New Corsa 1.2Turbo 100ps SRI Nav 5dr Hatch Review

White Vauxhall Corsa

When the car turned up and we asked what parking bay it was in, the answer was ‘you can’t miss it’. We were secretly hoping that it’d stand out for all the right reasons and it did, could’ve lived without the signwriting though!

Once we got over our initial surprise we were impressed with the looks and design of the new Corsa. We are big fans of the neat grille and front design which is definitely Insignia inspired; along with looking lower and wider at the rear it has a lot more road presence than the previous model.

The DS3 inspired ‘floating’ roof, which on our car was black, also looks smart. Fortunately, our car came with the standard 16” alloy wheels which we would always recommend for ride quality over and above the 17″ diamond cut alloys; despite the fact they look the part I’m not sure how practical they are for an instructor.

Climb in and the first thing you notice is how much cleaner and simplified the dash has become. Even though touchscreens can be annoying (why do you need a touchscreen to adjust the blower speed or temperature?), thankfully the one in the Corsa was easy to navigate with simple rotary controls for the heating and ventilation. Other manufacturer’s take note! The touchscreen is embedded into the dash and at 7” is ample. Crisp looking graphics and the ability to use Android and Apple CarPlay should keep most people happy.

Corsa dashboard

The Nav system in ours was impressive and gave you enough prior notice of direction. The digital instrument cluster is a real bonus, not only for fewer distractions for the driver but an instructor can easily see the speed of the vehicle from the passenger seat.

There’s plenty of room in the new cabin, more so as it now has a longer wheelbase and is a little wider. As per many cars which look stylish from the rear, the c-pillars affect interior vision which is not the best when reversing or maneuvering but with sensors it’s manageable.

Instructor or not, you’ll appreciate the reassurance of being in a car which comes with a raft of safety features as standard. The Corsa has lane departure, driver drowsiness recognition, auto emergency braking (AEB) and even speed sign recognition. We didn’t need to put any of these to the test, however, this will undoubtedly be a strong selling point for many people.

The car feels really solid and planted on the road, in fact, it felt as though we were driving something from a class size up such as the Astra. The handling and ride quality were leaps ahead of the old Corsa.

Back of a Vauxhall Corsa

The biggest surprise, however, was the engine. There are currently 2 petrol engines and one diesel engine available. Petrols are a 3 cylinder 75bhp and a 100bhp with a turbo. Our test car was the larger turbo model and it was absolutely fantastic. You honestly couldn’t tell that it was a 3 cylinder it was that smooth and quiet. It felt nippy around town and the 6 speed gearbox is a real boon for anyone who uses A roads and motorways.

We averaged 43mpg over our test period with a mix of both urban and motorway driving. We think this is a real match for the Ford Ecoboost 100bhp engine in terms of refinement and performance. It’s light years ahead of the previous Corsa’s 75/90bhp non-turbo engines which, in comparison, were fairly pedestrian and used more fuel.

We’re keen to try the new 1.5 100bhp diesel as we’re sure this will appeal to some of the instructor community, but more so to compare real world economy and what it’s like to live with. We’ll report back as soon as we get to drive this version. In the meantime, however, don’t let any old prejudices regarding petrol engines being slow and uneconomical cloud your judgement!

Overall we were mightily impressed with the new Corsa, rarely have we experienced such a quantum leap in a new car over the previous version! If you want to experience the beauty of the new Corsa for yourself take a look at the offer we have on the Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 SE 5dr and get in touch.