BUT OF CORSA (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
With a little Gallic assistance, Vauxhall has rejuvanted its Corsa supermini to make sure it stays relevant to buyers in this crowded market. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 49
Time, perhaps, to change the way you feel about Vauxhall's Corsa. This fifth generation version aims to surprise in all the ways its predecessor was unremarkable. As a result, on paper at least, it's the most competitive supermini the brand has ever brought us. There's even an all-electric model.
Backgroundword count: 161
Vauxhall's Corsa has always been a well-priced, practical supermini but it's usually been let down by distinctively average engines, a bit of a weight problem, less than cutting-edge technology and the lack of the kind of spark that would endear you to the thing. All stuff that Vauxhall reckons has been sorted in this fifth generation version. We'll see. The key boxes certainly seem to have been ticked here. Vauxhall is merely an Anglo/Teutonic outpost of the French PSA Peugeot/Citroen conglomerate these days, so it's not surprising to find this MK5 model Corsa pretty much completely based on the second generation Peugeot 208 announced at about the same time. Which means that this car will get that one's battery full-electric tech too - enter the Corsa-e. Most Corsa buyers though, will continue to want a fossil-fuelled lump beneath the bonnet. Vauxhall's also promising a big step up in provision when it comes to driver assistance systems, infotainment and connectivity. Sounds promising.
Driving Experienceword count: 224
Engine-wise, there are two petrol units and a single diesel to choose from. Ideally, you'd want to avoid the base 75PS 1.2-litre petrol unit, which can only be had with 5-speed manual transmission. And go instead for the more modern three cylinder, direct injection turbocharged 100PS 1.2-litre petrol powerplant your dealer will prefer to point you towards. Here, there's a gutsier 205Nm of torque, which will mean easier mid-range overtaking and less of a need to 'row' the car along with the 6-speed gear lever in town. Alternatively with this 100PS drivetrain, there's the option of an auto transmission - and a very sophisticated one with 8-speeds which includes steering wheel paddleshifters. The minority-interest Corsa engine option is a 1.5-litre 100PS diesel which will be a rare sight, but might make sense if you habitually undertake longer distances in your supermini, thanks to a plump 250Nm torque output. All the engines on offer are helped in their task by a significant weight reduction this time round - Vauxhall says it can be as much as 10%, which is quite a lot in supermini terms. Base-spec variants can now weigh as little as 980kgs. As for the all-electric Corsa-e version, well just one variant of that will be available featuring a 50kWh battery mated to a 100kW electric motor, this confection developing a healthy 134hp.
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