The latest generation of Ecoflex Corsa is a competent urban companion, but fails to show flair at speed

What is it?

The latest generation Corsa Ecoflex, for which Vauxhall has tuned the 1.3-litre CDTi 16v diesel engine to give 94 bhp and a top speed of 110mph. At the same time the manufacturer has reduced emissions to 88g/km of CO2.

The green credentials of the Ecoflex come at a price, though, and coughing up £15,410 for a basic model – rising to £16,685 once options like sat-nav and pearlescent paint are added – is a big ask from Vauxhall.

The shape of the car will be familiar to most motorists, and the now seven-year-old Vauxhall Corsa shell is beginning to look a bit bland in the face of more modern rivals such as the Ford Fiesta and Renault Clio.

What's it like?

The Corsa Ecoflex rides surprisingly well on the road, absorbing the bumps and humps of the city with the sort of ease normally reserved for much bigger cars. That’s thanks to the 15-inch steel wheels added to Ecoflex models and a soft suspension set-up. A comfy seat and high driving position inside also help to improve the ride.

Electric power steering is a welcome addition and copes well most of the time, but feeling is a recurring problem. There’s next to none of it during motorway cruising and little during urban driving. 

The 1.3-litre 16v CDTi turbo charged engine provides plenty of torque but in order to access it you’ll need to be above 2000rpm. Anything below that and the diesel unit lumbers, and feels positively reluctant to provide power.

Should I buy one?

It’s hard to ignore the expense of the Ecoflex compared to its rivals – especially the Fiesta Ecoboost, which despite being less giving for power at the top-end of its output remains the king of this class.

If you’re a city dweller, though, you’ll get on well with the Corsa Ecoflex. If you can stomach the high asking price you’ll enjoy a quality ride with enough power to make rapid progress.

Vauxhall Corsa Exclusiv 1.3CDTi 16v Ecoflex

Price £16,685; 0-62mph12.3secs; Top speed 110mph; Economy 85.6mpg combined; Co2 88g/km; Kerb weight 1103kg; Engine 1248cc, four cylinder, turbocharged, diesel; Power 94bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 140lb/ft at 1750-3250rpm; Gearbox Five-speed manual 


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scotty5 24 June 2013

Not the whole story

Another person who agrees with Artill. Having searched for a nearly new Corsa recently, I hardly saw any diesel examples for sale. And if you look at all the major rental companies (where most Corsa's are destined), they are all 1.2 or 1.4 petrol. I cannot recall ever seeing a group A or B diesel car being offered.

And agreeing with Straff. Franchise dealers selling this car brand new for under £12,000.

artill 24 June 2013

So the review concludes you

So the review concludes you should only buy a Diesel supermini if you are a city dweller? Crazy. Firstly its asking for trouble to use a diesel in this way (DPF etc) and secondly, how many miles do you need to do to save the extra cost?

Straff 24 June 2013

I'd like to see the discounts

I'd like to see the discounts Vauxhall have given for the Insignia filter down the range. There's no way anyone pays list for a Corsa, surely?