The Corsa generation

IT maybe from another era but the truth is the Vauxhall Corsa is even more relevant today than when it first appeared 25 years ago.

Born in the Britpop, Walkman and shell-suits age to the sounds of The Spice Girls it has outlived them and is still Vauxhall's best-seller.

What's more it consistently lurks in the top ten best sellers list and blocks out more modern super-mini rivals.

A lot of that success must be down to price, although it's not cheap but it's cheerful and actually when taking into account the rate of inflation the Corsa today is less expensive than when introduced.

Maturity means the Vauxhall Corsa is more powerful, economical and "greener" than ever and delivers these virtues with a sophistication and refinement unheard of in 1993.

I had a brief opportunity to reacquaint myself with Vauxhall's super-baby in its SRi Nav trim with 100ps 1.4 litre turbo-petrol engine and six-speed manual gearbox.

It has the DNA of the noughties boy racers but it's playing a modern generation game with its appeal and abilities.

The smooth running, pokey powerplant and sporty six-speed gearbox are a delight once you come to terms with the surprisingly longer travel clutch, and it steers and stops with confidence and precision.

You just have to read the road ahead and carefully anticipate overtaking opportunities and the Corsa 1.4T rewards with swift and safe responses.

The ride is biased towards firmness but it's not hard and felt supple over some bad roads without being too soft on undulating sections or rolling around bends.

It pulls well, particularly through the gears in mid-range, and it provided a composed character on main roads, returning over 47mpg without a problem.

There's no shortage of creature comforts which include air conditioning, cruise control and Apple-play, automatic lights and wipers. Seats are sporty and supporting infront with reasonable room but those in the back might find legroom was short once they wriggled into them.

The boot holds 280 litres with the backseat in use and almost 1,100 litres maximum. It's not the roomiest of modern superminis but will take a few cases and it's easy to use.

This version costs from £14,345 and the range itself starts at £11,045 - very competitive.

There is something Tardis-like about the Corsa, not because is bigger inside than out but it is a true time machine, and who's not going to enjoy it?

Vauxhall has sold two-million Corsas in the UK

Around 20,000 have been sold to police forces

There have been convertibles and pick-ups

Originally it cost £7,195 - today's price means it's actually less after inflation

Some Corsa models have a hidden shark on the hinge of the glove compartment

British artist Alex Chinneck designed a gravity-defying illusionary piece of artwork which saw the artist suspend a Corsa fifteen feet in the air at London's Southbank Centre

Karl Lagerfield photographed the Corsa with his cat, Choupette for a calendar shoot

The Corsa replaced the much-loved Vauxhall Nova in 1993

The original Corsa was introduced in an advert with supermodels Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista

An electric Corsa will arrive in 2019


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