Advantages Looks; Performance; Fuel economy; Space; Comfort
Disadvantages Premium price; Fleet image; Brand cache
The Vauxhall Corsa 1.3CDTi ecoFLEX is one of the best-selling vehicles in the ecoFLEX armoury and indeed of any small economical diesel car. I didn't have to spend much time with it to work out why.At launch, I immediately thought Vauxhall had scored big time on the Corsa's looks, with a modern edgy style that at the same time wouldn't put off more conservative buyers.
When you sit at the wheel, the controls and dash are a step-up from the previous model and feels like a more premium product. There are some nice touches to the design and you can see Vauxhall really put a lot of effort into getting this right so that it could at least compete on some level with more stylish competitors such as the MINI.The five-door model is incredibly practical, with decent boot space and space for taller passengers in the back without any hassle.
Performance-wise, the car chomped up motorway miles happily and was never short on pace when required. Handling was nothing spectacular, but at the same time, this doesn't purport to be a hot-hatch, so there's no problem with that.As for fuel economy, this is where I was really impressed and where the five-star rating is thoroughly deserved. Considering most of my time with this vehicle was spent doing high-speed motorway driving, I averaged over 65mpg (the manufacturer's claim for extra urban driving is 71mpg), with 60mpg showing up as I zipped up and down the M1. There is no wonder that this vehicle is so popular with fleet and company car drivers - its economy is just amazing.
However, that is probably where the disadvantages can be cited. The car does have a bit of a fleet image, so if you're driving one and aren't a company car driver, everyone will probably think that you are. Added to that, you might save a lot of money on fuel, but the price demands deeper pockets and represents a premium over the standard Corsa range - especially given that the Vauxhall brand still lags behind others like VW in the corporate cache stakes.All in all though, an excellent car that does manage to achieve what it claims.
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