From £8,740
Adapts the best-selling petrol-powered Corsa to current business users’ tax law

Our Verdict

Vauxhall Corsa

The Vauxhall Corsa is very refined, stylish and practical. Engines are not so good

Steve Cropley Autocar
16 December 2011

What is it?

Here’s a new Vauxhall supermini model aimed squarely at adapting the best-selling petrol-powered Corsa to current business users’ tax law, thereby selling more cars to fleets.

You’ve got to admire the way Vauxhall keeps its now rather venerable Corsa up to date. About a year ago the company made important and successful changes to the Corsa’s chassis, and followed this about six months ago with a styling refresh.

Now 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 per cent, to the 10 per cent band.

The penalty for this is an extra £715 for the start-stop system; the regular petrol 1.2 continues in production.

What’s it like?

The result is a pleasant little car, no longer the best in its hard-fought supermini class but as well-built and good looking as ever. The start-stop system kills the engine when the gearbox is in neutral and the clutch is out, and restarts unobtrusively as soon as you dip the pedal.

The engine is smooth and reasonably quiet, though performance is average rather than zesty. There’s a payback in fuel consumption: the Corsa returns 55 mpg on the combined cycle, and close to 50 mpg in the real world.

Though far from being the sportiest Corsa, the SXi is fun to drive, with light and accurate steering, a light and easy gearchange and impressively decent grip in fast corners.

The 1.2 litre, 84bhp engine may not be a powerhouse, but it revs quietly enough for the driver to enjoy using it with relative abandon.

Should I buy one?

It seems to us most private Corsa buyers will still continue to be attracted by the superior torque and fuel consumption of the 1.3-litre diesel alternative, not to mention the likelihood of a better resale value a few years down the road. But for those business users restricted to a petrol-powered car, the start-stop Corsa makes more sense than ever.

Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 SXi 5dr start/stop

Price: £14,210; Top speed: 107mph; 0-62mph: 13.6sec; Economy: 55.4mpg; Co2: 119g/km; Kerb weight: 1060kg; Engine type, cc: 1229cc; Power: 84bhp/5600 rpm; Torque: 85lb ft/4000 rpm; Gearbox: Five-speed manual.

Join the debate

Comments
16

21 December 2011

These cars are just getting too expensive. £14,000 for a Corsa 1.2 is absolutely ridiculous. A decade ago, an equivalent Corsa would have set you back about half as much.

21 December 2011

I was thinking that too. I have just spent 2 grand more than the list price of this car on a BMW 120d Coupe that 19 months old Why would i pay 14k for a corsa, madness

21 December 2011

[quote davidv11]Why would i pay 14k for a corsa[/quote]

Precisely. £14k for a hot Corsa? Yes. £14k for a Corsa 1.2? No chance.

21 December 2011

Have they improved the dynamics in this car now? I was learning to drive in a 09 plate 1.2 SXI and thought it was awful, no steering feel to the point of being dangerous, awful gearbox and gutless engine. I passed my test in a MG ZR TD115 and it was miles better to drive then the Corsa. 14K for a Corsa too, seriously that is too much for one of these!

22 December 2011

The power steering in every vauxhall i've driven since the mk4 astra has been frankly shocking, they just seem to make it as light as possible with no regard for how that translates to actually driving the car!

Assume it's fixed now but in the corsa C? (2001ish on) the power steering couldn't keep up with turns of the wheel, try to drive it quickly and you had no weight.....masssive weight.....no weight.....massive weight.

Anonymous

22 December 2011

I'd rather spend my £14K on a nearly new Clio Gordini 200.

22 December 2011

Cars like this exemplify why spending your own cash on brand new car is complete folly.

  • If you want to know about a car, read a forum dedicated to it; that's a real 'long term test' . No manufacturer's warranty, no fleet managers servicing deals, no journalist's name to oil the wheels...

22 December 2011

[quote BriMarsh]Cars like this exemplify why spending your own cash on brand new car is complete folly.[/quote]

Precisely, especially when there will no doubt soon be plenty of nearly-new ones for less than £10,000 at a trade centre near you.

23 December 2011

These cars are about CO2 figures and they are not good enough and the car is too dear.

23 December 2011

'Targetted at business users" er.... It's a 1.2 Corsa. Not really your typical company car, is it. Especially in yellow. £14k, having a big Xmas laugh, surely?

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