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Comparison: New Vauxhall Corsa versus Ford Fiesta and VW Polo
The Ford Fiesta is Britain’s best-selling car, the VW Polo the country’s classiest supermini. Can the new Vauxhall Corsa topple them?
by Matt Prior
25 October 2014

Want to know how important the new Corsa is to Vauxhall? It’s the company’s most profitable car. One in three Vauxhalls sold is a Corsa. Even last year, late in its model cycle, Vauxhall shifted 85,000 of them in the UK. Four per cent of all new cars sold here is a Corsa.

And half the people who buy them are spending their own money. They’re not fleet buyers, they’re private punters, and you upset those at your peril.

The new Corsa, then. It is not radical. It is not outlandish. It takes the previous formula – which was not an unsuccessful one – and refines it. More economy, more refinement, a heated windscreen, more safety systems and lower running costs: all are promised.

Most are delivered, as we found out on in our first drive. Whether they are enough to take the Corsa from middle-order to class front-runner is another matter entirely.

CONTINUE AT AUTOCAR.CO.UK
 

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It would be to see this car here in North America. The Sonic is fine but I can't warm up to the Spark, this is a much nicer looking car for that segment.
 

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They don't get beaten in head-to-head comparisons with any other mainstream brand.

But we're starting to realise that reliability is nothing special.
Yes, yes, Its interesting how different cultures have different perspectives.
I have this perception that in the UK, the automotive press is a powerful constituency with a huge amount of influence on the buying public. Is this a mistaken view?
 

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Difficult to say - there's three distinct parts to the new car market in the UK - retail customers buy under 40% of new cars here - leased company cars account for the bulk of the remainder for which market image and leasing residual value is everything, but of course those residual values are really determined by retail customers who buy used cars off lease - rental and car brand "management" cars form another significant volume but these are then sold retail as nearly new.

The automotive media doesn't have wide penetration so any direct influence is low.
 

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The problem is Vauxhall in England is either fleet - and low-end company cars, not desirable user-chooser - or aged/retired people buying in a lot of case their last new car with retirement nestegg. So it tends to be modest spec, low-end, low-margin and drags the brand image down because they're plain cars driven by boring old people. It's the old Rowe/Rover market that GM went after with Chevrolet UK. Which were too expensive, so failed.

Unfortunately, it's a dead end market with little repeat sales. Vauxhall only does so well in the UK because it 'isn't German'. My working class English relatives won't touch an Opel - even when I point out to them it's a LHD Vauxhall with different badges and often from the same factory. They grudgingly buy French, or Italian because the baby cars like cheap to buy/run and imported Asian more expensive.
 

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Yes, yes, Its interesting how different cultures have different perspectives.
I have this perception that in the UK, the automotive press is a powerful constituency with a huge amount of influence on the buying public. Is this a mistaken view?
I think the reliability "yard stick" is different as Japanese cars never "took off" as the locals always made what consumers wanted unlike in the USA and a lot of media I have read/seen point out Italian/French cars are less reliable then German cars so by comparison the VW IS reliable VS in America where they are expensive and compared to Japanese / NOW local brands and stack up less well
 

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I know it's only a sample of one but my family's buying pattern is quite different - while I was working I had top trim Vauxhalls, either as company cars or company-funded private purchase - Carlton CD, Senator CD, Cavalier CD - on retirement I bought a top trim Astra with a substantial option list. We had a low-end Nova/Corsa for my wife until I retired and reverted to one car - my son had mid-range Corsa > Astra > Vectra-C Estate which he still has.

What ended my buying relationship with GM was that my circumstances changed and I need a 4wd SUV - but the old Isuzu alliance producing the Monterey had ended and GM's offering was limited to a Chevrolet Captiva or rebadged as a Vauxhall Antara, but crap in both cases - so I bought a Subaru Outback and followed on with a Hyundai Santa Fe when I switched to diesel.

All my Vauxhalls were excellent cars, but by 2006 the range was poor and nothing worth buying - if things stay as they are, my son will make the same decision because the Insignia can't replace a Vectra-C, it's too small inside especially the estate - although I'm aware through GMI that the next generation Insignia may include a LWB Epsilon II version.

There's plenty of brand loyalty in the UK - but buyers won't buy poor cars.
 

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All my Vauxhalls were excellent cars, but by 2006 the range was poor and nothing worth buying - if things stay as they are, my son will make the same decision because the Insignia can't replace a Vectra-C, it's too small inside especially the estate - although I'm aware through GMI that the next generation Insignia may include a LWB Epsilon II version.

There's plenty of brand loyalty in the UK - but buyers won't buy poor cars.
Mr Hertz & Mr Avis are very brand loyal in the UK you are right Rupert, good to see the British police are dumping the Focus for the Astra.

A cheaper excellent Vauxhall Viva will wipe out the Corsa in the UK, as the British buyers are downsizing to smaller cars in austerity hit EU, only unknown quantity will be South Korean Viva build quality.

2011 JD Power customer satisfaction survey, was a awesome year the best ever highest position for South Korean made Chevy's.

Not to good for Vauxhall though.

Build quality has slipped at Vauxhall in recent times, so has the customer satisfaction, Vauxhall normally finish just one up from South Korean made FWD RHD Chevrolet's who are normally rock bottom in customer satisfaction in Europe.
 

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Bottom Line: The new Corsa is very competitive!
Europeans sadly prefer the better build quality VW BS image they have established in the EU, Auto Express are also very biased to VW thats why the Polo was given 1st place, l personally think VW are over hyped-up rubbish, it's the reverse in the US market.
 
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