Hatchback Petrol Two coat metallic - Mineral black Manual Vauxhall Knaresborough
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Vauxhall has given some attention to its fourth-generation Vauxhall Corsa supermini line-up, refining the engine range down to variants of an improved version of its 1.4-litre petrol engine and enhancing the value proposition on offer. If you want a sharp deal on a car in this class, you'll get it on this one, but there are also other reasons why a Corsa might suit.
The revised Corsa range is built entirely around versions of its improved Euro 6.2-compliant 1.4-litre petrol engine - so no diesels, 1.0, 1.2 or 1.6-litre units any more. There is though, the choice of either 5 or 6-speed manual gearboxes or an automatic. You can have the 1.4-litre powerplant in normally aspirated form with either 75 or 90PS - or with a turbo with either 100PS or (in the top GSi) with 150PS. The Corsa has always been a pretty entertaining steer and it's helped in this regard by a low centre of gravity, a stiff front sub-frame and sharp suspension geometry. This features special front knuckles, plus carefully chosen spring rates and dampers to reduce the pitching movement you'd normally get at the front during sharp braking manoeuvres. Following the current trend, the steering system is electrically-powered and is speed-sensitive with a UK-specific tune to cater for our roads. That's not enough to enable this car to offer the kind of precise feedback you'd get in, say, a Ford Fiesta. But as standard with this set-up, you do get something which most owners will probably find a lot more useful, namely a clever 'City' mode that makes low speed manoeuvring and parking far simpler.
On to design. This fourth generation Corsa was essentially a re-skin of the previous third generation version, but it still looks quite fresh, especially when dressed up in the manner that most variants now tend to be. At the front, 'eagle eye'-shaped headlamps incorporate Vauxhall's signature 'wing'-style LED daytime running lights. Between them is a low, sporty trapezoidal grille with a chrome bar for the Griffin badge that sits above front foglamps embedded in chrome-trimmed air inlets that are intended to make the car look wider, lower and more purposeful. Which is certainly the profile demeanour of the three-door version, always supposed to be the sportier of the two Corsa bodystyles. That's further emphasised by an upper windowline that drops to the rear in an effort to make the car look coupe-like. On the slightly more conservative-looking five-door version, the beltline extends upwards, creating a more dynamic connection with the roof spoiler. Drop inside and you'll find an instrument panel themed around horizontal lines and featuring in most models a 7-inch Intellilink infotainment colour touchscreen that dominates the centre of the dash and is smartly mounted in a high-gloss surround. In the back, this Corsa is much as it always was, remaining one of the more spacious superminis you can buy with plenty of room for two fully-grown adults - or three children - in this five-door model. Inevitably the three door bodyshape is a little more claustrophobic. Out back, there's a 285-litre boot.
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