Advantages low running costs
I have lived with my 54 plate Corsa for the last year so I thought it was about time I wrote something about it. I call it the baby because I also have a Rover Coupe VVC but needed something small and efficient for my daily commute, enter the Corsa 1.2 Sxi.I bought it last Sept for £6499 from a local independent dealer, although its on a 54 it was first registered Feb 2005 so is as good as an 05. From new that was a significant saving, plus its cheap on tax (£100 per year) and insurance (£160 per year fully comp for a 39yr old with full no claims).
Having never driven a Vauxhall before I took to the controls fairly easily, all the usual stalk controls are where you would expext them to be. Although the intermittent wipe is still a mystery so I will have to look it up in the owners manual, it seems to vary in speed but I don't know why without further investigation (some indication on the stalk would be helpful). My only major complaint is the positioning of the fog light switches which when you are driving are hidden from view behind the steering wheel so you have to take your eyes off the road to see which fogs you are turning on.On the SXi model drivers & passengers airbags come as standard and with the reputation of Vauxhall i'd expect this to be pretty much the norm across the range. The centre console has a sporty style about it with brushed aluminium look & CD player as std.
When in the driving seat , rear & side view is very good, the interior mirror is large and not only covers outside but you can see the rear seats too if you have kids in there. The passengers side door mirror is very adequate and adjusts to suit you preference as you expect. The drivers side mirror is a split affair, the main area for looking back with a small section that is offset to cover the traditional blind spot (having been a motorcyclist for many years I treat this as a look over the shoulder or 'life saver' area but any improvements in car design has my vote).For a small hatchback I was suprised at the positiveness of the handling, it gives you a feel for the road whatever the surface and throws into corners with little effort, and considering the SXi is just a cosmetic sporty makeover then the basic model will also have exactly the same characteristics. Brakes are very good and have a very strong feel to them.
For a small car the rear space is quite cosiderable, with the rear seats folded down on my 3 door I have 1.2 metres of floorspace between the rears of the front seats to the hatch, obviously as you go higher this space gets slightly smaller. As a guide I carried a full interior for a Rover coupe in there with ease that a friend with a Ford Escort (98 model) had trouble transporting.The bodywork of the car looks to be well designed and well built, its a combination of metal panels & plastics, I have one in black so the black plastics fit in well with the overall look of the car. My only criticism of the plastics would be when I went to look for the car I took my daughter of 15yrs with me and we looked at various colour Corsa SXi's all of the same age and her opinion was all the ones other than black looked 'old' thanks to the plastics.
I did look at a few that had somewhat lurid (best I can put it) colour options, the most noteable being a lime green exterior with a sandy colour interior, i'm sorry but some people may like extreme colours but that one made me laugh out loud, if these are your colours I apologise but they aren't mine.Engine wise its pretty much what I would exprect from a 1.2, while driving I get the feeling that most of the torque or pulling power can be got from 2000rpm to 4000rpm. Below & above these figures the engine seems to be doing work for
The clutch is very light which will suit female drivers, i'm not being sexist in any way with that statement but I have driven so called girly cars that have a very heavy clutch that have left me tired after a long run. The throttle is an electronic affair so there isn't a throttle cable as such. It took me a little while to get used to this as there seems to be a slight (half a second) delay between putting your foot down and the car reacting. As I say once I got used to it I knew what to expect.It will need servicing every 20K miles and servicing costs start from as little as £99 by a Vauxhall dealer. Personally I choose to do servicing myself as I see little point in paying a dealer when I can do the jobs myself. If you want to keep up the warranty for the second & third year plus dealer service history then the dealer service is the best option.
The engine always sounds sweet and has no untoward noises, air con and eps add load to it and its noticable when they are being used.I have to say during the summer gone the air conditioning in this car proved priceless, because I use 2 cars I had the Rover coupe where on hot days I took the roof out & still felt like I was melting, then jumped in the Corsa and was treated to comfort no matter how hot it got. My only complaint was having to get out into 30+ temperatures at the other end of my journey, but you can't blame Vauxhall for that :-))
During the winter months the heating system clears the screens of frost and condensation very quickly, if the frost has gone & you are still suffering from condensation then try switching the air con on for a minute or two, this really does make a big difference even when the heat setting is still set to hot.Overall the Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 SXi is a very well put together package, its nothing spectacular or groundbreaking but is a good solid hack that will take you where you want to go, and in the 12 months i've owned mine it has been 100% reliable. With the launch of the new model Corsa there will be some very good deals to be had on this model I would have thought.
Currently all 1.2 and possibly 1.0 & 1.4 Corsa's built from 2003 onward are under a recall for an electrical issue related to the ABS. Apparently there may be a fault in the wiring loom connected to the ABS and Vauxhall are recalling all the affected vehicles for a check and if needed a replacement of part of the wiring loom. It isn't all of them and it isn't critical but if you have a Corsa C of this age then contact them just in case.If you are in any doubt then you can either contact Vauxhall quoting your vehicle registration number or vin on 0118 9458500 between 0900 to 1730 Mon to Fri & 0900 to 1200 Sat or e mail them at Vauxhall@vehiclerecalls.co.uk
I didn't recieve any info on this until I saw it on a Corsa forum but I did buy the car from an independent dealer, once I got in touch with Vauxhall via e mail they responded within 24 hours and have since sent me relevant info through the post so I can get the car remedied (mine is affected and will be repaired free of charge). I will report back on this once it has been rectified.My apologies to Ciao for including telephone numbers and e mail addresses but I think these need to be put up so potential & current owners of these vehicles can see there is a recall issue and the more places its put the more owners will resolve this possible minor problem.
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