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BUT OF CORSA (some text hidden)
By Andy Enright
Introductionword count: 172
The supermini segment is one that traditionally commands strong sales but also one which has felt the squeeze in recent years, from citycars below and from bigger family hatches above. That means models like this improved third-generation Corsa have had to really up their game in order to command the sort of sales figures their paymasters are accustomed to. So they've got better in terms of both quality and durability. Original versions of this MK3 Corsa, first introduced in 2007 and known as the 'Corsa D' by its maker, were the first to set the ball rolling in this respect and by the time it was necessary for this design to have its final wash 'n brush-up in 2011, it really had become quite a smart little thing. As a result, buying a used version of a later third generation Corsa - even one with quite a few miles on the clock - ought to be something buyers should be able to approach with confidence. Is that the case? Let's find out.
Modelsword count: 30
3/5dr supermini (1.0, 1.2, 1.4 1.6 petrol, 1.3, 1.7 diesel [Expression, Sting, Black Edition, Limited Edition, Excite, S, Design, SE, SXi, SRi, VXR, VXR Blue Edition, VXR Nurburgring, VXR Clubsport])
Historyword count: 292
For all its admirable qualities, the Corsa has always been a car that reacted rather than pioneered. That strategy is perfectly valid in many markets - let the others take the risk and copy what works - but traditionally, it usually meant that this Vauxhall supermini was a step or two behind the best in its class when it came to bringing new technology and ideas to market. The third generation Corsa though, the so-called 'Corsa D', bucked this trend somewhat, bringing a feeling of build integrity that was beyond anything its budget rivals could muster. Sit in a 2007 Corsa and it feels quite as solid as any Volkswagen Polo of the era. By 2011, however, the game had changed. Ford had upped its quality game too and was racking up big sales with its Fiesta, also appealing to customers with a talented chassis and a line-up of economical engines. Vauxhall reverted to type and attempted to give the Corsa a bit of the Fiesta's mojo. It wasn't unsuccessful either, the 2011 car benefiting from sharper responses introduced at the same time as engine tweaks that made the Corsa line-up one of the most fuel-efficient and eco-conscious choices in its class. Plus there was a redesigned more upmarket look to the front end which brought the Corsa more into line with other, larger Vauxhall models. As always with the Corsa, special edition models came and went at a dizzying rate. In 2012, the 1.3CDTi ecoFLEX Start/Stop model got a few tweaks to drop its carbon emissions down to just 88g/km and lift economy to 85.6mpg. The Black Edition debuted the 1.4 Turbo engine and the VXR model remained as crazy as ever with the hardcore Nurburgring edition morphing into the Clubsport.
What You Getword count: 411
Though Spanish-made, this car has a solid Germanic quality to its build combined with slick design that catches the eye. The round air vents and chrome dial surrounds give a modern, integrated look complemented by lovely touches like the translucent ambient lighting on the window switches and centre console buttons - though it's a pity you only get this and more important touches like height adjustment for the seat and reach adjustment for the steering wheel on plusher versions. In the back, there's plenty of room for two fully-grown adults - or three children - in the five-door model, though the three door's a little more claustrophobic. Though the seats themselves don't slide back and forth, legroom is such that it's not a feature you'll miss too much and you do get a reclining feature for greater long distance comfort. Out back, there's a reasonable 285-litres of bootspace with all the seats in place. If you plan on making the most of that, you'll want to lower the boot floor below which sits a proper full-sized spare wheel, and perhaps store this parcel shelf neatly out of the way in a useful vertical channel behind the rear seats. If all that still isn't enough, then of course there's the usual option of folding the rear bench forward. It's split-folding unless you're in a really basic version and you can then free up 1,100-litres of luggage space. All models come with a CD stereo, remote central locking and electric mirrors. Of course on plusher trim levels, there's a whole roster of more interesting equipment, including headlamps that follow you round corners and a clever Enhanced Understeer Control system. Another neat option that original buyers liked is a Flex-Fit integrated bike rack that slides out of the rear bumper. Also worth seeking out are models with the optional Touch & Connect multi-media system which uses a five-inch touch screen display featuring both 2D and 3D maps for the navigation system, plus a CD tuner, an AUX-in point and both USB and Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity. Safety-wise, all variants get a minimum of two airbags - and six on most models - though unfortunately, original buyers had to pay extra for ESP stability control, so check and see if the car you're considering has it. ABS is standard of course, and when you activate it above 18mph, the brake lights flash to warn following cars. Should your airbags deploy, the hazards will flash too.
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