Vauxhall Corsa

vauxhall corsa review 2023 01 tracking front
vauxhall corsa review 2023 01 tracking front

At what stage might the enduring popularity of the Vauxhall Corsa become a problem for its maker, do you think? The Corsa, just in receipt of a facelift for the 2024-model-year, remains the biggest-selling traditional supermini in the UK and, at present, Vauxhall is still selling between three and four petrol-engined ones for every Vauxhall Corsa Electric registered.

But, as the ZEV mandate legislation that all big car makers face from January 2024 ramps up over the coming years, and potential penalties mount for selling too many ICE cars, having the country’s biggest-selling supermini might well begin to seem like a less and less brilliant idea.

So, if you were Vauxhall, what would you do? Ramp up equipment levels, and prices to suit, in the hope of making more money from fewer sales, perhaps? Where small combustion-engined cars are concerned, we can imagine that might be a common theme as we approach 2030 – and there are indeed hints of it here. But, for the time being, this car maker seems mostly happy to continue playing the big-volume game, and to keep faith with internal combustion.


The sixth-generation Corsa (although only the fifth to bear the model name in the UK, after the original Nova) was the car that was all but ready for market in 2017, on a General Motors platform, when the then-PSA Group – French manufacturing giant and owner of Peugeot, Citroën and the reborn DS – bought Opel-Vauxhall from GM for £1.2 billion. The decision was made to ditch the Vauxhall Astra-platformed model, which had already been more or less signed off, and instead build a new Corsa on the CMP platform due to underpin the Peugeot 208, Citroën C3 and DS 3.

The finished pre-facelift car then, appearing in 2019, was developed from the ground up in less than two years. Getting it to market in such a compressed timeline was some achievement. But where does it rank in the slowly shrinking class of combustion-engined superminis today?

The Vauxhall Corsa range at a glance

Though it may seem counter-intuitive under the circumstances, Vauxhall’s actually adding what some in the industry call a ‘thermal’ powertrain (a bit like an octaganarian’s underwear) to the Corsa range for 2024: Stellantis’s new 48V, 134bhp, 1.2-litre petrol-electric hybrid engine.

Elsewhere, both normally aspirated and turbocharged 1.2-litre Puretech three-cylinder petrol engines continue, so you can have anything from 74bhp to 128bhp and either manual or automatic gearboxes, with prices starting just under £20,000.

Those options are in addition to the Corsa Electric models. The EV is now available in regular (222 miles WLTP) and Long Range (246 miles) form, and with either 134bhp or 154bhp.

Trim levels have been simplified and now run from base-level Design, through mid-level GS, to top-line Ultimate.