2003 Vauxhall Corsa SXI 1.2 16v from UK and Ireland


Brilliant little car


Remote locking was always dodgy due to the worn key. A poor attempt to fix it by myself didn't work, and a specialist said it's beyond repair. A new part is cheap, but Vauxhall want an arm and a leg to program it.

A few days after purchasing it, I was driving to Loch Lomond on the glorious A82 (outside Glasgow it's glorious, inside it's murder) and kept it in third gear while accelerating. When approaching the red line, the engine management light flashed on and the engine wouldn't go above a few thousand revs. This was fixed by turning the engine off and on again. It turns out I had activated "safe mode" with all the revving, and the engine management was worried it would flood the engine. No problems since.

Fuel filter leaked, but only cost £20 to put right.

General Comments:

It looks great in silver. The alloys, clear side repeaters and dark rear lights really make it pop.

The interior looks good with the aluminium effect plastics and white gauges with silver bevels and is decent quality.

The radio is good, but the station and CD track number etc. don't appear on the screen for some reason.

The sports seats are fantastic and grip you tight, but if you're a bit portly, you may struggle to get in them!

The steering is a bit numb with no real feedback, and it seems to be heavy while parking and light when up to speed; I think I would prefer it to be the other way around.

The engine pulls well, but needs to be revved to get the best out of it.

I'm slightly disappointed at the fuel economy.

Very easy to drive, and it's easy to see why so many people (me included) learned to drive in a Corsa C.

Boot space is decent.

The ride is good, despite the sports suspension.

I got it MOT'd straight after purchasing it, and it passed with ease with no advisories.

Maintenance is easy. I gave it a full service in less than an hour.

Parts are very cheap as there's so many about.

The difference in quality and reliability to my previous car is like night and day.

VERY happy with it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th December, 2010

2003 Vauxhall Corsa Active 1.0 Twinport from UK and Ireland


Loads of equipment, but expect it to fail


Front brake pads replaced at 17,000 miles.

Front anti roll bar drop links replaced at 15,000 miles.

CD player chatters until punched at start up.

Front seat lifter handles so stiff they're hardly operable.

Timing chain replacement at 17,000 miles (known fault).

Central locking deadlocks failed at 17,000 miles.

Eco service flex advisor hasn't worked since ownership.

On harsh braking, the drivers seat tends to slide forwards a few millimetres.

General Comments:

When maneuvering through town, this car leaves everything else standing.

It's very nippy.

It looks great, quite sporty.

It's very economical, £40 for 250 miles at the moment (at £1.03 per litre). Insurance group 1, which is always a plus.

Gives you a heart attack on most corners! The roll in these things is incredible; I definitely wouldn't push it and I have wider tyres on mine too.

Horrible to drive in the wet and don't even think about ice! This car is so light you can probably start in first gear, cut the engine and skid for the next half a mile; very exciting if you like living on the edge.

The seats are quite firm, so not too much comfort on long drives.

I'm tall, but still find I have plenty of room in the cabin. It feels much bigger than it looks inside.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th February, 2008

5th May 2008, 10:39

£40 to do 250 miles at £1.03 a litre equates to 29.2 miles to the gallon!!! Not so economical or are your figures wrong?

15th Aug 2016, 14:14

These old Corsas are a nightmare. Not reliable cars at all. A common problem is the head gasket and other bloody engine problems. Also not so good on fuel. Old Vauxhalls and Rovers are not reliable so avoid them.