The fifth-generation Vauxhall Corsa certainly represents a smarter, more refined, superficially classier and more desirable prospect than the car it replaces. Its new platform has brought more appealing styling and paved the way for a stronger range of powertrains and an impressive suite of active safety systems.
However, while the Corsa is undoubtedly a ‘nicer’ and more aspiring car, it hasn’t been made better in every respect. Its slightly remote if assured handling, at times restless ride, questionable four-seat practicality and more ambitious pricing may all be obstacles to its success. And although it’s competent, secure and broadly inoffensive to drive, it lacks dynamic character and fails to make up for that shortage by reproducing ‘big car’ motive qualities in the manner of the best of its competitors.
The majority of Vauxhall’s faithful customer base will be much more likely to notice what it has gained than what it has lost, of course, and will no doubt appreciate the more modern-feeling, premium-age supermini they find. But those who are inclined to stray to other showrooms won’t be given too many reasons to regret.