Tip top Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa SRi Nav, 2019, front
Vauxhall Corsa SRi Nav, 2019, side
Vauxhall Corsa SRi Nav, 2019, rear
Vauxhall Corsa SRi Nav, 2019, interior
Vauxhall Corsa SRi Nav, 2019, front, upright

THEVauxhall Corsa is right back up there with the best superminis from the likes of Ford and VW.

The latest model is a great looking gem to drive and very easy to live with. It's beautifully balanced, very safe, comfortable, economical and has very low emissions.

What's not to like?

I must have covered 250 miles of varying roads and conditions over a few days during the madness that was Storm Dennis and was delighted with everything about this fantastic machine.

Vauxhall is now owned by PSA - that's Peugeot/Citroen to those not in the know - and so the Corsa is now based around the latest - and very good - Peugeot 208.

But it comes with particular Vauxhall touches that set it apart and looks different enough from the outside to stand alone.

I drove the only petrol offering - a very good three cylinder 1.2 turbo with about 100bhp that is delightfully willing in the lower gears, beautifully tuneful as the revs rise, and refined at the cruise.

There's also a 1.5-litre turbo diesel and of course, the model that's grabbing all the headlines - the electric Corsa-e.

But the petrol will make a lot of friends of that there is no doubt.

It's very smooth and quiet at lower revs, with subdued wind noise, and the engine is always ready to give good acceleration in the mid-range.

Like other three cylinder units, it does thrum a little if asked to accelerate from lowish speeds in fifthand sixthgears, but with a light clutch and lovely slick gearchange, changing down is the matter of a split second.

Sixthis really a cruising gear for the motorway to save fuel, and it works. During the time I had the SRi it sipped the amber nectar very parsimoniously, giving an average of 46.5 miles per gallon.

Acceleration in third and fourth is excellent, with immediate response from the right foot and a very willing nature.

It also has a great feel on the road with fantastic balance through the corners and very good grip.

In fact, the whole feel of the car is very sophisticated and sharp. It is now right up there with the best in the class.

The ride is comfortable most of the time, taking potholed and multi-repaired roads in town with ease. But it is slightly unsettled at speed on a rough surface.

Most of today's cars come with wide wheels and tyres but when there's a lot of water on the surface they will aquaplane if the speed is too high.

This is caused when there is so much water that the tyre is lifted off the road surface momentarily, and the only way to avoid it is to keep your speed down.

If it does happen, the steering is dragged usually to one side or the other on hitting the water, and then it goes very light.

Lift off the accelerator but don't brake unless you have to until you get full feeling back in the steering, which means the tyre is back in touch with the road surface.

Most aquaplaning is only momentary, but it is very scary if you've never experienced it before.

Equipment in the SRi that I drove includes leather covered multi-function steering wheel, climate, sat nav, sports seats, stability control, automatic start stop, parking sensors and a camera, and electric rear child locks.

Interior space is very good for four adults, and the boot is also a decent size.


Price: £19,070

Mechanical: 100bhp, 1,199cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 121mph

0-62mph: 9.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 47.9

Insurance Group: 17

C02 emissions: 96g/km

Bik rating: 23%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles


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