Is the Corsa catching the Ford Fiesta?
Vauxhall launched the new, updated Corsa at the start of 2010 to keep it competitive with the class-leader, the Ford Fiesta.
It is not an easy task; the Ford Fiesta has been the UK's best-seller for the majority of 2011 and outstripped sales of any other car by a considerable amount.
The Vauxhall Corsa however, is nearer to the Fiesta than ever thanks to some updated designs (the front end in particular looks sleeker and more modern), some surprisingly premium materials for the interior and, Vauxhall's jewel in the crown, superb diesel engines.
The Ecoflex engines offered with the Corsa are frugal, efficient and refined on the road. More importantly for UK buyers, they also offer ultra-low driving costs in new Vauxhall Corsa models.
For example, the Vauxhall Corsa Ecoflex delivers CO2 emissions low enough to fall into Band A of Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). This means, after registration, the driver will not have to pay anything because of the car's green credentials.
This perhaps goes some way to explain why, while Ford Fiesta sales dropped by over 13 per cent in 2011 compared to 2010, the Corsa only dropped by 1.7 per cent in a declining market.
Vauxhall Corsa prices may have something to do with this. Vauxhall Corsa prices compare favourably to Ford Fiesta prices.
Ford Fiesta prices start from around £9,500 for basic versions but if you compare Vauxhall Corsa prices, they are almost exactly the same for the entry-level, three-door model.
The fact the new Vauxhall Corsa is essentially a newer model post-2010 facelift makes it a strong rival for the Ford Fiesta. Vauxhall Corsa prices are competitive with the class-leader and sales show the gap is closing.
It could be an interesting year for the Vauxhall Corsa.