Vauxhall is a largely unknown brand in the U.S., but it’s got a pretty big following in the UK. In fact, one of the brand’s most popular models is the Corsa supermini, a car that first broke into the scene back in 1982 as the Opel Corsa. The Corsa was actually called the Nova in its first incarnation out of fears that Corsa was too close to the word "coarser". It doesn’t exactly build up confidence that a model’s name sounds like a word that means "poor quality". Over time, Vauxhall finally adapted the Corsa name, beginning the supermini’s run that has lasted four generations. After years of bland facelifts and minor upgrades, Vauxhall finally welcomed the fourth-generation Corsa for 2015, complete with enough new features and new technology to make your head spin. Vauxhall also confirmed that it’s going to release a VXR variant of the Corsa. Good times all around!
Before diving into the Vauxhall Corsa, it’s important to remember that Opel and Vauxhall actually share the Corsa model. The two models are virtually identical except for the different company badges. The only difference is that the model is badged as a Vauxhall in the UK while Opel is used throughout Europe.
The Vauxhall Corsa is an incredibly popular model in the UK, routinely averaging over 83,000 units sold per year. That’s second only to its closest competitor, the Ford Fiesta . But here’s the catch: the Corsa was still getting strong sales numbers despite the fact that the third-generation model was in its last stages.
But with an all-new, fourth-generation model scheduled to hit showrooms for 2015, you can bet that more people will be clamoring to get a piece of the Corsa.
Is 100,000 units a year possible for the fourth-generation Vauxhall Corsa? We can’t tell you that right now, but all the signs seem to point to a resounding "yes!"
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Vauxhall Corsa
The front section of the new Corsa also received a stylish makeover, particularly the trapezoidal front grille that you might recognize from the Opel Adam.
The overall dimensions of the fourth-generation Corsa are virtually identical to its predecessor. The difference is that the new model comes with new body panels, creating a better definition of what a sporty, three-door supermini should look like.
The front of the new Corsa also received a stylish makeover, including a trapezoidal front grille that you may recognize from the Opel Adam . LED daytime running lights have also become standard for most variants of the Corsa.
Speaking of the Adam, other design cues were also taken from Opel’s sports hatch and translated into the Corsa, and fit it into the dynamic shape of the latter. The lower part of the hatch is a good example of that, as is the familiar ‘blade’ that runs across the lower door-section and just above the sills. This crease creates a more sculpted look that joins with the car’s belt line and extends all the way to the rear section of the model.
Meanwhile, the rear section doesn’t exactly tickle our fancy, but it does serve its purpose of creating a design balance with the heavily redesigned front end.
The 285-liter luggage space remains the same, but that's not really a big point of concern for customers.
The interior of the Corsa offers a fresher and more sophisticated package that underscores the styling you see from the Opel Adam. It’s a huge improvement in terms of quality that customers should appreciate.
The three-door variant is understandably more cramped for space than the "premium" five-door version, but overall, there’s enough space in both variants that won’t make you feel like a sardine in a can. The 285-liter (10-cubic-foot) luggage space remains the same, but that’s not really a big point of concern for customers.
What’s new for the 2014 Corsa are the instrument panel and dashboard. Therein lies a lot of inspiration from the Opel Adam, including the seven-inch, color touchscreen that looks the part of a hand-held video game console. I’m guessing the kids are going to love that design.
The interior also offers a fresh batch of premium features, including heated front seats, soft-tone ambient lighting, and a full-size panoramic roof.
More importantly, the touchscreen is available with IntelliLink and can be used in a variety of functions, including compatibility to Apple or Android smartphones, allowing users to navigate through a myriad of features like sat-nav, Internet radio apps, and use of Siri’s voice control system.
The interior also offers a fresh batch of premium features, including heated front seats, soft-tone ambient lighting, and a full-size panoramic roof.
Overall, the interior is a huge improvement from the third-generation model. There’s less clutter and the added premium features will definitely catch the attention of a lot potential buyers.
There's also a 1.3-liter CDTi that can be had with output numbers of 74 horsepower or 94 horsepower.
The new Vauxhall Corsa continues to benefit from a wide range of engine options, beginning with a 1.2-liter gas engine that produces 69 horsepower. There’s also a 1.3-liter CDTi that can be had with output numbers of 74 horsepower or 94 horsepower. Meanwhile, a bigger 1.4-liter engine will have non-turbo and turbo variants, delivering 89 horsepower and 99 horsepower, respectively.
These engines aren’t new to the Corsa lineup, but what is new is a pair of direct-injected, 1.0-liter, three-cylinder, turbo engine that offers either 89 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque or 113 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. Both engine variants come with a standard, six-speed manual transmission with an option for a new six-speed auto for some of the engines.
It’s safe to say that with the new 1.0 three-cylinder in its lineup, the Corsa is preparing itself to battle the Ford Fiesta.
As of 7/18/2014, Vauxhall has yet to announce the price for the 2015 Corsa but we can at least expect the figures to be announced in September with sales to begin sometime in January 2015. In the meantime, our best educated guess would be somewhere in the neighborhood of £9,000 ($15,000) for the base, three-door model and a little over £10,000 ($17,100) for the five-door model.
Prices are expected to jump once you tack on additional features.
Say what you want about the Fiesta, but there is no arguing that it is the best-selling model in the UK, routinely being shipped off to expectant owners across the Atlantic.
The 2014 Fiesta still boasts of Ford’s award-winning, EcoBoost, 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine, allowing the car to produce 123 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. That’s a lot more power than what the Corsa is able to offer with its new 1.0-liter, three-cylinder turbo, but at least Vauxhall has closed the gap to the point that the difference is respectable.
Vauxhall still has some catching up to do, especially when it comes to rivaling the EcoBoost’s incredible combination of power and efficiency. The good news for Vauxhall is that it’s on its way to doing that. The question now is how long it will take to get up to the Fiesta’s level.
The Ford Fiesta begins with a price of £9,995 ($17,100) for the base Studio model and goes all the way up to £19,230 ($33,000) for the ST3 1.6T EcoBoost version.
Gallery Ford Fiesta
We understand why our UK friends love the Vauxhall Corsa. It’s incredibly affordable yet still boasts of premium features you normally don’t see in a car of its size.
The engine options aren’t going to titillate your senses, but the addition of the new 1.0-liter, turbo three-cylinder gives us hope that the Corsa is finally ready to shed its old skin and proudly show off its sportier and more aggressive capabilities.
- Massive interior improvements
- Affordable price
- New 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine has the chops to rival the Fiesta
- It’s not coming in the U.S.
- Overall design could’ve have used more improvements
- As good as the Corsa is, the Fiesta seems to still be one step ahead
Gallery Vauxhall Corsa
These are the first images of Vauxhall’s Fourth-Generation Corsa, which will reach production later this year and is set to raise the class benchmark for driveability, comfort and practicality in a model which has become a household name for British small-car buyers.
Still one the UK’s top-selling and best-loved cars, the current model continues to garner affection from its owners thanks to its perfect combination of compact exterior dimensions and clever use of cabin space – major considerations when the new car was conceived.
As a result, the new, Fourth-Generation Corsa is near-identical in length to the current model and retains its enviable space utilisation for occupants.
But almost every other element of its design and engineering has changed, significantly improving the car’s driveability, efficiency, connectivity and overall ownership experience.
All of the car’s body panels are new, and provide greater definition between the ‘sporty’ look of the three-door and the ‘premium’ five-door models. For the first time on a Corsa the car’s striking profile has been overlaid with Brit Mark Adams’ sculptural design, including elements such as the ‘blade’ running across the lower door-sections.
Almost every element of the Corsa’s generous cabin is completely new, including a completely re-designed instrument panel and dashboard, and greatly improved levels of functionality, highlighted by Vauxhall’s sophisticated IntelliLink system – its first use in a high-volume application.
Under the bonnet, new engines and transmissions will be available from launch. A 1.0-litre, three-cylinder ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo – just one of a raft of new engines from Vauxhall’s new powertrain offensive – will headline in the petrol offerings, while a much improved 1.3 CDTi, which meets stringent Euro-6 regulations, will appeal to diesel buyers.
Improved driveability to class-leading standards has been a key goal during the New Corsa’s development, and to achieve this it has a completely re-designed chassis, with no carry-over componentry, and an emphasis on exceptional rolling refinement, ride quality, precise handling and stability.
‘Corsa remains the best-selling car in Vauxhall’s range, which is testament to the continued appeal of the current model to UK buyers, supported by a raft of innovative sales programmes that make the car even more enticing,’ said Tim Tozer, Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director. ‘So New Corsa has its work cut out – both as a worthy replacement for the existing car later this year, and as a new challenger in a highly competitive class. We’re confident that it will jump both hurdles with ease.’
Corsa and the UK market
Currently in its third generation, the Corsa has been Vauxhall’s best-selling car for many years, generally sitting at number two in the overall passenger car sales charts. However, its popularity in Scotland and Northern Ireland has blossomed over the years, where it tops the overall sales charts, while being Scotland’s best-selling car for the last five full years.
And there’s no sign that sales are slowing. In its last full year, Vauxhall sold 83,000 Corsas in the UK, outstripping total full-range sales of manufacturers like SEAT, Skoda, Renault and Citroen. Such is its popularity, that the UK is now the lead market for Corsa by a large margin (Germany was the second biggest market in 2013 with around 50,000 sales).
Taking Europe as a whole, Corsa is the second most popular nameplate across the continent after 32 years in the market. During that time, over 12 million have been sold, or an average of 370,000 cars each year.
Research conducted by Vauxhall has found that the following qualities repeatedly lead buyers to current Corsa:
Compact 4m length, for ease of manoeuvring
A generous and well-packaged interior which belies its exterior dimensions
Youthful and dynamic looks
Familiarity with appearance and positive association with ‘Corsa’ name
So the challenge with the Fourth-Generation model has been to retain these assets and build on them in terms of the car’s driveability and interior design/functionality.
New Corsa = New Chassis
A completely re-designed chassis underpins every New Corsa, with no carry-over components from the current model, and all-new suspension components.
The new car has a 5mm lower centre of gravity, aiding stability and roll characteristics, while a reinforced, stiffer front sub-frame and new front suspension geometry, including new knuckle joints, give drivers more taught and precise handling.
New speed-sensitive electric power steering – which incorporates a City mode for low-speed manoeuvring and parking – receives a specific UK tune to cater for our unique and challenging topography. Understeer has been reined in and friction dialled out of the system, allowing drivers a smoother, yet more precise command of the car’s steering.
Improvements have also been made to damper characteristics, for both Comfort and Sport set ups, raising the bar for ride comfort and rolling refinement within the Corsa’s class. The new car’s rear suspension has also been re-tuned to allow better straight-line and cornering stability.
Complementing New Corsa’s chassis hardware, are a plethora of driver safety systems made possible by a new electrical architecture. These include: Hill Start Assist, Automatic Park Assist (the car will self-steer into a parking place), and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System.
Powertrains – new engines and transmissions for greater efficiency and driveability
The highlight of the New Corsa’s engine line-up will be the fresh-to-market 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder ECOTEC Direct Injection Turbo petrol. Part of Vauxhall’s major powertrain offensive, which is rapidly gaining traction within the market, the compact ‘triple’ is the only production three-cylinder engine on the market with a balancer shaft, making it especially smooth and resonance-free and a class benchmark for reduced NVH (Noise, Vibration & Harshness).
Meeting the latest stringent Euro 6 emissions regulations, the ECOTEC will be available with either 90PS or 115PS outputs, each of which achieves 170Nm of torque from just 1,800rpm. While final fuel consumption data will be announced later this year, when combined with a Start/Stop system, emissions and fuel consumption are expected to be exceptionally low for a petrol engine.
A new version of Vauxhall’s 1.4 turbo engine will also launch with New Corsa. Designed for maximum fuel efficiency, but with strong mid-range performance, the new unit produces 100PS and 200Nm of torque. Two naturally aspirated petrol engines – a 1.2- and a 1.4-litre – have been revised and adapted to suit the new car. Significant improvements to the current Corsa’s 1.3 CDTi diesel engine have been made to bring it up to Euro 6 emissions standards for the new model.
Two new six-speed gearboxes – a manual and an automatic – are available with New Corsa, with improved shift quality and providing greater overall efficiency.
New cabin design combines new levels of quality, functionality and connectivity
While the basic dimensions of the New Corsa’s cabin remain largely the same, almost everything that sits in it has been re-designed.
A new driver control centre takes pride of place within the newly-designed instrument panel, which is themed around horizontal lines. The New Corsa is also the first high-volume Vauxhall to be available with IntelliLink, the innovative communications system which has already been seen in the ADAM model.
IntelliLink operates through a 7-inch colour touchscreen, and can be controlled via apps such as BringGo (for navigation), Stitcher and TuneIn (for global radio channels and internet podcasts). The system is compatible with both Apple and Android ‘phones, and incorporates additional features, such as voice command, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free and FlexDock, an area for locating/charging your mobile phone.
In its fourth generation, Corsa has never been so well served for driver comfort and safety. The new model will be available with heated front seats, steering wheel and windscreen, as well as soft-tone ambient lighting and a full-size panoramic roof, taking the car’s equipment levels into the premium segment of its class.
New safety systems also proliferate. Buyers can choose from a list including Side Blindspot Alert, High Beam Assist, Lane Departure Warning, bi-xenon lights and a rear-view camera.
More details about New Corsa, including full pricing, will be revealed later in the year.