Currently reading: Nearly new buying guide: Vauxhall Corsa
With an all-new model just months away, there are some cracking deals on offer for Vauxhall's supermini
John Evans
News
4 mins read
13 September 2021

The Corsa was the UK’s fourth-best-selling new car in June, a position it also holds in the current year-to-date rankings. That’s impressive for a car that, under the skin, dates back to 2006, when it was codenamed the Corsa D. 

The model under the microscope here is the Corsa E, launched in 2014. The change of letter suggests it was a lot more than a makeover. In fact, apart from some additional stiffening and revised locations for the suspension pick-up points, the platform was as before. 

Where the model’s step up the alphabet was more than justified was in its new engines and revised steering and suspension tailored for British roads but, most noticeable of all, its change of clothes. Apart from the roof, every panel was new. Inside, the car got a new interior featuring soft-touch plastics, better ventilation controls and a smarter music system. All but the most basic models gained Vauxhall’s IntelliLink infotainment system. 

Click here to buy your next used Corsa from Autocar

Back in 2014, you could have your Corsa with a bewildering range of engines: a couple of naturally aspirated 1.2 and 1.4 petrols, a super-smooth 1.0-litre turbocharged triple in 89bhp and 113bhp outputs, a torquey 1.4 turbo in 99bhp and 148bhp flavours and a pair of fleet-friendly, Euro 6-compliant 1.3 CDTi diesels producing 74bhp and 94bhp. At the top of the pile sat the 202bhp 1.6 turbo in the VXR

The triples are worth seeking out but, if you want a little more oomph, choose the 99bhp 1.4 turbo. 

And then in 2018, they were all replaced by a quartet of Euro 6.2-compliant 1.4 petrol engines producing 74bhp, 89bhp, 99bhp and 148bhp. The 74bhp is plentiful and fine for town but you should hold out for the turbocharged 99bhp unit. The 148bhp engine is brisk but expensive. 

At launch, there were no fewer than 11 trims, but by 2018, they had fallen back to around nine, which is where they remain. Avoid the most basic and go mid-range, seeking out a combination of alloy wheels, air conditioning and 7.0in touchscreen featuring IntelliLink. On this basis, the Energy trim level gets our vote. Another is Sport, which is based on Energy and adds sports seats and pedals. 

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Read our review

Car review

All-new Vauxhall Corsa raises its game with the end result being a classy supermini that’s decent to drive, but still short of the benchmark set by the Ford Fiesta

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With their special paint schemes, Red and Black Edition cars are fun and Griffin is good value but isn’t available with the later 99bhp 1.4 turbo engine. 

Factor in big new car discounts that fuel depreciation and the Corsa is a great used car buy. In fact, it’s a good time to pick up a late-plate model as Vauxhall dealers pre-register stocks to clear the way for the all-new Corsa that’s arriving later this year. For example, you can pick up a 2019/19-reg 1.4i 75PS Design 5dr with zero miles for £11,999, or around £1400 off the best discounted new price. At the other end of the cost spectrum, prices start at around £3500 for a high-mileage 2014 or well-equipped 15-reg Sting 1.4i. 

 

BUYER BEWARERecallsThere have been many ranging from loss of steering control to the handbrake refusing to disengage, so make sure they've been actioned.

EngineThe petrol engines suffer timing chain noise, often caused by a worn tensioner. It's not necessarily terminal but it can get worryingly noisier over time. Full service history is no guarantee but it helps. Misfires may be faulty ignition coils. Replacing the spark plugs every 36,000 miles helps extend their life. The 1.4 turbo suffers intake manifold problems caused by a failure of the non-return valve. The 1.0 turbo can suffer loss of compression in cylinder three.

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InteriorSome reports of the central locking system failing, so check it works.

InfotainmentIf you like your music, check you can stream music from your phone to the car via the USB cable. Apparently, it's not that reliable. The Bluetooth connection is little better, the problem often being with the built-in module. 

Need to know

Laugh in the face of icy winter mornings: every Corsa from 2014 on has a heated windscreen. That’s every Corsa, from entry level to top spec. According to Vauxhall, it’s there because that’s what prospective buyers said they wanted. Or maybe it’s because the Corsa D suffered so badly from steamed-up windows? 

IntelliLink infotainment is standard on all trims bar Life and Sting. Featuring a 7.0in touchscreen and digital radio, Vauxhall’s connectivity system is also an extension of your Apple or Android phone. Although sat-nav is available on many trims, you’re better off using IntelliLink to access your phone’s navigation app. 

Vauxhall’s OnStar services will cease to be available from 31 December 2020, so don’t buy a Corsa on the strength of it alone.

Our pick

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Corsa 1.4T 100PS Energy Air-con S&S: The 99bhp engine is a spirited but refined unit that’s torquey at low revs. Add alloy wheels, IntelliLink and air-con and the model is a well-equipped all-rounder for sensible money

Wild card

Corsa 1.6T 205PS VXR: Fast, grippy and edgy, the VXR easily justifies its wild card status but also because these very qualities are what keep it in the shadow of the more poised and sophisticated Ford Fiesta ST.

Ones we found

2015 Corsa 1.4i Sting 3dr, 103,000 miles, £3695 

2016 Corsa 1.2i Design 5dr, 60,000 miles, £5789 

2017 Corsa 1.4T 100 SRi 5dr, 40,000 miles, £7500 

2018 Corsa 1.0 Energy 3dr, 10,000 miles, £9300 

Read more

Vauxhall Corsa review

New Vauxhall Corsa-e​: details of electric supermini confirmed

2019 Vauxhall Corsa prototype: first drive​

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Join the debate

Comments
6
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124spider 13 September 2021
Erm hasn’t the new course been out for two years already?
xxxx 25 July 2019

Dropping of the 3dr

Manufacturers know exactly how much more they cost to design, produce, maintain etc., they also know the ratio of sales and profits.

They drop them because there's no profit if ALL manufacturers sell both versions and only a small profit for the the models left (Fiesta etc).

It's a business so why would they give a fly's toe nail that people still moan that the Golf MK8 won't be available with 3 doors, it won't come with a choke cable either.

You could always weld up the 2 rear doors!

catnip 25 July 2019

Get it whilst you can

With the forthcoming 5 door only model, and the imminent axing of the unconvincing Adam, there will be nothing in the Vauxhall range for the young or new driver who wants something a bit more stylish than a family 5 door. I'm really surprised Vauxhall are prepared to ignore this significant market:  OK, the profits may not be the highest at this level, but what happened to brands wanting to attract young buyers to the brand with the hope they could get them to stay with them in the future?

Riley 1.5 25 July 2019

Corsa 3 door and it's imminent demise

catnip wrote:

With the forthcoming 5 door only model, and the imminent axing of the unconvincing Adam, there will be nothing in the Vauxhall range for the young or new driver who wants something a bit more stylish than a family 5 door. I'm really surprised Vauxhall are prepared to ignore this significant market:  OK, the profits may not be the highest at this level, but what happened to brands wanting to attract young buyers to the brand with the hope they could get them to stay with them in the future?

We are constantly told that 3 door cars generate no profit, that we all need an SUV or a Crossover because we all need bigger cars each time we trade up. When I next buy a new car, I expect a tsunami of BS because I don't want, or need, a Crossover or an SUV and the sales staff will tell me the least I can buy is a 5 door. Sorry, not for me! The 3 door Corsa Griffin, which seems very well-specced and has free servicing and road side assistance included is very tempting. OK, it goes against the perceived wisdom in the motor trade but, we're not all setting out on our motoring journey and, after 50 years, I'm not looking for ever bigger cars each time I buy. 

I want what I want and if I can't get it I just don't buy!