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This car claims to be a lot of things. It claims that it is a supermini, that it can do 43 miles to the gallon and that it is rather sporty. But this car is sporty like Victoria Beckham is a natural blonde. It's not. And that's just the tip of it's false-claiming iceburg.
A Supermini is a car that has grunt. It gives you a great driving experience whilst being more compact than your usual high performance car. It is a pocket-sized driver's car if you will, something that you would own if you want the power with good manoeuvrability and and want it to park well at your local cramped Tesco's car park. A VW Golf GTi Mark V is a Supermini, the Honda Civic Type-R is a Supermini-ish, but this Corsa SXi? It's more like a Spoiledmini. Spoiled in the sense that it spoils the fun in driving. It looks alright, but it's a Corsa, and so it looks sort of generic.
Don't get me wrong. In everyday use this car would suffice. It is a 16 valve fuel injection 3 door hatchback, meaning the boot space isn't too bad and that driving along normally into town wouldn't feel like you're lugging a tractor around. But then again, if this car was only meant for doing the shopping and taking the kids to school, what is the point of having a spoiler at the back, or have the 5 spoke - rather ugly looking - alloy wheels? Does the car go soo fast that it needs the spoiler to reduce air drag or prevent lift? With a 101mph top speed, hardly. Does it need the alloy wheels to help keep wheel shape and improve traction? With
its power, not at all. Speaking of traction, the suspension used is a very ordinary coil suspension system found in most cars, it’s not the sports suspension you would expect in a 'sports' car. And the body of the car isn't even lowered, not even a tiny bit, so that it can go 'quickly' over humps. Of course, humps are there to stop you going quickly. This means cornering at speed is a bad bad idea. This car also understeers like crazy, so you’ll be doing a lot of wheel locks around tight bends and and doing 3 point turns only to find out that you’ll need to reverse a lot more often than you should, just to get around.
Therefore the 'sport' part of the SXi tag isn't really justified. They just took a standard Corsa Club, slapped some extra intake valves to the four cylinders of a very ordinary 4 cylinder engine, added some alloys and a spoiler then thought 'yes, this looks like a sports car.' I've alreadys wondered what the X in SXi was for, now I know that it's there for the owner to add their own word to it.
I keep talking about it's power being insufficient, and I will explain why here. This car with its 1.2 litre engine at most can output 64 brake horsepower, or 81 torque. The Golf GTi Edition 30 with it's 2 litre engine has 226 brake horsepower or 221 torque, and a top speed of 152mph. That is phenomenally more than the Corsa SXi and this is why the Golf is a Supermini. It sounds like one as well and makes the Corsa sound like a middle aged man gargling in the morning.
I will talk to you now about what it comes with. The SXi comes with the alloys and spoiler as standard, as well as some nice little additions such as Air Conditioning, anti-lock brakes and power assisted steering. The radio will be the classic Vauxhall bland cassette tape player unless the previous owner opted for the CD player or fitted a new one himself. Metallic paint also comes as standard but the silver colour cars will cost more. But let's be honest, silver is the colour of choice for most cars. The interior feels very cheap with everything from the speed dials to the knobs controlling the vent fans all having the same boring grey plastic. It's like you're sitting in front of a child's kitchen playset and you're going steer the microwave. There is plenty of leg room for the driver and the front passenger, but any rear passengers will have little to no leg room at all if they are too tall, and that is if they could get to the back of the car since the seats don't slide when they recline forward for passengers to climb in. My 6'7" mate complained the entire way from London to Brighton that he felt like a circus freak at the back of the Corsa SXi when we took it out for a test drive. Funnily enough, the car doesn't feel like it was giving out 43 miles to the gallon, and more like 25 miles to the gallon. It's not very fuel efficient, and if you want to test it just fill the tank up to maximum and then after the week is up you'll realise that hen eedle is moving a lot quicker than you would expect. And this would be with driving economically.
Some good things about the car include the very light clutch, it's soft and light so it makes shifting gear actually rather pleasant. There is no alarm as standard but the engine comes with a manufacturer fitted immobiliser as standard which is rather nice if the previous owner has not tampered with it. It's not uncomfortable, but it's not exactly comfortable either, so I cannot comment on that. It is also in a cheaper insurance band than the Golf GTi I compared it to earlier, meaning that not only is the insurance cheaper but the road tax would be to. Ok, it wasn't exactly a fair comparison to compare this car to a Golf GTi, but I just wanted to emphasise the fact that you shouldn't see this as a Supermini. This is a 3 door hatchback with extra bits of plastic on it. Another positive thing about this car is that it is easy to park with, so if you have trouble parking and you know it's not because you get your lefts and rights mixed up, this car should sort you out.
So what have we learnt then? If you want a Supercar then avoid this car. If you want an everyday car to drive to work in and do your groceries and you want it to look good, then get you might as well buy a standard Corsa Club and put a sticker on it. Its few good features don't save it from being quite a bad – highly laughable - vehicle on 4 wheels. If you can find it at a low price, then maybe, but the question of how reliable it would be would come into question if you ever do find one on the cheap.