Words & Photos | Nick Graziano
During the 2014 Paris Auto Show, Vauxhall unveiled their redesigned Fourth-Generation Corsa. It will be in dealerships around the U.K. in late 2014, but Vauxhall invited internet bloggers and students, to a launch event in mid-October. It was a new venture for Vauxhall to expand their brand more toward the internet and social media side of things. Although a little late to the party, it shows Vauxhall is starting to take some risks now. That idea can be seen in the new Corsa as well.
Previous generations of the Corsa, commonly resembled U.S. General Motors cars. Especially the last generation, as look like it was made from left over Saturn parts. But this new generation Corsa finally looks like a fresh and original design, with unique curves and lines.
The Corsa also got an all new interior including a newly designed leather wrapped steering wheel, with easily accessible buttons on it for the radio and dash. The dash also has an appealing new design to it, with attractive gauges and a digital information screen in the middle. The digital screen is easy to see and simple enough to figure out with the buttons on the steering wheel, but the same cannot be said for Vauxhall’s IntelliLink digital radio and whole touch screen in general.
You can easily control the radio through the steering wheel after figuring out which button does what, but to try and rely on the touch screen can be difficult. The touch sensitivity was not that reactive and the location of the screen is too far out of the driver’s point of view. It is in the centre of the centre console, closer to the gear lever and to look at it you have to take complete peripheral vision off the road.
Other than a leather wrapped gear lever and a few trim details, depending on which model you get, there aren’t a whole lot of exciting design elements. Function wise, the seats are the typical GM cloth seats that are OK for a ride to work and back, but are not for long distance trips. There is a lot of room for the front passenger to stretch their legs and the rear passengers won’t be cramped sitting in the back either.
After driving both the 1.4i four cylinder Turbo and 1.0i three cylinder Direct Injection Turbo Corsas, it was surprisingly the three cylinder that came out on top. The 1.4i had only 100PS, while the 1.0i had 115PS and the difference showed. The 1.0i had a much noticeably better acceleration and pull.
Aside from engine performance, both versions both well, although the 1.0i had the Limited Edition package with a slightly upgraded suspension. The new chassis developed for the Corsa showed its strength by handling various terrains and driving conditions. Although the car does handle itself around tight corners well, the steering is very light and would not be suitable for any performance driving.
If you’re a Vauxhall fan looking for a performance driving to keep up with other sporty hot hatchbacks, this is not going to quench that desire. There is a VXR version coming later on according to Vauxhall. This new Corsa is more of a good beginner car for a young driver, especially with starting prices under £9,000, or a cheap A to B car for the average driver. It gets great gas mileage, as after starting with a full tank and driving for about 200 miles straight, the gas level indicated we still had many miles to go.
Vauxhall has another strong competitor against Fiesta sales, but I don’t think it is going to exactly hit the younger demographic they want, as the ergonomics of the interior seem to fit a female best and Corsas have continuously had a trend of being bought by older generations and then handed down. Time will tell if a new generation of youth will be drawn to the new generation of the Corsa.