Vauxhall Corsa is jolly king of the urban jungle

The Vauxhall Corsa is a jolly little thing and there are plenty of good used models to choose from.

The Vauxhall Corsa is a jolly little thing and there are plenty of good used models to choose from. - Credit: Vauxhall

Vauxhall's Corsa supermini is the ideal choice for the city with its low running costs.

Used Car: Vauxhall Corsa (2006-present day)

Engines – A supermini like the Corsa only needs a small engine. For urban running there's little need to stray beyond the Corsa's three-cylinder offering, although for longer journeys the low-capacity four-cylinder motors prove refined and frugal.

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Exterior – The car's curvy profile is certainly easy on the eye. Opting for the three-door variant makes sense if you don't have a family, and the huge doors make access very easy.

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Interior – The Corsa's cabin is a combination of hard plastics and chunky controls. The latter is a better prospect than the former, although there's no denying that the little Vauxhall's interior feels and looks durable. Interior space is decent for a city car, plus the Corsa's boot is also a good size.

Driving – Despite its modest underpinnings the Corsa is a lively and willing performer. The lower-capacity engines might not have the power to make things interesting, but the little Vauxhall always feels light and nimble – exactly the attributes you need in a supermini.

Ownership – Boasting low running costs – fuel, tax, insurance – this car is very low maintenance. It's also a jolly little thing, thanks in part to its appearance and ease of use. Parking is a doddle, as is its ability to zip in and out of city traffic.

What to look for – Regular short trips to the shops can do more harm than good, so always inspect a car's oil, brakes, clutch and wheels for signs of abuse and excessive wear and tear. Parking dents come with the territory, but only accept what you can afford to fix. And don't forget a test drive and a good look through the car's service history.

Model history – 2006, Vauxhall updates its popular Corsa model. An improved exterior plus a general quality in uplift are the main changes. Range consists of small-capacity diesel and petrol motors, plus a good selection of standard and optional kit depending on the model chosen.

Reasons to buy – Affordable, easy on the eye, accommodating cabin, frugal engines, plenty to choose from.

Reasons to beware – More recent superminis boast more space and refinement; small engines can feel underpowered; choice can sometimes be bewildering.

Pick of the range – Corsa 1.2 16v Life three-door.

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