First up, I'm no petrol head (as may well become apparent very quickly!) but I'm guessing that nor is anyone looking at a review of an eco-flex! So, what I'll do is give a flavour of my driving experience over the last four years, before I part with my car, and the pro's and con's as they stand out to me.
My history with the car... my little red diesel Corsa is now four years old and I've notched up 60k plus miles. I selected the model based on it's ultra efficient fuel consumption, low road tax and my previous good experience of owning and driving a Corsa. An added bonus is that the insurance is low and the servicing costs are also low. My model is a special edition, has a 1.3 engine, and has a glass roof with a sun roof set in it if you don't want to use the air con.
This car suited me as I commute every day on my own. I chose a three door, though a five door is available, as my personal opinion is that a small car looks better with fewer doors. The access to the rear seat is tricky. The front seats are stiff to move and accessing the rear changes the seat position which is a pain for the driver to readjust before driving off. My elderly parents, on the odd occasion they have needed a lift, have found it very difficult to get in and out. That said the leg room in the rear, once in, is reasonable. However, I'm pregnant and don't fancy getting a baby in and out of the rear so my car is now traded in for a five door Meriva! The boot access is good. The rear splits in a 2:1 configuration or you can put the entire seat down. The boot is not huge, however, the access through the hatch makes it very useable. It recently swallowed an old sofa to take to the tip that wouldn't fit in to the larger but less accessible rear of a Scirocco.
Vauxhall cars of all models get an almost universally bad rep in reviews. I'm a bit bemused by this as there are so many on the road that Joe Public obviously begs to differ! In four years my Corsa has cost me a minimal amount to run and required a minimum amount of maintenance. At 60k miles, I've replaced the tyres and wipers and have had to take it in to the garage once in an 'emergency' as the glow plugs needed replacing. That's it which doesn't seem too bad to me. It's obviously no mean speed machine. You'll not be doing any nifty overtaking manouevres in this model but I wouldn't say it's underpowered, just economical.
So, I say farewell with some sadness, though I'm sure that someone else will go on to enjoy many more years of thrifty motoring.
The car I am reviewing is the 2010 Corsa ecoFlex Energy.
===Why I Bought It===
I bought a new Corsa ecoFlex at the end of February 2011 (60 reg). I didn't particularly want a Corsa - I was looking for an eco-friendly, economical car with low tax, but I was open minded about which one. I got a good deal on the Corsa and it fitted my criteria, so that's really why I bought it. And I'm pleased with my decision.
I'm not going to go through all the features of this car, as I will probably make a total hash of it (not being much of a car expert!). So I'm going to highlight some of the things that are important to me. If you want a more details the Vauxhall website is very good.
So, as I said I was looking for a economical car. The engine is 1248cc (1.2 although it was marketed as 1.3). The fuel is diesel. One of the highlights is the fuel economy - around 70mpg combined. The CO2 emissions are reasonably low, meaning that road tax costs only £30 for the year.
Overall I'm really pleased with the Corsa, having driven in for the last couple of months - nearly 2000 miles! One of the first things I noticed was how comfortable the driver's seat is - adjustable up and down as well as the usual, with excellent lumbar support. This has made a real difference, making driving more comfortable and therefore less tiring.
Some nice extras are the aux-in so I can plug my iPod straight it to the stereo, and radio controls on the steering wheel. The interior is nothing special, but perfectly adequate. The steering column is adjustable, which is a bonus as I'm quite short! Mine is the 3 door model but friends who've been in the back tell me it's quite spacious.
In terms of economy, I'm really pleased with the low road tax. I do enough miles to make diesel worthwhile, and I'm seeing the benefits of a more economical car (my last car was 7 years old, so things have moved on a lot!). I'm not yet getting the max mpg, but it's good and over time should improve as the engine settles in.
It accelerates really well - it certainly doesn't feel like a small engined diesel. It's a fun car to drive.
Really pleased with this car so far - obviously I've only had it a few months so can't comment on reliability yet (no problems so far!). But over time I hope to update this review as I learn more about the car.
I'd definitely recommend this car if you are looking for an economical small car, that's also fun to drive.