- We like...Miles per gallon, bike rack
- We don't...Air-con costs extra
Diesel supermini that's a treat to drive and packs a brilliant built-in bike rack‘Green’ motoring dsn’t get better than this. Not only ds this Vauxhall Corsa have a diesel engine efficient enough to promise 62mpg and so clean, you’ll get a free pass to driving across central London. It’s also got a fantastic built-in bicycle carrier. It’s so secure and easy to use that you could part-drive, part-cycle everywhere.
The Corsa’s long enjoyed a place among Britain’s most-bought cars and, driving this latest, it’s easy to see why. It’s a sweet car to drive, smoother riding than most of its size but never slushy over dips and across bends. Where others are too light, its steering has a finely judged weight about it, which counts for plenty when you need to place it inch-perfect on the road. The gears swap cleanly and precisely. It’s like a bigger, costlier car...shrunk.
This car has grown heavier and bigger than previous Corsas. Its 75bhp diesel sits in Vauxhall’s Agila and in the Fiat Panda, too, and feels much livelier in either of those than it ds here. Still, there’s fair pull there when you ask and while never silent, this motor grumbles along in a friendly way. If you want more go, there is a 16-valve version, offering 90bhp, but it’s available only in top-spec Design trim and costs £12,390. Our car, a mid-spec Club, is over £2000 cheaper and, we think, much the better buy.
The cabin on this model is smartly fitted out and the plastics are solid and look and feel expensive. The seat cloth, meanwhile, looks hard-wearing, if glum. Equipment fitted all-in is tight for a £10,000 car, though: you’ll pay extra for air conditioning and alloy wheels. Built-in satellite navigation you’d expect to cost more, but here it’s too pricey at £975. The bike carrier is expensive, too, at £375. But it’s such a smart add-on that we’d get it.
Three- and five-door Corsas go different ways from the doors backwards. The three-door has less space for passengers in the back; the five-door’s roof slopes less, adding head-room for those sat in its rear. Both have good-sized cabins, though, for the sort of car they are: the 3dr tip’n’slides its seats forward to make climbing in and out less of a faddle and, once it’s done, they helpfully return to wherever they started. The boot is average-sized but has a lift-out floor, which is great for keeping, say, muddy sports kit away from groceries.
Would we buy one? Like a shot, but not the apple-coloured one Vauxhall loaned us. That’s taking the ‘green’ theme too far. Ultra blue is the one we’d pick.
- Engines1.3 CDTi
- 0-60 mph13.6sec
- Insurance groups3
Motors.co.uk value verdict: