The Vauxhall Corsa is one of the UK’s best-loved small hatchbacks. And it has been since its launch in 1993.
Its low cost, smart styling, comfortable ride and technological advancements have made it a favourite for both new and experienced drivers.
In early 2020, after a takeover by French motor giant, PSA – who also owns Peugeot and Citroen – Vauxhall released their latest Corsa. Its styling is a little uncharacteristic and it shares the same underpinnings as the Peugeot 208.
So, does it still have enough Corsa about it to make it another great edition? And, more importantly, how does it compare against its rivals, such as the Ford Fiesta, Fiat 500, Seat Ibiza and VW Polo?
Well, for a deep dive into the Corsa, you can take a look at our in-depth review here. Or you can read on to see how it compares against some of the other top-selling small hatchbacks on the market.
Vauxhall Corsa vs Ford Fiesta
Styling is often about personal preference, but overall, the Vauxhall Corsa looks more modern than the Ford Fiesta – as it should, given the Fiesta hasn’t changed since 2017.
At entry-level, the Ford’s styling is a bit bland. Not until you get higher up the specs do you see more appealing alloy wheels and design elements. That’s not the case for the Corsa.
The Fiesta, admittedly, has more range – with SUV-like styling in the Active and more pronounced sports features in the ST-Line – but those added niceties come at a cost.
Inside, the Corsa also offers a cleaner, more refined design, particularly around the infotainment system. In the Vauxhall, it’s built in to the dash and looks as though it belongs. Whereas in the Fiesta, the screen looks as though it’s a bit of an afterthought.
The Ford Fiesta significantly supersedes the Vauxhall Corsa behind the wheel, and every other car in its class.
Its nimble chassis and responsive steering make the Fiesta one of the best driving cars around. And its 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine is by far and away the best petrol powertrain available in a small hatchback.
It’s more economical, too – delivering up to 57.6mpg in petrol form – although the Corsa’s diesel manages its fuel load better and there’s also an all-electric version.
But to drive, the Fiesta is comfortably the better car.
Thanks to its recent redesign, the Vauxhall Corsa now boasts a bigger boot than the Ford Fiesta – 309 litres compared to 292 litres. Although, the Fiesta is 30mm thinner, making it a touch easier to navigate in tight city streets.
Neither cars come with parking sensors as standard in their entry-level forms, although both have handy driver aids, such as lane departure warning as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Corsa does show its modern nature, however, with cruise control and traffic sign recognition as standard across all models, something you have to climb the specs for in the Ford.
The Vauxhall Corsa comes in around £1,000 less than the Ford Fiesta for the cash, on-the-road price.
It’s also a huge £87 a month cheaper on a new car lease.
The one to choose
Between the Vauxhall Corsa and the Ford Fiesta, the one that’s right for you depends on your needs, wants and circumstances.
If how it drives is the most important characteristic for you, then the Ford Fiesta is the one to go for.
But for styling, practicality and price, as well as the option for all-electric, we’d choose the Vauxhall Corsa.
Vauxhall Corsa vs Fiat 500
The Vauxhall Corsa and Fiat 500 couldn’t look more different if both companies had tried. The Corsa is a modern, aggressive, dynamic-looking car. Meanwhile, the 500 is a 21st-century take on a classic Italian city stroller.
Because of their differences, it’s impossible to define a winner, simply because it comes down to personal preference. You’ll likely prefer one’s design over the other, so really, it’s down to you.
There’s little surprise that the Fiat 500 is most suited to weaving its way through the city streets. Its light handling and small size make easy work of the daily inner-city commute, and it shines in densely congested areas.
However, when speeds pick up on the open road, the Vauxhall Corsa is undoubtedly the better car. It’s smoother over almost every road surface and handles higher speeds with greater ease.
So, if your driving takes you outside the city walls, the Corsa is the car for you.
As you might expect, considering the size difference, the Vauxhall Corsa comes with significantly more boot space – almost double in fact.
In terms of dimensions, the Fiat is almost 500mm shorter than the Corsa, and around 100mm thinner.
Its size, like its driving, really shines in the city. But in terms of everyday practicality, particularly if you’d like to use the back seats – the Corsa offers both more comfort in the back and five doors, while the 500 only has three.
With it being smaller and less practical, you’d expect the Fiat 500 to be significantly cheaper than the Vauxhall Corsa. And it is – around £3,000 cheaper on the road.
However, on a lease, there’s not much to split them, with the Corsa sometimes even coming out a little cheaper.
The one to choose
If you prefer retro styling and don’t leave the city much, the Fiat 500 is a very good car. But for overall performance and practicality, especially considering the similarity in monthly price, the Vauxhall Corsa is the one we’d choose.
Vauxhall Corsa vs Seat Ibiza
To look at, the Vauxhall Corsa and Seat Ibiza share a similar silhouette. The Corsa’s styling is a touch more aggressive and intricate in places, but at a glance, there’s not a huge difference.
Inside, it’s a similar story. Both go for a modern and simplistic all-black finish with soft plastics and a touchscreen infotainment system, although the Ibiza’s components appear to be of a touch higher quality.
Behind the wheel, the Ibiza is also slightly more competent than the Vauxhall Corsa. Its ride is a little more comfortable and it handles excellently.
In fact, the Seat drives better than some cars in the class above, and its comfort both around town and on the motorway dwarfs much of its competitors, including the Vauxhall Corsa.
Despite being almost exactly the same size – the Corsa is a mere 1mm longer than the Ibiza – the Seat comes with a bigger boot – 355 litres compared to the 309 litres found in the Vauxhall.
That’s partly down to its width, given the Corsa is almost 200mm slimmer than the Ibiza, making the Vauxhall slightly easier to manoeuvre around town.
The Corsa also trumps the Seat in terms of driver aids, with lane departure warning and sign recognition standard at entry-level, while they’re optional extras on the Ibiza.
So, for the win, it comes down to what’s more important for you; space or drivability. For us, it’s the space.
The Seat Ibiza’s £16,215 on-the-road price makes it slightly more expensive than the Vauxhall Corsa.
But on a lease, those monthly payments widen, with the Corsa available from just £131 a month for a top-spec SRi, which an entry-level Seat Ibiza SE is around £175 a month.
The one to choose
The Seat Ibiza is a slightly more expensive vehicle in cash terms, and if you’re buying outright, it’s probably worth it.
However, on a lease, the fact the Corsa is cheaper and comes with a much higher spec, that’s the one we’d choose.
Vauxhall Corsa vs Volkswagen Polo
The VW Polo’s styling is notoriously reserved. Its target market is slightly different from the Vauxhall Corsa; the Polo is a small, prestige-like vehicle.
Because of that, especially in the lower trim levels, it’s a bit dull. Not until you’re spending substantial money do you see the true styling capabilities of the Polo.
Meanwhile, the Corsa changes little throughout the range, aside from the sporty features in the SRi and bigger wheels. But overall, we think it’s a better-looking, more interesting car design.
Matching its refined styling, the VW Polo is exceptional behind the wheel. It’s smooth, responsive and impressively nimble.
At low or high speeds, the VW outperforms the Corsa in driveability, and it’s where the Polo truly shines.
Another area the Volkswagen Polo stands out is practicality. With a 351-litre boot, it has one of the largest loading bays in its class, and the cabin remains comfortable even during long journeys.
It also features parking sensors both front and rear in the entry-level Match, something you have to choose the Elite for in the Corsa.
However, the Vauxhall’s standard equipment is significantly stronger than that of the VW. Both come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but the Corsa’s cruise control, lane departure warning and sign recognition are all absent on the Polo. It also comes with bigger alloys as standard.
But, if we’re using the same criteria as the Fiat 500, space is crucial for many, and very little tops the VW Polo, albeit the Corsa’s rear storage is more than adequate.
As you may expect, given it’s bigger, has a better drive, and is more practical, the VW Polo is more expensive than the Vauxhall Corsa.
On the road, the difference is around £2,000. Monthly, it translates to almost £50. So, if you haven’t got the money to space, the Corsa is the safer bet.
The one to choose
This one really comes down to your circumstances, and more importantly, how much cash you’re willing to part with.
If you can afford it, the VW Polo is the better car. However, if you’re wanting to save a substantial amount each month and still drive a very impressive vehicle, the Vauxhall Corsa is the one to choose.
Vauxhall Corsa vs Peugeot 208
As you might expect, the Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 208 look very alike. That’s because, underneath, they’re much the same car. However, the 208 has more noticeable styling elements to it, particularly around the lights.
And because of that extra element of flair, we think the Peugeot 208 is the better looking of the two.
It may come as a surprise, given they’re effectively the same car, but the Peugeot 208 and Vauxhall Corsa do drive slightly differently.
The 208 is more comfortable, however, the Corsa’s handling is sharper and more on point. The Peugeot also features a much smaller steering wheel, giving you less feedback while driving.
So, even though they might be built from the same parts, the Vauxhall Corsa is the better car behind the wheel.
On the practicality front, the Peugeot 208 comes with a 311-litre boot – two more litres than what’s on offer in the Vauxhall Corsa. Although, that basically means you can fit an extra tube of Pringles into your weekly shop.
Inside the vehicle is also similar, as is the front layout and infotainment system, albeit the 208 seems more spaceship-like than car.
The Peugeot also comes with rear parking sensors as standard, something you don’t get in the Vauxhall. Albeit the 208 is missing the cruise control and traffic sign recognition you find in the Corsa.
In all honesty, much like the rest of the car, it’s hard to find too many differences between the 208 and the Corsa.
Although they’re very similar cars, the Peugeot 208 is around £2,000 more expensive than the Vauxhall Corsa. And translating that into monthly payments, there’s about a £60 monthly difference.
Really, considering underneath they’re the same and there’s not much to split them elsewhere, that seems a lot of money for very little extra return.
And because of that, the Corsa is the better value for money.
The one to choose
If styling is the most important component, and you believe the 208’s design is worth the extra cash, then that’s the one to go for.
However, as it’s significantly cheaper and effectively the same car underneath, the Vauxhall Corsa is the one we’d choose.