1999 Vauxhall Corsa Envoy 1.0 litre 12 valve from UK and Ireland


Ideal first car, but is not appropriate for high mileage


My head gasket blew at around 56000 miles.

Car uses a lot of oil, needs topping up after around 300 miles. Apparently this is common for this engine. Ongoing problems with this.

Had problems with the engine management light, this was due to various faults in sensors, the mass air flow sensor has to be changed at a great cost and a temperature sensor.

General Comments:

The car went well for the first year that I had it, but the last 6 months, I have had one problem after another.

I would buy another Corsa, but not this size engine.

Handles well on motorways.

Very light steering, even though it doesn't have power steering!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th May, 2005

21st May 2005, 14:57

Unfortunately you (they) did not specify which engine was fitted although I suspect it was the 1.0 three cylinder which personally I have found to be pretty problem free.

6th Feb 2006, 02:41

Exactly the same faults as mine, my head gasket blew aswel, my mass air flow sensor had to be changed costing £210 just for the sensor then you add £60 for a full diagnosis check plus labour, I needed new spark plugs after 1 blew after a long journey (being just a 3 cylinder it struggled to run on 2 sparks), my engine management light kept going on & off, also my exhaust has blown twice in a year, which is a shame coz it's a decent looking little car, but I have recently changed to an SXI which I'm very happy with.

1999 Vauxhall Corsa SXi 1.2 from UK and Ireland


An ideal first car


Nothing has gone wrong with the car since I bought it. The previous owner had problems with the idle speed controller and air flow meter. I believe this was down to a crack in the air trunk, but the Vauxhall dealership took them to the cleaners.

Engine gets very hot when idle, I believe its down to the CAT being near the front of the engine bay instead of underneath like the 1.4 and 1.6 versions. Not to worry about, but could become a problem in later engine life. Simple solution would be to fit a 1.4 exhaust system.

General Comments:

So far, the car has been very reliable, however I do take good care of it. With regular oil changes and servicing.

The engine is on a timing chain so it doesn't suffer from broken cam-belts like the other XE series Vauxhall engines.

I found the brakes to be very poor for such a small car. The pedal is very spongy, I believe this is down to the master cylinder. I decided to upgrade my front brakes to Astra 16v ATE calipers with 256mm vented disks. This made a massive difference, but its not essential to change the standard brakes if the car is to be used for 'normal' driving.

The handling of the car is much like the brakes, very poor and sluggish. I expected it to be much better. Lots of chassis roll and its very easy to end up sideways on country roads. Many users of this website claim theirs handles brilliantly, I find this hard to believe, but motoring press articles and reviews from when the model was launched agree with me. I fitted a G-Max sports suspension kit which really benefits the handling a lot for under 200 quid.

The engine is not too bad, its power has been restricted a lot by Vauxhall to leave clear power gaps between the 1.0, 1.4 and 1.6 models. Still, its very fast for a 1.2 and would probably give most 1.3's and point fours a run for their money if racings your thing.

Interior is nice, the plastic is rock hard and won't fall to bits like other cheap foreign hatchbacks.

Exterior looks quite sporty and the alloys are not too bad considering they are standard.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th August, 2004

27th Sep 2006, 10:44

I fail to see why the cat being under the engine would contribute to an excessively high idle temperature.

Anyone care to explain?