The Vauxhall Corsa is more familiar than rain clouds in winter.
The Vauxhall Corsa is more familiar than rain clouds in winter. But why has this capable supermini engrained itself into the British mindset? For starters, virtually everyone has either owned one, crashed into one, or has as amusing story involving this popular run- around. It was, in fact, the first car my mate drove. To be honest, it is an exaggeration to say 'drove'. At sixteen his late father allowed him to steer a mk1 into the garage. It was not propelled by its rough 1.0-litre engine, but by dear old father pushing for all he was worth. That particular Corsa later became my mate's first car - but at that point it was rusting and needed pushing on a regular basis. What a pity it tended to conk-out at the bottom of hills.The new Vauxhall Corsa is a world away from my mate's mk1. His, for example, had a steering wheel, tyres, a tiny FM radio, and an odd smell in the boot. That was about it. Even today's base-specification has: power steering, electric mirrors, air-bags, central locking, and a CD player. High-spec trims, albeit with optional extras, have: MP3 playback, Bluetooth, and parking sensors. What an amazing contrast. Fuel economy has improved too, so the 95PS Exclusiv 1.3CDTi trim averages a cash saving 78.5mpg. Its emissions are merely 95g/km, so road tax is free. Throw-in sharp handling, sporty looks, solid build, and the spacious 285-litre boot and it becomes clear why the Vauxhall Corsa is so popular.