Currently reading: Nearly new buying guide: Vauxhall Corsa
From EV to ICE, this supermini has something to offer for almost every kind of driver

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.


Read our review

Car review

Major revisions give the popular supermini a stylish new look and refreshed hardware, but to what effect?

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It appeals to about as wide an audience as is possible, so no wonder it’s so popular. And under Stellantis ownership, the model is objectively the best it has been in a long while. 

Need to know

Analogue dials come as standard from new, flanking a 3.5in screen that displays trip information. A 7.0in digital instrument display features in SRi models and above.

Tall drivers receive plenty of space, but the rear isn’t the easiest to get in and out of. The boot is fair for a supermini, at 309 litres.

The Corsa-e has a slightly longer wheelbase to accommodate the sizeable, H-shaped battery. 

Buyer beware

Interior wear and tear: Check the interior for any broken bits of trim and that the seat fabric hasn’t been damaged by child seats. We’ve heard from one owner who has had experience with the seat clips breaking, making it hard to release the seatbacks. This could be an isolated incident, but it’s probably worth checking that the seats fold as they should.

Front airbag control unit: The child-seat safety cradle and transponder might not interact as intended with the smart airbag deactivation function on the front passenger seat. This is a software concern with the control unit, so if your car is involved in this recall, the unit will need replacing – for free by a Vauxhall dealer, of course. 

Our pick

1.2 100 Turbo: While the 74bhp 1.2-litre petrol might suffice in and around town, the 99bhp turbo version provides better flexibility and performance. What’s more, the difference in MPG will be minimal.

Wild card

Corsa-E: This is an approachable way of making the jump to electromobility. A decent range enables it to perform well outside town, so it’s no one-trick pony. You will need at least £21,000 to buy one, however. 

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Our top spec

SE Nav: SE trim brings a generous amount of equipment, but we would look out for the Nav pack, which adds sat-nav. Smartphone mirroring is standard from new on all models, though, so you should be able to hook up navigation even if you can’t track down a Nav model. 

Join the debate

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gagaga 28 July 2022

Have an Corsa-e (ridiculously cheap lease deal for a 2020 pre-reg last year).

Annoyances -

The little plastic cap over the screw hole holding the door handle on the drivers side pops out when you shut the door.  Every time.

Range - Not bad in summer (maybe 80% of stated if you're gentle), but was showing 67 miles on a full charge in the depths of winter (and remember, you still have to put the same amount of power in).

The automatic wipers had to be reset every time I got in - recently fixed on a software update from my (admitedly excellent, surprisingly) dealer

Some (very) cheap trim

Charging much slower than you'd expect (slows considerably past 50% full)

The base model courtesy car I got felt woefully cheap compared to mine (Ultimate trim)

The cruise control is not adaptive on the older ones, and the cruise/limiter controls are needlessly complex and confusing - one year in i'm still not clear which order to press the buttons to turn the damn thing on

Just one usb port in a car likely to be ferrying youngish kids around

Parcel shelf pops out of the pivot and jams between the boot and seat.  Every time. Every. single. time.

Good stuff -

Fast, fairly comfortable, great local runaround (guess that's electric for you)

Those matrix headlights are amazing

Hot Red still looks great after a year

Sounds whiny buy it's a good car - will qualify that i've not driven a recent Fiesta etc to compare.