Review: Vauxhall Corsa (2006 – 2014)

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Solid and decently equipped. Reasonable handling and some frugal engines.

Boot too narrow for standard size pushchair. Dash reflects in screen. DPF problems with 1.3 CDTi. ECU faults. Fewer faults than a Polo but not as reliable as a Fiesta.

Vauxhall Corsa (2006 – 2014): At A Glance

"Cmon!" The new Corsa was pipped at the post by just two points for the coveted title of European Car of The Year 2007.

At the end of the day, though, despite all the hype, the Corsa is just a car. And the winner had the advantage of being a ‘multi-purpose vehicle'. (The Ford S-Max.)

There's no doubt that the new Corsa is well made. It feels strong and solid. The sort of small hatchback the Germans would build in Germany. Though in fact it's assembled in Zaragoza, Northern Spain, a few hundred kilometres from the VW Polo plant at Pamplona to the West and also few hundred from where they put the bitz of the SEAT Ibiza together, at Martorell to the East.

Vauxhall Corsa 2007 Road Test

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What does a Vauxhall Corsa (2006 – 2014) cost?

List Price from £15,885
Buy new from £12,976
Contract hire from £132.16 per month

Vauxhall Corsa (2006 – 2014): What's It Like Inside?

Length 3999 mm
Width 1713–1944 mm
Height 1488 mm
Wheelbase 2511 mm

Full specifications

The dashboard and instruments are clearly and neatly laid out inside, but the top of the central section that extends to the dash top reflects in the steeply raked screen. Much more so in the Club where it is edged with a brushed alloy trim strip. And I liked some of the convenience features like the thumb-tab volume adjustment for the radio on the steering wheel.

Round the back, there's a two-tier boot. A top floor, level with the sill, then a suitcase-sized, rectangular space underneath, and underneath that, joy of joys, a full-sized spare wheel.

Child seats that fit a Vauxhall Corsa (2006 – 2014)

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What's the Vauxhall Corsa (2006 – 2014) like to drive?

Under the bonnet of the two cars I drove throbbed an engine hidden under a big plastic cover badged ‘Ecotec', which is in fact the same excellent 1,248cc Multijet diesel as used in a multitude of FIATs. And underneath, of corsa, it's the same basic structure as the FIAT Grande Punto. But compare the two side by side and they're not really repanelled clones. Even the bulkhead structure is different.

I did more than 500 miles in a specced up 90PS Design model 5 door with a list price of £13,247 (discounts to £10,954). Then rather less distance in a 75PS 3-door Club with a/c, also with extras, that lists at £10,947 (discounts to £9,273).

The gearchange is good: 6 ratios with the 90 and 5 with the 75. But to perform the near miracle of hauling this 1,025kg - 1,244kg car along at motorway speeds you suffer an inevitable lack of torque at low revs when the turbo has spooled down. Not a disaster by any means, but it can catch you out occasionally accelerating out of roundabouts where you want enough torque to pull it through in 3rd but may be forced to use 2nd. However you forgive it when first fill it up. As long as the delivery driver and I both brimmed the tank the same, I got a staggering 57.72mpg, the best economy figure I have ever achieved in any car.

Push the car on corners and it grips and handles well. But the speed sensitive steering seems to have been designed for the generation who learned to drive on computer games. It's certainly quick, and accurate, but alternates between light and not so light while any ‘road feel' you get from it seems entirely fake. It's almost as if someone's hands clamp around the steering column to give the impression of weight.

I actually preferred the slightly lower-spec Club 75bhp diesel. The 3 door is much more sporty looking, too. And it seemed to steer better with more ‘feel' and less artificial stickiness.

Ignore the list prices (which are calculated to be discounted) and the new Corsa is decent value for money. After all £9,273 isn't much for a well-built, 60mpg diesel with plenty of street cred. And the £155 optional slide-out bicycle carrier is the neatest solution for carrying bikes on the back that I have ever seen.

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Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.0 12v 50 mpg - 134 g/km
1.0 ecoFLEX 55 mpg 18.2 s 120 g/km
1.2 16V 46–51 mpg 13.9 s 129–146 g/km
1.2 16V Automatic 53 mpg 14.9 s 125 g/km
1.2 16V Easytronic 53 mpg 14.9 s 125 g/km
1.2 16V ecoFLEX 55 mpg 13.6–13.9 s 117–119 g/km
1.3 CDTi 59 mpg - 127 g/km
1.3 CDTi 75 ecoFLEX 67–74 mpg 14.9 s 100–112 g/km
1.3 CDTi 95 ecoFLEX 64–86 mpg 12.3 s 88–115 g/km
1.3 CDTi ecoFlex 66 mpg - 114 g/km
1.3 CDTi ecoFLEX 63–74 mpg 12.3–14.9 s 100–119 g/km
1.4 16V 46–51 mpg 11.9 s 129–146 g/km
1.4 16V Automatic 45–46 mpg 13.9 s 143–147 g/km
1.4i Turbo 51 mpg 10.3 s 129 g/km
1.6 16V Turbo 36 mpg - 189 g/km
1.7 CDTi 58–63 mpg 9.5 s 118–132 g/km
VXR 36–39 mpg 6.5–6.8 s 172–190 g/km

Real MPG average for a Vauxhall Corsa (2006 – 2014)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

24–79 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Vauxhall Corsa (2006 – 2014)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

What is the best car for £2500 or less?

I'm picking out a car for a friend and would be interested to know what would be a good hatch/saloon for a learner driver at under £2500? Preferably a diesel one as he intends on using it for a long commute.
A Ford Fiesta would be a good choice. The 1.4 TDCi ought to be cheap to run and £2500 will get a 2009 model. I'd want to see evidence of regular servicing. Diesel Fiestas sold from around March 2010 onwards were fitted with diesel particulate filters (DPFs) - resist one of these with low miles and it could prove problematic. Also consider a Vauxhall Corsa.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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