Vauxhall has delivered us some of the most popular vehicles out on the roads today. But with such a vast choice, understanding and picking the right model car can be tricky.
So, whether you’re deciding between a Corsa or an Astra, Crossland or Grandland, wondering about the advantages and disadvantages of a Mokka, or simply want to know more about one of the biggest selling car brands in the UK – we’ve got you covered.
Let’s start with how Vauxhall came to be such a prominent name in the car world today (or if you don’t care about all the illustrious history and just want to find out more about the cars, use the menu to the side. We won’t mind.)
The history of Vauxhall
Vauxhall was founded in London back in 1857 by a Scottish marine engineer, Alexander Wilson. At the time, named Vauxhall Iron Works, the company produced pumps and marine engines like travelling cranes.
It wasn’t until 1903 that Vauxhall had its first foray into the world of making cars.
The first they made was a five-horsepower single-cylinder model that had the power to go forward, but no reverse gear. They made 70, improving on them in time by adding a steering wheel (previously just a tiller) and finally a reverse gear.
The company went from strength to strength and soon became known for its sportier models.
Rebranding in 1907 to Vauxhall Motors, they launched the Y-Type, which could do 200 miles at 46mph. It evolved to become the A09 – something that formed the basis for the Vauxhall A-Type.
Throughout the First World War, Vauxhall continued to evolve its range; making large numbers of the D-type Vauxhall that were used as staff cars for the British forces.
However, following the war, the company began to struggle when demand began to falter, which is when General Motors stepped in, acquiring Vauxhall in November 1925 for €2.5 million. The company set about turning around its fortunes.
When World War Two struck, production was halted for Vauxhall to start work on the new Churchill tank, of which over 5,600 were made.
Following the War, Vauxhall resumed service, but this time with one goal – to appeal to the masses.
They started to manufacture smaller family cars – the Viva and the Opel. They were a huge success, much better in quality and design than anything before.
The 80s saw the introduction of the Astra, and one decade later the Corsa arrived; successes for the company that still return today.
In 2017, after a bit of a lull, Peugeot’s parent company, PSA, bought out Vauxhall hoping, once again, to turn the company’s fortunes around. And this is where we are today.
From the conventional Corsa to the niche Vauxhall Grandland X, Vauxhall continues to create models the UK loves – all of which we’re going to go through now.
Different types of Vauxhall cars
There are currently three SUVs in the Vauxhall range – the Crossland X, Grandland X and Mokka X.
Starting with the smallest, the Crossland X – like its name suggests – is more crossover than an actual SUV.
It’s not four-wheel drive and it’s not that far off the ground. However, what it lacks in burliness and sophistication, it makes up for in space – with a lot of cabin room making it an ideal family car.
The equipment that comes as standard is also pretty good, with a seven-inch touchscreen on the dash, both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as air conditioning and 16-inch alloy wheels.
There are six model variants of the Vauxhall Crossland.
The Mokka, somewhat confusingly, is roughly the same size as the Crossland, but with slightly less space inside.
However, unlike its ‘baby’ sibling, it does have optional four-wheel-drive, making it far more rugged and dependable when towing. It also looks stunning, which is not something you can really say about the Crossland.
There are also some good tech advantages, including the monstrous ‘Pure panel’ which is Vauxhall’s equivalent to Mercedes-Benz’s widescreen infotainment system – albeit it’s only available as standard at the top end of the spec list.
However, on entry-spec, there’s still a good range of niceties, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, climate control, cruise control, speed sign recognition and LED headlights.
There are seven model variants of the Vauxhall Mokka.
The Vauxhall Mokka-e shares much of the standard car’s benefits; however, it also comes with a zero-emission electric power source.
With a max range of 201 miles and a fast-charge time of just 30 mins, it’s certainly practical enough. And given you get a few extra toys in the all-electric model, such as pre-conditioning – so your car’s ready for you when you step inside – scheduled charging to help you save money on your energy bills and a variety of different driving modes.
There are four model variants of the Vauxhall Mokka-e.
The Grandland is the largest SUV in the Vauxhall range, although unlike other cars of its class, there’s only room for five.
Mind you, the five inside are in for a luxurious and relaxing ride, with the Grandland providing premium comfort and smart safety features.
These include night vision through an advanced infrared camera which can see objects up to 100m away and appears on the driver’s instrument cluster, powered tailgate and a bunch of other driver aids, such as active drive assist, side blind zone alert and a front camera system.
Admittedly, some of these are optional extras and you do have a spend a bit more for all the added bits and bobs, but the entry-level SE still comes with a good range of features as standard.
A seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system as part of the Vauxhall’s infinity dash, dual-zone climate control and front and rear parking sensors are all standard. As is an eclectic parking brake, lane departure warning and 17-inch alloy wheels.
There are six model variants of the Vauxhall Grandland.
Vauxhall does hatchbacks well, with both its big hitters – the Corsa and Astra sitting in this category. Comfy, reliable, spacious and safe – whether you’re looking for a family car or not, there’s something to suit everyone.
We’re sure Vauxhall don’t have favourites, but if they did, it’s more than likely to be their best-selling Corsa.
Vauxhall has now sold over 2.1 million Corsas in the UK alone since it launched in 1993.
Sleeker than ever, the Corsa is the perfect city car. Available as 74bhp, 99bhp or 128bhp petro or diesel, it’s compact but practical with a spacious cabin and a 309-litre boot capacity.
There are five different trim levels for the Corsa, so it’s really a car to suit everyone’s taste. Ranging from the entry-level SE trim level through to the SRI and the top-of-the-range Elite and Ultimate models, there’s a good range of features and price points to consider.
And even the lower-spec variants are tech-rich, featuring a seven-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, auto lights and wipers.
As you move up the models, the touchscreen infotainment system gets bigger – 10-inch – and there’s navigation. You can also opt for luxuries such as massaging leather seats, radar cruise control and keyless entry.
There are five model variants of the Vauxhall Corsa.
The latest addition to the Corsa range – the all-electric Corsa-e – takes everything that’s already great about the Corsa and comes with the added bonus of zero emissions.
Featuring 209 miles of range from a full charge and accelerating from 0-62mph in just 7.6 seconds, it’s the perfect commuter car.
Add to that it comes in four model variants – ranging from the SE Nav Premium up to the Elite Nav Premium – and you can see there’s a wide choice of styles and amenities to pick from.
There are four model variants of the Vauxhall Corsa-e.
One of Britain’s best-selling hatchbacks, the Vauxhall Astra is an all-round star.
With its stunningly sleek and aerodynamic design, smart tech and spacious cabin, it’s a real bargain, especially when you consider its low running costs, too.
There’s plenty of engine choice when it comes to the Astra, all designed for performance and efficiency. Two petrol units – a six-speed manual 1.2-litre and a CVT automatic 1.4-litre.
Or you can opt for one of the two turbocharged 1.5-litre diesel engines with either six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmissions.
All engines come with start-stop technology to increase fuel efficiency and minimise CO2 emissions.
As with most of the Vauxhall range, there’s also a vast amount of trim levels to choose from. Entry-level for the Astra is the Business Edition Nav, which comes with a high-res touchscreen infotainment system, air conditioning and 16-inch alloy wheels.
If you’re looking for something a little more sporty, the SRi is best with 17-inch wheels and a more dynamic appeal.
And if you want to go all out, there’s the Elite and plethora of luxurious gadgets, including heated seats and steering wheel, sat-nav and OnStar’s concierge system – something not many other cars in this price range offer.
As well, if you want an Astra but require a little more space, there’s the Astra Sports Tourer, which comes with 540 litres of luggage capacity with the seats up – 170 litres more than the hatchback – as well as roof rails as standard.
There are four model variants of the Vauxhall Astra.
Vauxhall labels the Insignia a large family car that doubles as a luxury cruiser.
With a sleek-styled light body, it’s plush, practical and built around technology. The exterior includes eye-catching elements such as next-gen IntelliLux LED headlights to improve night driving and a sharp front grille, rivalling even the design of the big saloons from Germany.
Step inside to a classy interior, you’ll meet relaxation and refinement. The inside is bathed in soft materials, and there’s plenty of leg and headroom. As a family or commuter’s car, there’s also a generous 490-litre boot.
In the Insignia, you’re also spoiled for choice. There are three different trim levels for you to choose from.
Even in the entry-level SE Nav, you get a huge amount of tech, including cruise control, dual-zone climate control, and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav.
At the top end of the spectrum, the SRi VX-Line Nav, there’s Vauxhall’s top-tier sat-nav system, 20-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and start, an ergonomic active driver’s seat and a premium Bose audio system with external noise reduction.
Under the bonnet, there are five engines to choose from; the most efficient of which is a 1.5-litre, 120bhp diesel power unit delivering more than 50mpg.
Your other options include two turbocharged 2.0-litre powertrains – one petrol and one diesel – with the petrol the most powerful; pumping out 198bhp.
There are three model variants of the Vauxhall Insignia.
Priding itself on providing cars for all the family, Vauxhall’s range of MPVs vary from spacious to sporty, or even both.
With a choice of five or seven seats, the Combi Life is a spacious comfortable MPV designed to make family life a little bit easier. Based on the Vauxhall Combo van with the mechanics of the Grandland X, this safe, practical vehicle comes with an impressive list of tech to boot.
The Combi Life features either a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine or a 1.5-litre diesel, both of which offer good fuel efficiency. And depending on your preference, you can opt for a five or six-speed manual transmission, or an eight-speed automatic.
Given its size, you’d expect there to be ample space, and there is. The Combo Life comes with an impressive 597 litres of luggage capacity (in five-seat mode) and boasts an obscene 27 storage compartments dotted around the cabin.
On top of that, it’s also great in tight parking spots around town or at the shops. With a smart sliding rear door design, it’s easy to get any little ones or bags of shopping in or out in small spaces.
And if you want even more, there’s also the option for an all-electric powertrain, making this perfect family vehicle zero emissions.
Possibly one of the most practical MPVs out there, everything about the Vivaro Life has been designed to make life easier.
However, at the heart of everything about the Vivaro is space. It’s able to comfortably carry up to 9 adults in relative luxury. And, because lots of people have lots of stuff, there’s a staggeringly large boot. In fact, without the third row, there are 3,300 litres of space.
You can get hold of the Vivaro in two flavours – Edition or Elite. As the name suggests, Elite is top of the range and you can configure it with electric, leather massage seats in the front, a panoramic roof, rearview camera and touchscreen infotainment system.
The majority of engine options are diesel – as you’d expect, given the Vivaro Life is based on the van of the same name. The entry-level is a 1.5-litre available in 99bhp and 118bhp.
Meanwhile, more powerful units are available, including the 178bhp 2.0-litre, which comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard.
Yet, if you’re looking towards the future, there’s also the Vivaro-e Life, which is the all-electric variant.
Offering 143 miles of range, it’s not as long journey-friendly as a diesel, but for shorther trips with a big family, it’s the perfect drive.