Vauxhall Corsa Review 2024

Vauxhall Corsa At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
Cheap to run, well-equipped and easy to drive, the Vauxhall Corsa is the embodiment of the small car all-rounder.

+Rewarding to drive, well-equipped as standard, excellent 1.2-litre 100PS petrol engine.

-Cramped rear seats, bumpy ride quality on 17-inch wheels, highest spec models are £27,000 new and EV versions even more.

On average it achieves 0% of the official MPG figure

The Corsa has a lot in common with the Peugeot 208, sharing the French car's underpinnings and some very fine engines. However, there is also plenty that is unique to the Corsa in the way it has been styled and set up. It’s an entertaining car to drive down twisty roads, though the low-speed ride is on the lumpy side, while Vauxhall has addressed the standard equipment with a much more generous specification for all models. Read on for our full review of the Vauxhall Corsa.

While Vauxhall's latest small car instalment is easily the best Corsa yet and markedly better than its predecessor, it still can’t match the fun of the Ford Fiesta or the everyday practicality of the SEAT Ibiza.

The Vauxhall Corsa has plenty to offer buyers who are in need of an affordable small car that provides decent value and a rewarding drive. Indeed, compared to its predecessor, the latest Corsa is a revelation from behind the wheel, and will impress those after a solid and sensible first car

The Corsa borrows a lot of its oily bits from the Peugeot 208, with the platform and running gear all being carried over from the Peugeot. However, while the two are mechanically similar, the Vauxhall is the keener car to drive thanks to being set up specifically for UK roads. This has involved fine-tuning the suspension and steering to suit bumpier roads that also have lots of twists, turns and cambers to throw at the car.

That stiffer set-up does impact comfort, with the Corsa feeling quite unsettled at low speeds. Rough roads and pot holes produce a lot of body movement, which is made worse if you choose one of the higher specification models with larger wheels. In our view, both the Fiesta and Ibiza are more comfortable cars and also more entertaining on country lanes.

The Corsa is offered with petrol, diesel or electric power, but most will choose the zesty three-cylinder 1.2-litre 100PS petrol, which is identical to the 1.2 PureTech engine found in the Peugeot 208.

It’s one of the best petrol engines on sale today and is packed with lots of low and medium range urge for relaxed cruising, nippy acceleration and generally easy manners. It works wonderfully well in the Corsa, with  advertised economy peaking in the mid-50s per gallon.

All versions of the Vauxhall Corsa are generously equipped as standard. Even entry-level models get LED headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels and touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility as standard. 

However, while the Corsa's spec makes a lot of sense on paper, in reality the cabin is more cheap than cheerful with cramped rear seats and lots of scratchy grey plastics. The infotainment is also a long way behind the quality of the systems used by Ford or the Volkswagen Polo and its cousins from SEAT and Skoda.

Compared to the old model, the latest Vauxhall Corsa does represent a monumental leap forward in terms of handling and refinement. Much of this is down to its PSA partnership.

However, while an undeniable improvement, the Corsa's progress is hindered by its cramped and disappointing cabin. This limits its versatility and appeal in the supermini class, where the best contenders are now nipping at the heels of models from the small hatch sector in terms of cabin space, comfort and driving ability.

Looking for a second opinon? Why not read heycar's Vauxhall Corsa review.

Ask Honest John

Should my car be fitted with daytime running lights?

"Should my 2019 Vauxhall Corsa SRi VX line be fitted with daytime running lights?"
All newly-launched cars sold in the EU have to be fitted with DRLs as standard, so not every car registered from this date will have them. However the Corsa received a significant update in 2014, so all Corsa after this date should have them fitted. If your car does not have working DRLs it may be that there is a fault with the headlights. It is unlikely that the headlights have been replaced with older versions as the design is different, which would make fitting them almost impossible.
Answered by David Ross

Can you recommend a torque converter automatic?

"I am looking for a small automatic that is run by torque converter, which cars do you recommend? "
Assuming your looking for a new car (there are plenty of used torque converter automatic options) then the Peugeot 208 and Vauxhall Corsa both have good automatic gearboxes. Most other small cars have dual-clutch gearboxes, however there is also the Honda Jazz abd Toyota Yaris that come as hybrids with CVT or e-CVT transmissions.
Answered by Lawrence Allan

Best first car for an 18-year-old new driver?

"My 18-year-old daughter has just passed her driving test. We would like to find her something to drive and would appreciate your advice. We are looking for a used small car. We are keen on Volkswagens, a Polo would be ideal but we are surprised how expensive second hand Polos are when we have looked around. Key concerns are safety, ease of driving, and something we won’t have to spend a fortune on servicing going forward, which we fear may be a risk with an older but more affordable car. Also insurance costs have to be factored in. Is it the case that the market is particularly difficult at the moment or do you think we could meet our brief? Would it be sensible to buy an older Polo or would this be false economy in the long run? "
We really need to know your budget to give you specific advice on which cars to look for, it's very difficult to without. With safety a key concern we would not advise looking at pre-2000 models when crash safety requirements were pretty lax. The usual suspects include the Ford Fiesta (fun to drive and cheap to run with the 1.25-litre engine), Vauxhall Corsa (also cheap to run and loads about) and Toyota Yaris (strong reliability reputation). As VW Polos command a premium you might be better off looking at the SEAT Ibiza or Skoda Fabia, these use the same engines mechanicals as the Polo underneath. Older generation cars can actually be more affordable to own due to their simplicity, while a well looked after model with plenty of history should mean all the key failure points of the car will have been taken care of. An older model that's been taken care of with lots of receipts is a better bet than a newer model that has high mileage and hasn't been looked after.
Answered by Lawrence Allan

Can you recommend a small automatic for motorway driving?

"I want to buy a five-door small automatic car to commute to work and should last for another 10 years or so with an average miles of around 12,000 miles a year. Most of the driving is on motorway. "
We don't know your budget so we can't be very specific. Assuming you want something three years old or less, we'd be looking at things like a DSG-equipped VW Polo or a Peugeot 208/Vauxhall Corsa EAT8. If reliability matters most check out the CVT Honda Jazz (or the newest hybrid one), the latest Toyota Yaris Hybrid and the Kia Rio automatic - the Kia has a seven-year warranty.
Answered by Lawrence Allan
More Questions

What does a Vauxhall Corsa cost?