Product Type: Vauxhall cars
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A Fond Farewell to my Sapphire-Black Beauty...
Vauxhall Corsa Breeze 1.2i 16v 3-door
Member Name: Drewster_Rooster
Vauxhall Corsa Breeze 1.2i 16v 3-door
Date: 05/01/11, updated on 05/01/11 (440 review reads)
Advantages: Design, Road Handling, Features, Low Maintenance costs
Disadvantages: Not enough boot or interior space to store things
This Friday will see my wife and I say goodbye to the first brand new car we ever bought, our trusty and reliable Vauxhall Corsa Breeze. Having owned the car for 3 years since we bought it in 2008 and putting every single mile on its clock apart from the 13 delivery miles we collected it with this is a review I wanted to write for anyone considering purchasing this particular model. My experience of this car is extensive having driven it just about daily since its purchase and the simple fact that we have outgrown this car as a family means that it is with great reluctance that it is being traded in for a bigger model. This review won't throw facts and figures at you, I don't pay that much attention to how many miles we get for the gallon in it and as it has never had to go in for any repairs I can't say what sourcing and replacing parts is like and how much they cost to buy. This was a car we looked after with regular servicing and careful driving, if you want statistics and figures I will add a link to Parkers website at the end of this review where you can read about the technical aspects of owing a Vauxhall Corsa, this review is meant to be from an owner/driver perspective.
**Cost when New**
When, back in 2008 we were on the lookout for a new car we never thought that we'd buy a brand new one. I had an old, battered Ford Fiesta I was bombing around in and my wife had a four year old Corsa which she was incredibly fond of. Deciding that keeping 2 cars insured, taxed and maintained was eating too much into our finances we called in to our local Vauxhall dealer with the intention of getting some information together. Inevitably and typically for us once we saw the gleaming clean, newly designed Vauxhall Corsa on the forecourt in front of us we made the decision that, if the price was right, we would buy new.
At the time our car cost £10,300, that was for a 3 door Sapphire Black 1.2i Corsa Breeze and came with a year's road tax, 3 years manufactures warranty and breakdown cover. We were offered a reasonable amount as trade-in for our old 2 cars and had a few thousand to put towards the shortfall, however we were sold to the fact that we wouldn't have to think about MOT's for 3 years and were excited about owning a brand new car so signed on the dotted line and arranged the collection of our new purchase for a few days later.
**Appearance, Inside and Out**
Visually the Corsa Breeze looks impressive. Its short front bonnet and long body end with an easy to lift hatchback where a somewhat small amount of bootspace is provided. Ours is the 3 door version of the car so its sides are sleek in appearance and once one of the front doors is open you are greeted with plenty of head and shoulder space and a dashboard which is not complicated with too many dials. The seats of our car are fabric and generous in size with the driver's seat adjustable to allow me at 6 foot in height enough leg room to drive it in comfort, the seat can be raised and lowered and pushed forward and back so can be set to anyone's individual requirements. My wife is a lot smaller in height than me so depending who is driving at the time there are always adjustments that have to be made, the seat mechanism is smooth and easily fixed into position and once sat in the driver's seat you have a clear view of the road in front of you. The Corsa's drop bonnet design means that you can't in actual fact see the end of it which admittedly does take some getting used to but once you have taken the car on a few journeys you do get used to how it drives on the road. Ours being a 3 door means that to get to the back seats you do have to pull the front seats forward and this is one of the reasons why we are now upgrading as you do have to be a bit of a contortionist to step in and bend your body to actually get to the back seats. Trying to get shopping in and out can be tricky and as we have a dog whose harness we attach to the seatbelt this has proven to be very awkward to fasten and unfasten as time has gone on.
The glove box is best described as 'compact' and other than a service book we struggle to put anything else in there apart from a pen so if you are the type of person who keeps CD's in the car then you will best off investing in a storage box and hide them in the boot as we do. There is a shallow pull-out storage box hidden under the front passenger seat but its inclusion in the cars exterior seems to be a waste as nothing really fits in there anyway. Thankfully the interior panels on the front doors are more generous in size and can accommodate a few items although it really isn't sensible to leave valuable items in there where they can be seen from the outside of the car. Perhaps a downfall for the interior of the car is that of storage space as there is nowhere really to actually put anything so depending on how much you want to keep in your car this could be seen as a negative aspect.
The boot is averagely sized but struggles to accommodate some important family items such as a pram for example, shopping bags fit in easy enough and the rear seats do drop down to give more space if required but as a main family car the Corsa would perhaps not be the best of choices. For a single person or a couple with no children then this is a car which can offer a lot as far as how it looks and handles the road, those with youngsters however will undoubtedly struggle.
There are a number of features on the Breeze which are higher in specification than other Corsa models. Air Conditioning is fitted as standard which is handy when the weather is hot and you don't want to open the windows (which are electric on both the drivers and passenger doors) Electric mirrors are fitted which are controlled by a single button with a switch changing from the left side to right. Alloy wheels are fitted which always look nice on a car and there are driver and passenger side airbags installed. Vauxhall do install a factory fitted immobiliser which is deactivated once the key is in place and the key itself doubles up as the remote control for the central locking on the car. An integrated CD player is installed on the front central column which is also a radio and included on the column is a button which once pushed locks all the doors. There are a couple of omissions on the Breeze model namely the lack of front fog lights, these are located on the back panel along with the brakes and a single reverse light and unsurprisingly in this day and age although available at an extra cost, no cigarette lighter.
**Road Handling and Performance**
I suppose the most important thing about owning a car is how it handles on the road and the overall driving experience. The Corsa's power assisted steering gives a smooth journey on even the most uneven road surfaces which is helped by the large wheels which seem to grip and glide effortlessly. It's a perky little car which picks up speed quickly after being stood at traffic lights and surprisingly for a 1.2 cylinder this purrs and zips along the motorway without any audible groans or moans from the engine. Whilst the engine was silent brand new I would be lying if I said it has remained that way after 3 years, saying that though it never sounds as if it is being pushed too far and even when switching from first to second gear the car never sounds as if it's struggling. In all honesty the car is a dream to drive and even during the recent very cold weather turned over first time every time and so long as you give it a few minutes for the engine to warm up stalling or cut outs seldom happen. There is a five speed gear box in the Corsa with fifth gear being mostly suited for motorway or dual carriageway driving, on urban roads we rarely go above fourth gear as fifth seems to be best used for cruising. The pick up between first and second gear is sharp and snappy and by the time you get to fourth gear you are gliding along nicely. However you yourself drive I can't see anyone not being able to get a smooth and comfortable ride from a Corsa and had it not been for genuine reasons we wouldn't be getting rid of ours after only 3 years.
**The small matter of money**
The Corsa Breeze 1.2i is a group 2 for car insurance. I pay a little under £300.00 per year for comprehensive cover for myself and wife to drive this but I do have maximum no claims bonus and am classed as an experienced driver and am aged over 25. The 2008 model is in the band D tax bracket and costs £120.00 for a years road tax and £66.00 for 6 months. We haven't had to have it MOT'd in the time we have owned it but have taken it for annual servicing which usually costs around £100.00 (we go for the mini service rather than a full one simply because we only average around 6000 miles a year) A full tank of petrol will cost around £40.00 depending on the price per litre you pay and once full tends to give us around 300 - 320 miles of road and motorway driving before needing a refill.
As already mentioned we are in the process of upgrading our car and on Friday will be the owners of a Vauxhall Meriva. Since buying a static caravan back in 2009 we have come to the conclusion that the Corsa doesn't provide us with enough space to be able to transport as many items from home as we would like so it is with great reluctance that we have decided to trade it in. At the same Vauxhall dealer we originally bought the car from we were offered £4900 as a part exchange against the newer Meriva and looking online you can expect to pay around £5500 and above for an 08 plate Corsa if buying from a dealer or from a private seller.
**Conclusion and My Rating**
For a single person or couples of any age this is a car suitable for many people, its low insurance group, the features that come as standard and overall driving experience it provides means that for me there is plenty going for it. The 3 door really isn't suitable for families with children but as a second car this would be ideal, you get plenty for your money on the second-hand market and we have had absolutely no problems whatsoever with our car in the 3 years we have owned it.
I could deduct stars from my rating for the minor negative points raised in this review but I'm not going to, our Corsa 1.2i Breeze has been a joy to own and run and I will miss it when it has gone. Five stars from me along with a glowing recommendation that if you can find one in good condition with low mileage on then you should at least consider its purchase. Thanks for reading my review.
For more information about this model see: http://www.parkers.co.uk/cars/vauxhall/corsa-hatch back-2006.aspx
Summary: Vauxhall Corsa 1.2i Breeze - an owner/driver review