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Earlier this year we headed down to Luton, Griffin House, Vauxhall Headquarters where we'd arranged to review the Corsa 1.0T and honestly you would be hard pushed to know it was 999cc - it's strange, it really didn't strike you as a small engined car - it had progressive acceleration even over 60mph (where the older Corsa models lacked) and the feel and pull made you think it was a bigger engined car.
We won't go into too much detail here, read on and dive into a review that tells you exactly what the car is about, how it handles, how it drives and how it makes you feel, lets be clear the first impression is good, really good, actually a far better word is great.

The Exterior

The Corsa 2017 really stands out, it has a striking look with its blend of Red and Black and you can tell it's a relation of the VXR. The 1.0L turbo sat relatively low establishing a sporty look which didn't affect its practicality, the 17 inch wheels were wrapped in low profile rubber, and it sported a subtle bodykit which is not too overpowering and is just enough to enhance the look of the body shape.

The Interior

The Interior of the Corsa is like climbing into a classic hot hatch of yesteryear with modern touches. The first thing you notice is the look and feel of the whole ensemble, climbing inside you are transported into a premium sporty experience very different to the early Corsa models - you are greeted with sporty heated low-slung seats in black and red, and things just keep geting better.
The Corsa is relatively spacious with plenty of legroom in the front and back even when the seats are slid back. One curious item is the rear of the boot is uncovered exposing  bare metal, which is strange as the rest of the car is well versed. The overall feel of the car is a very premium experience; a leather steering wheel which is heated, a leather gear knob, and a gator neatly finished off with black glossy plastic to house the controls and the instrument cluster.
This car made you feel great and if truth be told it didn't feel like a 1 litre it felt more like the Vauxhall Nova GTE and the Corsa SRI. Maybe that's what Vauxhall were aiming for, to recreate the same feel, look and exhilaration of the 80's and 90's hot hatches - well played and that was before you even started the engine.

Driving Experience

It is typically old school, this car takes you back to the raw feel of a 90's hot hatch, but with 1.0L Turbo engine which was unheard of in Vauxhalls range. This 2017 Corsa shows no compromise, you get economy and performance, and plenty of both. The great thing about this cars engine is the acceleration from a mere 999cc, it's easily capable to keep up with 2.0L diesels and holding its own at 70mph and able to go well beyond that. This punchy hatchback exhibited a complete absence of lag whilst the turbo spooled, making acceleration effortless even when driven hard.

During city driving the 1 litre Turbo Corsa is able to launch quickly and nip in and out of traffic with ease, the ride is firm, however not uncomfortable and able to handle British roads providing a more sportier ride than its main rival the Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost. This firmer suspension setup provides great benefits in the corners, and is able to stay firmly planted on the back roads even when taking the car to its limits. When it came to tackling parking and performing manoeuvrers the city steering mode really did lend a hand, effortlessly being able  to engage full lock. Something which we did notice when reversing was the rear pillar did create a blind spot, far more noticeably than the five door model, however this can be forgiven as the optional blind spot detection system in the door mirrors makes light work of this, however this is a pricey optional extra. 



Space in the front is more than ample with plenty of leg room, and head room for individuals over 6ft is no problem, however rear leg room is slightly compromised when carrying taller front seat passengers, however this is to be expected with this class of car. This is less apparent on the 5 door model. Boot space is ample for a small hatch, on a par with the Renault Clio and Ford Fiesta, it was suprising to see the lack of a false floor and as we mentioned previously, no fabric covering the rear seat back. The glove box is rather compact and unable to store much more than its own user manual, however the central storage area and door pockets make up for this. 


Vauxhalls premium hatch comes with an array of technology - a world away from the 1993 Vauxhall Corsa when the model was first launched, replacing the Vauxhall Nova. The Corsa now has an arsenal of equipment including; cruise control, touch screen infotainment system, onstart calling, blind spot detection and parking sensors front and back. This gives the car a premium feel and an overwhelming sense of useaiblity, almost everything is a touch of a button away - Feeling cold? turn on the heated seats or the steering wheel. These options provide a notion of quality found on more expensive rivals such as the Audi A1 or Mini Cooper. The only downfall with all these toys is the price, the car we tested totalled at a touch under £20,000, not bad when considering the array of optional extras you get. 

Careful consideration needs to be taken when choosing your options on this car. Our recommendations would be the cruise control, heated seats and steering wheel and the infotainment system with Wi-Fi. The On-Start calling is something we did not get to use and is a rather expensive option, however well worth the money if you are inclined. The parking sensors, although useful at times were more of a hinderance than a help, when tackling the narrow B roads, or trying to carry out manoeuvres we found the sensors beeping at grass verges or even high kerbs.



Specfications & Cost

New Price: £17,520
Fuel Consumption: 57 MPG
Insurance Group:  13
Annual Road Tax: £30 - £140

Brake Horse Power: 113bhp
Top Speed: 121mph
0-60 mph: 10 Seconds
Torque: 170Nm, 125ft-Ib
Miles Per Tank: 564 miles

Engine Size: 999cc
Cylinders: 3
Fuel Type: Petrol
Transmission: Manual
Gears: 6 Speed
Drivetrain: FWD Front Wheel Drive


The Verdict 

The Corsa surprised us, a great sporty hatch with uncompromised economy making a great rival to the Ford Fiesta 1.0 liter EcoBoost. The Corsa is packed with great tech and fulfills most practicality needs. This car appeals to someone looking for a hot hatch or a stylish everyday run about. We feel that the Corsa is rather an expensive car for its class, however it is a premium product and is available with a range of attractive finance options, along with its low running costs, it does make the car a serious contender in the premium hatchback market.

Style and looks 9/10

Drivability 8/10

Economy 7/10

Practicality 8/10

Cost (Outright) 6/10

Finance Options 8/10


7.5 / 10 Overall Score


This was our experience for a one day test, fuel economy and long term usage can not be fully documented. Watch out for our video review coming soon!
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Northern Group of Motoring Writers NGMW

Northern Group Of Motoring Writers

Annabelle Quirk Vice Chairwoman
Ben D T Quirk Member