Vauxhall Corsa

Ultimate Nav 1.2

Turbo

Vauxhall Corsa, front
Vauxhall Corsa, rear
Vauxhall Corsa, front
Vauxhall Corsa, front
Vauxhall Corsa, side
Vauxhall Corsa, rear
Vauxhall Corsa, interior
Vauxhall Corsa, boot

THE Corsa has been Vauxhall's best-selling car for many years, with over 2.1 million sold in the UK since it launched in 1993, when it was an instant hit.

Drivers of all ages were drawn in by its compact design but most of all, its great value. So, of all the cars I may have dreamed of driving 27 years ago, a Corsa costing just shy of £26,000 with an eight-speed - yes, eight! - automatic gearbox was not one of them.

It even has F1-style paddleshifts.

The latest Corsa is, of course, one of the first new products to arrive following the PSA Group's takeover of the popular British brand. So, under its stylish new bodywork is a platform that's shared with the Peugeot 208, along with an award-winning three-cylinder petrol engine that's also shared with the Gallic cousin.

Available only as a five-door, it's slightly wider and a little lower and longer than its predecessor, which gives it a sporty and purposeful stance.

There's a library of trim levels but the Ultimate Nav is - currently - at the pinnacle. Buyers looking for something a little cheaper will be pleased to know the range starts at around £16,000.

There are two petrol, one diesel engines to choose from, plus an all-electric version. The excellent 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine is available in two power outputs, 74bhp and the 99bhp version here, which provides a balance of surprisingly punchy performance and excellent fuel economy.

It officially produces 48.7mpg though I achieved just 40.8mpg. I may have been enjoying the drive a little too much. There's a gutsy 205Nm of torque available from low revs, which makes overtaking relatively easy and around corners it's steady and agile with plenty of grip and very little body roll - though the Ford Fiesta still takes pole position.

Cruising on the motorway, it's very stable and impressively refined and quiet. Yet another box ticked.

Higher spec models such as this one also come with eco, normal and sport modes and there's certainly a noticeable difference. Choose sport and you can feel the extra weight to the steering and hear the raspy but artificially-enhanced engine note.

Inside, the dashboard is neatly laid out and the new touchscreen display looks great even if it is a little fiddly to use at times. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and there's a smartphone cubby at the base of the dash which allows you to connect a smartphone via a USB port.

The French connection has also led to an obvious upgrade in interior quality with plenty of soft-touch plastics and a more refined finish.

The Corsa is comfy but, as a small car, it's also cosy. Adult rear seats passengers may find themselves cramped by its low roofline and lack of knee room. But that affects plenty of its competitors too.

There's several storage cubbyholes in the cabin and at 309-litres, the boot is 24 litres bigger than the old car. The rear seat backs fold in a 60:40 split.

Like many modern cars, the new Corsa also comes equipped with numerous advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as Lane Keep Assist - appearing for the first time in the Corsa - Blind Spot Alert, andAdaptive Speed Control, a first in such a small car.

The Corsa also offersForward Collision Alert with Automatic Emergency Braking, andPedestrian and Cyclist Detection, a driver drowsiness alert systemand traffic sign recognition.

Flank Guardis another premiere in the Corsa. Fitted with 12 sensors, the system warns the driver if the side of the car is about to collide with an object while manoeuvring at speeds less than 6mph. In this model, there's also a Panoramic Rear View Camera enabling drivers to see traffic approaching from the left or right behind the car.

FAST FACTS

Vauxhall Corsa Ultimate Nav 1.2 Turbo

Price:£25,990

Mechanical: 99bhp, 1,199cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 119mph

0-62mph: 10.2seconds

Combined MPG: 48.7

Insurance Group:17

C02 emissions: 99g/km

Bik rating:23%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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