Last Chance To Buy: Vauxhall Corsa

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Fact file
Launched: 2000
Engine: 1.0, 1.2, 1.3 CDTi
Performance: 1.2 top speed 109mph, 0-60mph 11.8 seconds
Economy: 48.7mpg
Safety: NCAP, four stars

When's it going?

Not until the autumn, when there will be an all-new Corsa. For the moment, though, there are plenty around at dealers and car supermarkets and they still make a no-nonsense small hatchback buy.

What's good about it?

It is still a smart little car, which is affordable, practical and easy to run. Those are the core reasons why anyone buys a Corsa. A bonus is the great little petrol engines, which cleverly combine performance and economy. Overall, the 1.0-litre will do 53mpg and the 1.2 48mpg. Around town, the light steering means that parking is easy, and at speed on a motorway it isn't half bad. The interior is only adequate when it comes to quality, but there is a decent boot and split rear seats. Low insurance groupings, reasonable servicing costs and good fuel consumption are the plus points.

What's bad about it?

Not much, but the Corsa now looks old compared with the latest generation of small hatches. Prices have always been high and equipment levels (especially the entry-level Expression) marginal. However the Corsa is usually available at a discount. Driving a Corsa is not that special, rolling around corners with little real feedback from the steering. Taller drivers can struggle with driving position, and seat-height and steering-wheel adjustment is not available on the lower-priced models.

How much?

There are Active special editions, which are available with four years' zero-rate interest and a year's free insurance. (0845 226 0101) has a five-door 1.2 Design at £8,261, saving almost £3,000. has an entry-level Life three-door for £6,361, down from £8,835.

Any snags?

Needs cam belt changes at 40,000 miles, steering racks have been replaced, and electrical niggles are quite common. Five recalls, mostly relating to seat-belt security, seat safety adjustment, airbag and steering-wheel safety.

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