Vauxhall Corsa 1.3 CTDi Review

This hyper efficient super mini certainly looks good on paper, but how does it perform on the road? We took the brand new Vauxhall Corsa 1.3 CTDi out for a spin to test its credentials. Before we stepped inside, we knew it had tough competition. The Ford Fiesta is in the best shape of its life and the VW Polo has had a good year too. Could this new Corsa close the gap, or overtake its impressive rivals?

On first impressions, it didn’t quite hold up to the Fiesta, which remains the best in class. However, we were very impressed by the little Corsa. The fuel economy is phenomenal and they’ve fixed a lot of quirks and problems in the engine. It’s clean, affordable and we found it quite fun to drive. Let’s have a look in a bit more detail.


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As we mentioned, the Fiesta is by far the best in class here. It is the benchmark that the Corsa will always be measured against. The Ford Fiesta is the best selling car in the UK ever, so it’s a tough challenge! The VW Polo is perhaps its closest other rival and the Golf GTi is the next step up. After driving all three, the Corsa has certainly closed the gap in this range.

Fuel Economy

This is where the little diesel Corsa really comes into its own. It boasts a grand claim of 85.6 miles to the gallon which is truly phenomenal. As expected, we couldn’t quite get close to this on the road. However, it still outperformed most in its class. The diesel version performs best out on the motorway and is ideal for long trips. For city driving, it’s a different story. Our friends at recommend sticking with the 1.0 litre petrol in this case. We couldn’t agree more with this and you’ll find yourself saving more money this way.


Vauxhall have fixed a number of problems with the notoriously noisy engine. The Corsa was a loud car to drive, especially in the diesel version. The new 2015 model features extra dampening and has come out on top. The ride is much more comfortable and quiet even at motorway speeds. The 1.3 litre diesel will produce 94 brake horsepower and will do 0-60 in just under 12 seconds. Not bad for its size and class.


The Corsa is surprisingly fun to drive. The steering is responsive and intuitive. It grips the road nicely, especially in the corners. We certainly won’t be throwing it around a track anytime soon. But, for simple city driving it is a joy to drive. Out on the motorways we could have done with an extra gearbox ratio, if we’re being picky! The simple fact is that you won’t be disappointed behind the wheel of the Corsa.

All of this comes in at a very reasonable £16,000 which we must agree is a great price. You’ll knock a good £1,000 off if you opt for the petrol version which we think is a good idea. It doesn’t quite match the quality of the Fiesta, but it holds its own. With incredible fuel economy, great handling and a dose of fun, we heartily recommend it!

About Sean Mackay

Sean writes about cars, golf and events going on in British Columbia, Canada. He is also the editor for The Automotive Review - an automotive publication bringing a West Coast flavour to its editorials.
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