2021 Vauxhall Corsa Review – The UK’s Best-Selling Car Gets Better
It’s no surprise that the Vauxhall Corsa remains a first car favourite. Especially when you look at how far it’s come since the dreaded early-mid 2000 models.
Vauxhall describe the model as a “stylish city car”. However, this short, snappy marketing summary probably doesn’t do it much justice. This latest sixth generation (badged ‘F’) is only available as a five-door model and is a surprisingly practical, mature supermini.
Currently the Corsa is the UK’s best-selling car too, making up the most new car registrations in Q1. But can it compete with the quality offered by small car champions like the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Fiesta?
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2021 Vauxhall Corsa design
The Vauxhall Corsa has received a dramatic facelift when compared to the previous generation. Whereas the older ‘E’ model from 2014 had a pointy nose and raised chassis, the latest Corsa gets more aerodynamic, sporty character that’s highlighted by its wider, lower-set body and ever-so-slightly more sloping roofline.
What’s instantly noticeable about the new Vauxhall Corsa range is how it strikes a balance between being modern, mature and athletic at the same time. All trim levels of the Corsa range get 16″ or 17″ alloy wheels, a tailgate spoiler, body coloured front and rear bumpers, plus smart LED headlights.
If you want a bit more bravado from your small car, we recommend looking at the mid-range SRi specification. This adds more sports styling to the front and rear body which are very pleasing on the eye.
2021 Vauxhall Corsa interior
Inside the Corsa is a very easy experience, for driver and passengers alike. For starters there’s a neat adjustable steering wheel which can be changed for both height and reach. Both seats up top can be adjusted easily for height, too. The only bugbear with them is that, due to their shape, they don’t keep you very secure when tackling corners.
There didn’t used to be any niceties about the layout of the dashboard and trims of the Corsa, but the 2021 range has seen a drastic improvement. It no longer feels like a cluttered boy racer that throws cheap bright plastics in front of you in order to appeal to the fluorescent adolescent. This new Corsa has reached a level of admirable adulthood and cleaned up its act, with a neater and more refined cockpit. The appearances of piano black plastics and faux chrome give the front a more sophisticated, refined air.
Yet at the same time, the Corsa hasn’t lost its ability to do the simple things well. There are buttons which are clearly labelled and sizeable for heating and A/C, so you don’t need to awkwardly glance to and from the road when you need to adjust the temperature of the car.
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2021 Vauxhall Corsa infotainment and tech
All Corsa models get a 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system which has DAB radio and, more importantly, smartphone mirroring. Coupled with the standard six-speaker sound system (which can’t be upgraded but sounds good) you’ll be able to easily access music streaming services such as Spotify to play your favourite driving playlists.
A larger 10.0in display (pictured above) is available on the top-spec Elite Nav Premium and Ultimate Nav trims if you like a larger display. Just be warned that although it’s bigger, the actual graphics don’t fill out the extra width, so you’re left with a lot of blank space on either side. It’s worth noting that you’ll also get Vauxhall’s built-in satnav with the upgraded system, but it’s fiddly in comparison to a smartphone’s maps. Although the fallback option is nice, you’re better off using Google Maps or Apple Maps and syncing your device to the interface.
The latest Corsa recieved a four-star safety rating from Euro NCAP in its latest round of testing. But don’t take this as meaning the Corsa isn’t a safe car, because it comes with a plethora of advanced technology that make you feel secure out on the road. Entry-level SE models get a driver attention monitor which responds to signs of fatigue (no steering input or leaving a lane, for example) with audio and visual warnings. If no response is detected, the vehicle can correct steering to stay on course or automatically stop if need be. A lane assist feature works in the same way by using radars to assess whether the vehicle is in line.
You can get a few more comfort features without having to splash out too much if you look at the SE Premium trim, including:
- Heated front seats and steering wheel
- Automatic lights and wipers
- Rear parking sensors
- Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
2021 Vauxhall Corsa practicality
A contoured driving seat allows for extra leg room for passengers in the back, along with Isofix points for child seats to be fitted safely and securely. Space doesn’t end here for the Corsa’s interior, either.
Old Vauxhall Corsa models had 285 litres of boot space, which has been increased by 24 litres to make a total of 309 litres in the new range. It pips the Ford Fiesta’s 292-litre boot, but isn’t quite a match for the best-in-class Volkswagen Polo’s 351 litres. However, what it does have is a practical square shape that enables a shopping load and a child’s pram to fit in there with ease. The rear seats can also be dropped to increase the space, should you need. This will give you a hefty 1,118 litres to work with.
2021 Vauxhall Corsa on the road
Speaking of the road ahead, it’s a fun and smooth one with considerably good performance. The Corsa’s three-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol engine is the base unit and feels a lot more punchy than its 75bhp suggests. It’s not much of a cruiser, though a 108mph top speed means it can easily do motorway journeys.
You can choose a turbo variation of this engine, which has 100bhp, does 0-60mph almost three seconds quicker and has a top speed of 121mph. This is our pick of the bunch, especially because it returns around 67mpg.
For the best fuel economy you’ll want to look at the 1.5-litre turbo diesel model – the only one of its kind in the range. Despite diesel seemingly being phased out, the combined 71mpg fuel economy is one of the best you’ll find in this class. What’s more is that CO2 emissions are quoted at 105g/km, which should help make your insurance quote cheaper.
Last, but certainly not least, is the brand-new electric Corsa. Known as the ‘Corsa-e’, it provides an alternative fuelling option for those of you who want to go green and plug in without paying an extortionate price. Highlight stats of the EV (electric vehicle) model include:
- Electric range of up to 211 miles on a full charge (WLTP)
- Sport mode which delivers 134bhp from the electric motor
- Can rapid charge at a rate of 100kW as standard (80% in 30 mins)
- 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds
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