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Vauxhall has, in a way, had a couple of bites at this mid-life revision of its Corsa supermini.
Last year came the engine and chassis alterations, this spring it's the turn of the styling. The revised Corsa's design changes amount basically to a nose job, with the rest of the car untouched. New so-called 'eagle-eye' headlights link the Corsa with its Mini-MPV sibling Meriva, while the car also gets a restyled front bumper incorporating a wider and more prominent lower grille, as well as
the new Vauxhall Griffin badge in the centre of the nose. Five new colours and some interior trim enhancements are also part of the upgrade, as well as Vauxhall's new optional Touch & Connect system, which is a built-in touch-screen system to replaces the old-tech satnav, and also incorporates Bluetooth, and aux and USB sockets for a reasonable-looking £750.
Thanks in part to the stop/start being standard on this model, the 95hp Corsa Ecoflex achieves a tiny 94g/km CO2 emission figure. Given Vauxhall's somewhat sluggish early response to low-CO2 demand, it's good to see the firm catching up and passing Ford, among others. The emissions figure translates into a monumental and deeply impressive 80.7mpg.
The best news, though, is that it doesn't feel like a compromised eco model to drive. The Corsa is well above the class average in the driving stakes and the 95hp engine doesn't need a particularly hard workout to get the car going. It's not the last word in refinement, but is certainly comparable at least with its low-CO2 diesel rivals.
The cabin, meanwhile, is starting to show its age a little and can't match the appeal or ergonomic friendliness of some rivals such as the Fiesta. Some of the Corsa's materials look nice from a distance, but are harsh to the touch, and the seats could do with an extra level of adjustment, particularly on the passenger side.
Although this Corsa is super-economical in fuel terms, the relatively high P11D, even if some of that is accounted for by a better specification than its rivals, counts against it. As does a residual value of 27.3%, just behind the Peugeot 207 and six percentage points away from the Fiesta. Those two things are what does the damage in terms of cost per mile, with the cheaper Fiesta, which retains significantly more of its value, coming out 1.7p per mile better than the Corsa. It's not a big margin, but people take on these cars in the first place because every penny counts. The revised Corsa is, though, still worth considering, despite being overshadowed by more fashionable models such as the Fiesta or Seat Ibiza and the fact that it doesn't stand out in any one area.