Other people review films and techy stuff on their blogs so I thought I would do some car reviews…

Initial Thoughts

The news Corsa is a really smart ‘small’ car that is very well built, and good to drive. Top marks for Vauxhall.

New Vauxhall CorsaSpecification

Make: Vauxhall
Model: Corsa (2006)
Engine: 1.2 Petrol
Spec Level: SXi?
Body Style: 5-Door Hatch
Reg: KJ56NMZ

From The Driving Seat

The driving seat of this new Corsa is a good place to be. As soon as you step into the car you realise how much bigger this car is than its predecessors. The extra space is greatly appreciated and on the road it feels like a much bigger car than perhaps it is. This is great on fast roads but a bit worrying driving though town, however as with any car you soon get to know where the corners are. Visibility out of the front is superb, and only marred by the A-Pillars, which as with many cars these days are necessarily on the large side.

The engine pulls well for a small engine when the Corsa is empty, however with 4 adults and some luggage it starts to struggle a tad but is by no means unacceptable for a ‘small’ car. At motorway speeds it is quiet and a pleasure to drive. the only gripe is with the steering which is excessively light at motorway speeds, some previous generation Corsa have speed sensitive steering which is super light at low speeds and firms up as the speed increase. This did not appear to be fitted to this model, and hence the steering was great for parking but at faster speeds it can get a little hairy if you are not used to it. (This is an option I would have expected on this model).

Vauxhall CorsaHandling on this model of Corsa was fun but not as surefooted as some small cars I have driven with more body roll than I am used to. At times I felt uneasy cornering, especially on dual carriageways with ‘sharp’ corners, however when testing it limits the Corsa’s wheels seemed to stay stuck to the black stuff but body roll made me more nervous, perhaps a downside of the larger body. Braking however is phenomenal. The Corsa’s brakes bring it to a standstill with an almost painful force that I could not believe for a car like this.

The seating position of the new corsa is very flexible and is reasonably easy to find a comfortable position with ‘sports’ seats providing a comfortable, supportive if slightly firm seating position. All of the controls were within easy reach, and the steering wheel audio controls a welcome addition as always. The only criticism would have to be with the lighting controls, the headlight dial is in the usual Vauxhall location (on dash by drivers right knee) and caused no problems, however it is surround by buttons for fog lights, headlight height adjustment, dash light brightness etc. These controls were all out of sight in my driving position (obscured by the wheel) and I often struggled to find the fog lamp button, frequently pressing the wrong button. Other things of note are the annoying but eventually fathomable electronic storks. These are often slated by the motoring press and rightly so. After using the car for a bit I managed to adjust to them but they do have to be used to understand how strange they are if you are not used to them.

My final observation from the driving seat of the new Vauxhall Corsa was the vanity mirror! I was surprised to notice that the drivers sun vizor had a mirror but the passengers vizor did not. I strange thing to note but it got me wondering why. Do Vauxhall expect Corsa drivers to be more likely to look in the mirrors or are they not likely to carry passengers, or have they not bothered changing this from the Opel version to save costs?

Passenger Seat

Having only traveled as a passenger for a relatively period of time I can’t really comment, however it was a pleasant experience. Back seat passengers seem to have plenty of space, however some were not as happy as they could have been – perhaps more to do with my driving than the car? Also of note is how well everything is put together and the qulity of materials. Its no luxury car, but still the fit was very impressive.

Outside

The first thing you notice from the outside is the car’s size. it looks so much bigger than previous generation Corsas but siting on 16” alloys with a metallic paint and front fogs it looks the business. The proportions however do look a bit unusual, but it grew on us over the 2 weeks we had the car.

Toys and Extras

As you would expect with a brand new car this Vauxhall Corsa has its fair share of toys to amuse the child within! A few of note are the…

Dual hight boot – We particulay liked the ‘smuglers’ boot, where an extra shelf in the boot allowed for a level loading position with two levels of storage. Very useful for hiding things or keeping all the junk that ends up living in the boot.

Door pockets – Unlike the much larger Vauxhal Zafira the Corsa has plenty of storage pockets and cubby holes. A small pocket under the door handles was ideal for mobile phones.

Flick Key. As with other new Vauxhalls I have driven the flick key is alway fun!

Price

For some reason our car did not have any spec level badges on the side, however we estimated the MRP was around £12,000 which, is no doubt comparable to its competitors, is in my opinion a lot of money for a car of this size.

Final Comments

In my opinion the new Vauxhall Corsa make a perfect small family car which I would be more than happy to own (if I could afford it). I have not driven the new ford Fiesta yet, but it will have a hard job beating the Corsa.

Test Details

Length of ‘test’: 2 Weeks
Miles covered: ???
Reason: Hire car

Links

Vauxhall Corsa – http://www.vauxhall.co.uk
Enterprise Car Retal – http://www.enterprise.co.uk

If you every agree, disagree, have driven this car or have anything else of relevance to say please leave a comment!

Advertisements