years and then having to start over because your employer has been bought by another company.
That’s exactly what happened to the engineers and designers of the Mk5 Corsa when General Motors sold Vauxhall to the PSA Group (since subsumed into Stellantis) in 2017.
Rather than become despondent, though, the team buckled down and got the job done in record time. The Mk5 Corsa was launched in 2019 and swiftly became one of the UK’s best-selling cars, as its forebears had been.
Nowadays, you can pick up a used Mk5 Corsa for around £11,500 – a saving of nearly £6000 over a new one. Even nearly new examples can be found for just £15,000.
Is it worth the price, though, and does it feel like a rushed product? Yes to the former and no to the latter, mostly because the Corsa now takes advantage of shared parts between Stellantis’s latest and greatest. For instance, it sits on the same platform as the Peugeot 208.
As you can imagine, the engine range is shared with the French car as well. The Corsa is available with a 74bhp 1.2-litre petrol, 99bhp and 128bhp 1.2-litre turbo petrols and a 101bhp 1.5-litre diesel. There’s also the electric Corsa-e, which has a 50kWh battery and a 134bhp motor.
The Corsa’s get-up-and-go is matched by impressive fuel economy – and a WLTP range of 209 miles for the EV. The diesel comes with an official figure that’s north of 70mpg, but we would recommend that model only if you’re a frequent motorway user.
The 99bhp petrol is the all-rounder of the group, and it still averages 52.3mpg. The Corsa proves stable and sure-footed, with good grip, and its light steering makes urban motoring a doddle.
It isn’t the firmest small car, either, meaning its suspension smoothens out road imperfections quite effectively.
There isn’t quite as much driving fun to be had as there is with the rival Ford Fiesta, but it still feels polished and capable.
Entry-level SE trim has the everyday basics covered, including cruise control, 16in alloy wheels, air conditioning and electric windows, while SE Premium gets you heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, automatic lights and wipers and rear parking sensors.
Go for one of the plusher trims like Ultimate and the standard 7.0in infotainment touchscreen grows to 10.0in, plus you get matrix headlights and adaptive cruise control.
From 2022, the Corsa’s trim level structure was simplified to consist of just three options: Design, GS Line and Ultimate.
The Corsa is a smart package inside and out that will work just as well for small families as it will for a first-time driver, a pensioner or a commuter.