What the Vauxhall Corsa can’t match is the excellent pricing of some its rivals, chiefly the increasingly competitive Korean contingent that includes the new Kia Rio and Chevrolet Aveo, a model that will ironically underpin the next-generation Corsa.

A three-door Corsa can be had in Expression trim for around £9500, which sounds attractive. Standard kit includes, well, not a lot really, and the 64bhp 1.0 engine is pretty weak. So you really need to move up to the S model and the 1.2 petrol engine, at a £2500 premium, to get a more desirable package. This variant gains remote central locking and electric front windows over the poverty-spec Expression.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Editor-at-large
Peculiar blue plastic on vent surrounds and door trim, is not unpleasant, but odd that it's not repeated anywhere else in cabin

Head right to the top end of the range and the VXR model comes fully loaded, but at £19,000, a similarly equipped – and much more involving – Renaultsport Clio can be had a full £1000 less.

However, the Corsa packs some star performers for economy. Recent improvements to the 1.3 diesel in the Ecoflex model result in combined cycle economy of 76.3mpg and 98g/km of CO2. Put simply, it’s not going to be an expensive car to run, particularly as it sits in insurance group seven. The entry-level model is even cheaper to insure (group two of 50).

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The best-selling petrol engine, the 84bhp 1.2 litre, is available with a new start-stop system that brings its CO2 output down to 119g/km. This, in turn, slashes road tax from £95 to £30 and reduces benefit-in-kind for business users from the regular car’s 15 percent, to the 10 per cent band. The penalty for this is an extra £700 for the start-stop system. The regular petrol 1.2 continues in production and this model returns 55mpg on the combined cycle, and close to 50mpg in the real world.

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