Archive for October, 2015|Monthly archive page

(annoyingly good) Vauxhall Corsa auto

In Corsa 1.4 on October 19, 2015 at 7:20 pm

DSC_1738Ugly innit?

Book a rental car on line and you’re always signing up for a XYZ or equivalent.

My “Enterprise Corsa” was available at nearby Gatwick or downtown Crawley.

The same car cost two thirds less when booked in town – so I chose the Creepy  Crawley option.

Sitting inside a great tin shed, and surrounded by a big puddle of water this rental looked grim.

My heart actually sank.

The 3 door Corsa looks pretty nifty, but this looks ungainly.

My particular version is the 1.4 litre OAP auto.


So first impressions were bad, but inside this machine is quite well appointed. I deliberately went “downmarket” as I drive premium brands day in day out.

Lets be honest manufacturers cram so much into their tin boxes these days that almost every vehicle feels like a luxury brand when compared with stuff made back in the seventies.

Inside there’s DAB radio (hideously difficult to find 6 Music) heated seats, Bluetooth, and nicely finished cloth seats.

I think I’ll choose cloth on my next steer, leather is so common these days!

The boot’s a good size, visibility is better than in my 3 series, and once I’d paired my mobile I was off.

A petrol engine that buzzes along propels the car with greater oomph than the bald statistics suggest.

I’ve done no more than 60 miles, but how can “cheap” cars like this ride better than expensive BMWs?

Honestly it made our 125 feel as if it was suspended like a cart.

20th October 2015 – update

After another day behind the wheel of my little Corsa I’ve a few more observations to pass on.

My research suggests you can a new one like this for about £13,000.  That’s about a third of my 3 series tourer, so really this GM wagon should be outclassed, but somehow it isn’t.

The visibility is better.

The leather steering wheel is nicer.

You can set up a digital speedo to show either MPH or KMH (I can’t on my BMW).

You can see your tyre pressures whilst on the move!

The sound from the radio is way better than the one in my BMW.

You can set up a speed limiter, rather just dial up a speed on cruise control.

The lights are very good on dip and main beam.

It corners like a slick Renault Clio.

It soaks up bumps very well indeed.

The only additional negative points I can detect are these;

The auto box has just 6 speeds (which may limit the economy potential).

The manual over-ride is a bit fiddly, and I’m not sure you’d get used to it.

WORST POINT on the CAR – the central control panel for the phone and radio is way too low on the dashboard, which can cause you to take your eyes off the road.  In addition it’s all too easy with a hand waving in mid-air that your hand inadvertently hits the wrong button.

At night the panel cannot be switched off, and either displays a massive digital clock or nasty red glow.

I found an unloaded app which tends to suggest there’s a Sat Nav option at extra cost.

The isofix clips on the back seat look very PlayMobil, and are not at all discrete.

Ditto the passenger electric window switch.

So on day two of my tenure I can only conclude this a 4 and half stars (out of 5) hatchback.

22 Oct 2015

Wuhoo! I found out how to check the MPG today.  I’ve been caning it, and managed just 38mpg so far, well short of my 320D.

Understeer on wet roundabouts is easily induced, but I’m still liking this little hatch.

Minus points?

Nasty plastics switches for the Cruise Control, grey rather than white instrument read outs, and scalding heated seats – why no 3 stage temperature control?

We’ll be together for two more days I’ll report more later.