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

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ronmcdonald 2 January 2012

Re: Vauxhall Corsa 1.2i SXi stop-start

VX220EDDIE wrote:

im sure you guys dont need me to tell you that there are huge dealer discounts on these cars and no one in the right mind would pay 14k for a 1.2 corsa...

I can't understand why anyone would buy a new Vauxhall. Around '94 I was compelled to choose a Vauxhall under our company car scheme so took out a GM Credit Card before taking delivery - they sent me something like £600 of Thomas Cook vouchers when I got the car. Brilliant!

I used that card quite a bit back then, and with special offers etc amassed quite a sum of bonus points. But because I'd left the company car scheme, as a private motorist I was only entitled to use the points against the purchase of a new car. Not bad though... negotiate whatever deal you could and my points would further reduce the bill by nearly £1800!!!

As VX220EDDIE says there are huge dealer discounts out there, the problem is though that even reducing those discounts by £1800, it'd STILL be cheaper buying a del miles / nearly new car than a brand new car. Even with all the 0% over 5 years incentives, you really should do your homework as a pre-reg / del miles car almost certainly works out cheaper at a VX dealership.

PS - in the latter years of the GM Card points discount, the scheme was amended so that friends and family could use the discount - pointless as it was no use to anyone as anyone who did buy a VX bought pre-reg. And a few months prior to the GM Card being withdrawn, GM added a £600 bonus! It meant £2400 further discount !!! Just think a brand new Insigna with £4500 dealer discount + £2500 GM discount on top, and it STILL worked out cheaper buying a pre-reg!

No wonder GM are in trouble.

VX220EDDIE 2 January 2012

Re: Vauxhall Corsa 1.2i SXi stop-start

im sure you guys dont need me to tell you that there are huge dealer discounts on these cars and no one in the right mind would pay 14k for a 1.2 corsa or on the other hand vauxhall do them for 0% finance over 5 years which isnt too bad considering the amount of interest one would pay one a discounted price with the interest charges i guess you just have to balance it out! i had a 1.3cdti corsa a couple of years ago and it was a cracking little car. ok it wasnt the fasted thing in the world but it was frugal fun to drive and good fun. but then i am a die hard vauxhall fan so i await the badge snobs ridicules once again on this site.

toptidy 29 December 2011

Re: Vauxhall Corsa 1.2i SXi stop-start

steven211 wrote:
Ditto, walking would be more fun then driving a Corsa 1.2! And cheaper.

Well it depends how long the journey is, but I understand what you are saying.

Shortly after I read this reivew (and posted a comment) I read a review of the forthcoming Suzuki Swift Sport that will have a similar price-tag and that just about summarises Vauxhall's optimism with their price list.

On the other hand they are like Ford isofar as nobody ever pays that price, but it must be a pain for company car users, especally those whose options are limited by list price, but for all when BIK is based on list price and CO2; maybe that is why we see so many VW's, Audi's, BMW's and Merc 's on the roads!

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