Choose your Vauxhall Corsa carefully and you’ll end up with a very fine supermini. 

This Corsa is everything the old one wasn’t: it’s good to look at, good to sit in, good for covering long distances and, underneath some mushy controls, it has a very good chassis. Unusually for the new wave of superminis, it’s also more fun to drive than the car it replaces.

Audio controls aren't very intuitive, particularly if you want to get manual FM tuning rather than seek

The Corsa is less agile than, say, a Ford Fiesta but more mature and comfortable than most cars in the class. Not a bad compromise. This Corsa is a great effort, but the class is too closely fought, and entrants too different in character, to buy with your eyes closed, so choose your supermini carefully.

Taking the popular Ecoflex model as an example, Ford Fiesta Econetic. The Fiesta is still the preferable car to drive, but the Corsa is pleasingly refined and, given that the cost of ownership is likely to score rather higher on customers' priorities than driving dynamics, we can see why you'd pick the Vauxhall.

The Vauxhall Corsa VXR (2007-2014) is still not quite the complete package, but it does make several key advances over its various VXR predecessors. With a fraction more finesse, it would be right up there with the Clio 200. But in terms of performance, value for money and pure showroom appeal, it is easily one of the most impressive megaminis out there.