UK Car review.
Vauxhall Corsa 1.0 GLS 12 Valve.

Vauxhall Astra 1.6 16v Sport

Vauxhall have been making the Corsa since 1993. It is produced in three and five door versions. Engines types and specification levels are very varied from the baby 1.0 litre petrol to the 1.6 sport. diesel and turbo diesel are also available.
Specification levels start at the Envoy level and go up to the CDX trim.

The Corsa replaced Vauxhall's old Nova. It has indeed been a great improvement and sales success for Vauxhall Motor company. 

The Corsa tested is the 1.0 GLS three door model 1998 with 32,000 miles and a service history.


The Corsa is a small sized hatch with a very rounded and curved body. The wheel base is almost the length and width of the car. 
It has wheel arch spats with the bumper aprons fixed very snug to them. Overall a smart and compact looking hatch.

Vauxhall Corsa GLS.

The interior is very spacious for such a compact car. The cockpit is very open for both driver and passenger and the rear seating is very useable with capacity for two large adults comfortably and three children with ease.

Ghia Interior trim with the classy wannut finish.

The Corsa GLS comes well equipped, with a factory tilt and slide sunroof, electric windows, power assisted steering, head rests fitted both front and rear, the rear head rests can be removed to fold the seat backs flat for that extra carry space. Height adjustable seat belts are fitted and the drivers seat is height adjusting. the rear seats can be folded down individually for convenience. The external mirrors are electrically adjusted and have heated elements in them for the cold MR Frost when he arrives.

Vauxhall fit a radio cassette player as standard equipment which of course is coded for that added inconvenience. Radios can be recoded now by just about anybody and it mesmerises me why manufacturers still security code them. the multi function display is clear to see and the switch controls for the electric windows and mirrors is easily accessed and used by the driver.

The engine which powers this car is a 1.0 12 Valve three cylinder transverse mounted unit. It produces 55 bhp and takes the car to 60 mph from standing in 19 seconds It can achieve a top speed of 93 mph and is very efficient on fuel giving up-to 57 mpg. The gear box drives the front wheels and it has five forward gears.

The engine is fully controlled electronically for the best power and fuel ratios, it has a multi point fuel injection system with a catalytic converter fitted as standard. The ignition system is fully electronic and very reliable.
The power output for this car is low by standards which I am used to. The Corsa however does drive with acceptable performance. 
I also do not like three cylinder engines. I find then a little rough running. They are supposed to be very smooth with the crankshaft being at 120 degrees. (Won't go into that).

The suspension on the car is independent with front Mc Phearson struts and rear coil springs. This is a good set up allowing all wheels the ability to support the car best where and when required.
Braking is servo assisted with front ventilated discs and rear brake drums. 
Power assisted steering is standard on the Corsa GLS model. 
The power assistance on the Vauxhall Corsa is quite different in that it is electrically assisted rather than a pump driven by the engine. It does take a short while to work when the car is started. 
General handling in the Corsa is outstanding because the wheels are fitted in the extremities giving the car a low center of gravity and good balance.

Vauxhall have many safety and security features for a small car and they all will assist in the event of an accident.
There is a drivers air bag, the doors have side impact protection and there are pre tensioned front seat belts fitted.
The Corsa is now also like many other makes in that it has a transponder style key which is uniquely coded to the car. If the key is not used to start the car and force or other means are tried the engine management system will not run the engine. Vauxhall do however have one of the cheapest and easiest service assistance if the keys do fail. You do not need any master key for duplications. Simply visit your local franchised Vauxhall dealer.

The door locks have deadlocking fitted which is activated with the central locking.

In general the Corsa deserves to sell in such quantities, it has a very reliable motor with gear box which is very rare found to falter. 

The electronics in most modern Vauxhalls are very good and the general build quality is superior to many larger fleet cars. 

The drive of the car is easy and the road noise is not excessive. For daily use an ideal transport option. For long distance driving however I would prefer a larger car.


The Corsa is very much loved in the UK by all types of driver many young due to the cheap running cost and affordable insurance. 


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Vauxhall Astra 1.6 16v Sport For all Vauxhall cars specifications and data from: click here.