Vauxhall Corsa Elite

Nav Premium 1.2

Vauxhall Corsa-e, front
Vauxhall Corsa-e, front
Vauxhall Corsa-e, side
Vauxhall Corsa-e, rear
Vauxhall Corsa-e, boot
Vauxhall Corsa-e cockpit

THE latest version of the Vauxhall Corsa has achieved something I have singularly failed at - it has lost weight.

So the supermini benefits from bonuses I can only dream of - namely being quicker off the mark and more fuel efficient than its previous incarnation with top-notch aerodynamics also helping out.

The kilogrammes have been shed all over with bonnet, engines and seats all getting the weight-saving treatment following Vauxhall's takeover by PSA - the French company behind Peugeot and Citroen.

The fifth generation Corsa also shares the same lightweight chassis as the latest Peugeot 208 which all adds up to a much improved driving experience as handling and acceleration are far sharper while pulling into a petrol station is less frequent.

The sports-car vibe continues with the thrum of the smooth 1.2-litre three-pot turbo petrol power unit which uses near-100bhp to good effect propelling the Corsa Elite Nav Premium to 60mph from a standing start in a shade over ten seconds on the way to a claimed top speed of 119mph. The eight-speed automatic transmission on show here gives seamless gear changes.

There is a choice of driving modes with settings of eco, normal and sport doing exactly what they say on the tin when it comes to the Corsa's performance. I kicked off in normal mode and was initially concerned that the ride felt pretty firm, but it settled down as the pace picked up removing the prospect of shattered teeth when sport was selected.

What you do get with sport mode is an artificial engine note piped into the cabin - much like the crowd noise added to the TV coverage of football matches in empty stadiums during the coronavirus crisis. I'm not a big fan of the latter, but the former does add something to the experience.

I did a decent run in normal mode with the digital display informing me a shade over 40mpg was achieved for a mostly motorway run making the official 48mpg combined figure seem perfectly attainable.

Vauxhall's top seller is also available with diesel and electric powertrains so it caters for all tastes.

The exterior of the five-door model - there is no three-door version - is sleek and hunkered down as it is almost two inches lower than the previous incarnation.

The modern interior is neat and stylish with lots of goodies on show - not surprising as the Elite Nav Premium model sits near the top of the range.

For some it will be pleasing to note that the dual zone air conditioning controls are situated separately beneath the 10-inch touchscreen which is home to the sat nav.

The younger generation, who will no doubt be attracted to the trendy ambience of the Corsa, demand that their smartphones are able to hook up to a car's infotainment offering - and Vauxhall ensure this is the case with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard across the range.

Mission control is the leather-covered, multi-function steering wheel where the driver can change things like the radio station and volume without fuss.

Handily for what was a cold week weather-wise, the front seats were heated as well as being comfortable - offering plenty of adjustment allowing the driver to get a nice position behind a wheel that was similarly helpful.

There are decent number of cubby holes and cup holders for a supermini with an armrest between driver and front-seat passenger concealing a small storage box.

There is plenty of headroom but legroom in the back is a tad tight. However, space for your luggage or shopping has been increased to 309 litres, topping out at 1,118.

FAST FACTS

Vauxhall Corsa Elite Nav Premium 1.2

Price:£22,785

Mechanical:100ps, 1199cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:119mph

0-62mph:10.2 seconds

Combined MPG:48.7

Insurance Group:17

C02 emissions:134g/km

Bik rating: 30%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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