Taking The Rough With The Smooth (Vauxhall Corsa 2006-present day)

ENGINES – A supermini like the Corsa only needs a small engine. For urban running there’s little need to stray beyond the Corsa’s three-cylinder offering, although for longer journeys the low capacity four-cylinder motors prove refined and frugal.

EXTERIOR – The car’s curvy profile is certainly easy on the eye. Opting for the three-door variant makes sense if you don’t have a family, and the huge doors make access very easy.

INTERIOR – The Corsa’s cabin is a combination of hard plastics and chunky controls. The latter is a better prospect than the former, although there’s no denying that the little Vauxhall’s interior feels and looks durable. Interior space is decent for a city car, plus the Corsa’s boot is also a good size.

DRIVING – Despite its modest underpinnings the Corsa is a lively and willing performer. The lower capacity engines might not have the power to make things interesting, but the little Vauxhall always feels light and nimble – exactly the attributes you need in a supermini.

OWNERSHIP – Boasting low running costs (fuel, tax, insurance) this car is very low maintenance. It’s also a jolly little thing, thanks in part to its appearance and ease of use. Parking is a doddle, as is its ability to zip in and out of city traffic.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR – Regular short trips to the shops can do more harm than good, so always inspect a car’s oil, brakes, clutch and wheels for signs of abuse and excessive wear and tear. Parking dents come with the territory, but only accept what you can afford to fix. And don’t forget a test drive and a good look through the car’s service history.

MODEL HISTORY

2006: Vauxhall updates its popular Corsa model. An improved exterior plus a general quality in uplift are the main changes. Range consists of small capacity diesel and petrol motors, plus a good selection of standard and optional kit depending on the model chosen.REASONS TO BUY – affordable, easy on the eye, accommodating cabin, frugal engines, plenty of choice

REASONS TO BEWARE – More recent superminis boast more space and refinement, small engines can feel underpowered, choice can sometimes be bewildering

PICK OF THE RANGE – Corsa 1.2 16v Life 3dr

WHAT TO PAY

2006 56 3,485

2007 07 3,840

2007 57 3,970

2008 08 4,415

2008 58 4,645

2009 09 5,130

2009 59 5,335

2010 10 5,860

Figures relate to showroom prices for cars in A1 condition.

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