Advantages Looks good, very comfortable seats, smooth drive
Disadvantages A bit too much plastic, problems early on, small glove compartment
After driving a (classic) Mini for three years, it was time for a change to something a little more practical (and reliable). After being given some car catalogues, I decided on the Corsa, so off I went to my nearest Vauxhall dealer to nose round the showroom full of shiny new cars. After almost being talked into buying a Corsa, without AC, I escaped(!) and first asked my dad for car buying advice! I later found out that the 'New' Corsa was due to be released the following month. No wonder, the salesman was so inclined to sell me the old style one! So anyway, a few weeks later and after a nervous test drive (well, I'd gotten so used to the Mini), it was decided that the New Corsa was destined to be my next car.I ended up with silver 'New' Corsa 1.2, 3 door hatchback Club, 16V, manual 5 gear.
It all came down to features, size of the car, engine size (taking into account insurance costs) and looks of course! That and this was the first one they got in stock. As for features, it has a reverse parking sensor (haggled for this to be thrown in [usually about £250?]), MP3 CD player, metallic paint (£350 on top but it already had it so was included in price), Air Conditioning, electric mirrors, etc.The back seats fold down, which is always handy as I tend to have to carry a lot of stuff every so often. Boot space isn't bad and is what you'd expect of a small hatchback. It's not as wide as I'd like but enough space for a few big boxes. It comes with a board so that I can have a hidden layer, but it reduces the size so much that I don't bother with it. Mine lacks sports lights and only has the black plastic fillers. Also, it has hug caps rather than alloys. As I got mine so early, those extras would have inflated the price.
The drive is very smooth and it's a very comfortable drive. The front seats are 'bucketed' seats which you find in sports cars to stop you sliding to the sides. The seats can be easily adjusted in various ways. i.e. slide back - forward, back rest tilt, and height. The steering wheel can also be adjusted (forwards, backwards, up, down).Only thing is that it does take a fraction of second to get going from lifting the clutch and pressing the accelerator, as if there were a 'delay'. It is only for a fraction of a second so it's nothing major and one can get used to it quite quickly but it's most likely due to the car being not too powerful. I have the 1.2 version but I read that even the 1.4 flavour isn't that powerful. Don't know about the Diesel versions though.
Something I've noticed is that while idle, the car is very quiet on the inside. Good stuff. Suspension isn't bad. It's no Land Rover but it's better than some Golfs I've been in.
There are the usual compartments on the side of the doors and there's even two small compartments on both sides of the back seats (but they're quite small). There's a very narrow 'shelf' under the front passenger seat, which is suitable for an A-Z but not much else.The two front seats are very roomy but the back seats can be quite squashed. However, if I really wanted have lots of backseat passengers, I would have gotten the five door version so it's not bad.
There was a national call back of New Corsa's Front Lower Control Arm. Luckily, mine was fine but it was a waste of two hours waiting for them to check. Had it have had a problem, I might have been without a car for a week unless they offered a courtesy car. Another time, after 2 years and 7 months on, another fault developed. A "coil" packed up and resulted in a misfire, which caused the car to vibrate a lot when idle and even stall. I had to be towed to my nearest Vauxhall garage (Beckenham). They didn't get round to looking at mine until the following day and couldn't offer me a courtesy car because they were all booked out and there's a possible 2 week waiting list. Asking Pheonix Vauxhall (Croydon) for a courtesy car, they told me they stopped doing courtesy cars! That's a bit of a let down in terms of customer service as I can't see why, as a manufactuer's dealer, they couldn't offer courtesy cars whereas other branches could.Annoyingly, a few weeks after the 'coil' incident, and a full service, the engine started making a really loud rattling and rumbling noise. The car still drove fine but after a few hours of driving across 2 days, the noise went away but the air conditioning stopped working and only blew out not-so-cool air, if not warm air. This was diagnosed as a cyclinder having packed up and it's actually taken Croydon Phoenix over a month to get the part.
Underneath the hood, and under the engine, there's nothing covering the bottom to stop water splashing over the engine and the bottom of the hood. This isn't usually something car reviews would mention but I thought I would as it shows that Vauxhall are trying to keep the costs down. Also some parts do seem a bit on the cheap side as they look plastic i.e. inside of the ignition.
My driver window has also started creaking when I wind up and down, which isn't very good. Probably narrows down to bad build quality as I'm not the only one who has experienced this. The window still works so it's only a minor gripe.
There's no alarm in mine, which is a shame but it does have an immobiliser. The keys are programmed with a code so the car will only start if the correct key is used. There's also a steering lock, which I'm not actually sure how to activate but this locks the ignition barrel so it cannot be turned. It started to lock itself after six months and I didn't know about the feature and how to unlock it so I managed to break the key by trying to force the ignition to turn. (Got stranded and forked out £90 for a locksmith!). Vauxhall did give me a free replacement key though.
As mine's a petrol engine, it currently costs me around £35 to fill the tank at 94.9p-96.9p per litre. I can go about 300 miles each tank urban driving and a bit of motorway here and there. Road tax was £100 a year but is now up to £115 a year.
- Tiny glove compartment
- Reflection of dashboard on windscreen
- Not that powerful
- No alarm as standard
- National call back at one point
- The "Coil" is a part known to fail (bit like a light bulb).
- Limited courtesy cars
Thanks for reading.
Okay, it's because I couldn't think of a title.
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