RE: Vauxhall Corsa SRi | Shed of the Week

RE: Vauxhall Corsa SRi | Shed of the Week

Friday 8th November

Vauxhall Corsa SRi | Shed of the Week

Incredibly, Shed hasn't considered a 'D' Corsa before. That streak ends now



One of the key qualifications of Sheddery is that each week's selected motor must have a valid MOT certificate. As Shed sits down to pen these words, this week's effort - a 2008 Vauxhall Corsa SRi - fulfils this essential brief. By the time you read these words though, it won't. The certificate expires - or to be temporally correct, expired - on Thursday November 7th.

PH's powerfully-built Editor has relaxed his iron grip on this because, believe it or not, no Corsa has graced this column for at least seven years, or possibly ever, which seems almost incredible. Plus, after gazing intently at his crystal ball for several hours, Shed thinks that this one should pass a new test without too much bother. Plus, at the time of writing, the car is legal. So, for all these reasons and in the spirit of impending Christmas, a sort of exemption is being made.

The Corsa's non-appearance in Shed of the Week isn't that hard to explain when you think about it. It's not because they've never dropped under our Β£1,500-max-price limbo bar. Far from it. It's because a Corsa that any self-respecting PHer might want, ie a sporting one, has always been out of reach.

When the Corsa 'B' arrived in 1993, Vauxhall enthusiasts wondered where the equivalents of the Nova SR, GSI or GTE were, not to mention the extremely rare Nova Sport 1.3, fully restored versions of which now command prices of over Β£20k.


The answer was that they didn't exist, not then and not even in 2000 when the gen-two 'C' Corsa came out. None of that mattered to Vauxhall, though, because boggo Corsas were selling like hot cakes, even toppling the mighty Fiesta from the top of the supermini charts for a year in 2005.

But then somebody noticed that the 'C' Corsa was terribly boring. The word eventually reached Luton, and the result was the 2006 gen-three 'D' Corsa range which included a new, madly exciting but also rather punishing 190hp VXR. The 147hp SRi that arrived in late 2007 used a softer version of the VXR's 1.6 turbo. It didn't have the VXR's central exhaust, mesh details, big bumpers, Recaro seats, flat-bottomed steering wheel or Lotus-tweaked suspension damping, but it was vaguely affordable at Β£13.5k, the insurance was reasonable and you could have it with five as well as three doors.

The SRi was summed up thusly by none other than Riggers, late of this parish and an Autocar tester in a previous life. "Just like every other Corsa (VXR excluded), the SRi feels like a mature, sophisticated device rather than a chuckable nutcase. A Fiesta ST it is not, so if you're looking for out-and-out fun from your pocket rocket, look elsewhere. But if you want a sensible and good-looking hatch that can turn a smile when required, you could do far worse."

Riggers, who Shed hopes will not mind being quoted without copyright permission, also liked the crisper but not over-firm suspension and the variable assistance steering that he said was an improvement on that of ordinary Corsas. Mind you, just about anything short of a Series 2 Land Rover had superior steering to that of ordinary Corsas.


Various lesser journos rated the SRi higher than something like the Peugeot 207 THP GT (not difficult) or the SEAT Ibiza FR (more debatable). One motoring monthly reckoned it was a typical Vauxhall hot hatch in that it gave you plenty of straight line whizz for your cash (0-60 in 7.6sec, 130mph, 155lb ft of torque from 1,850-5,000rpm) but that the fun-o-meter needle would slump somewhat as soon as the first corner hoved into view.

Although we don't have the benefit of any interior shots here, Shed is fairly certain that the SRi had a strong red'n'black theme that took in the seats, steering wheel and seatbelts. Nice if you liked that sort of thing, horrid if you didn't. The central section of the dash reflected quite badly in the windscreen too, but generally speaking this Spanish-built Vauxhall's cabin was well put together.

Our SRi Shed is not a minter and there's some sort of issue with the mileage. The vendor says 78k, but last November's MOT certificate had it at 85k, when there were advisories on rear tyre wear and a worn front suspension bush.

The Corsa D was only just pipped to the European Car of the Year title in 2007, but 12 years on, what problems can you expect? Well, the brakes might screech, but with any luck that will be drowned out by the squeaking of the suspension. Turbo failure, clutch judder, coolant and washer bottle leaks, and clogging washer jets join dodgy handbrakes, fuel regulators and mass air flow sensors on the roster of shame. Normal 21st century car stuff in other words.


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Author
Discussion

Cambs_Stuart

Original Poster:

646 posts

31 months

Friday 8th November
quotequote all
I have to say I'm disappointed. Its like the VXR wihout the good bits that make the VXR fun. Was this really the best/most interesting/fun sub-£1500 car out there?

Tin Hat

775 posts

156 months

Friday 8th November
quotequote all
You certainly get a generous amount of headlamp glass on these

sgtBerbatov

1,671 posts

28 months

Friday 8th November
quotequote all
"PH's powerfully-built Editor has relaxed his iron grip on this because, believe it or not, no Corsa has graced this column for at least seven years, or possibly ever, which seems almost incredible."

It only seems incredible until you realise it's a Corsa, which is built by Vauxhall, and is the automotive equivalent of no-name, own brand baked beans. It's a viciously boring car with all of the charisma of a wet fart at a funeral.

And I base this on learning to drive in two fo the hateful things.

Edited by sgtBerbatov on Friday 8th November 08:49

SidewaysSi

5,941 posts

181 months

Friday 8th November
quotequote all
What a wonderful SOTW - let the comments commence. The Editorial team are going to have a few giggles in the office today.

Well done chaps smile

Mike335i

2,656 posts

49 months

Friday 8th November
quotequote all
Interesting choice, considering a Vauxhall Corsa is such a terrible car and doesn't now even have an MOT.

I often rent cars through work and twice they have forced me into a Corsa. Not again, it remains the only car that is guaranteed to give me back ache for at least 2 weeks after.

I'd take an i20 or a Fiesta over a Corsa any day. I'd probably take the train over a Corsa...


HumanSteamroller

99 posts

24 months

Friday 8th November
quotequote all
Cambs_Stuart said:
I have to say I'm disappointed. Its like the VXR wihout the good bits that make the VXR fun. Was this really the best/most interesting/fun sub-£1500 car out there?
I don't believe those have ever been the criteria for SOTW, just whatever titillates Shed's fancy.

yme402

57 posts

49 months

Friday 8th November
quotequote all
Is this an April-fools SOTW posted 6 months late?

richinlondon

123 posts

69 months

Friday 8th November
quotequote all
The bland colour suits it down to the ground .

s m

18,073 posts

150 months

Friday 8th November
quotequote all
Several people will have burned their eyes out with fire by the end of today...


As fast as a GT86 off the lights though!

court

1,457 posts

163 months

Friday 8th November
quotequote all
AFAIK these run exactly the same oily bits as the VXR. Map them and an easy safe 200hp is yours

Edit, seems my addled brain is still functioning:


Edited by court on Friday 8th November 08:07

Zygot

97 posts

19 months

Friday 8th November
quotequote all
A work colleagues 2006 Corsa developed a brake issue this week. The garage it went to basically condemned it as being beyond economic repair.
If I was even considering this car (not that I would), I'd want a shiny new MoT at the vendors expense. The mileage issue is also a big red flag methinks.

Jamescrs

432 posts

12 months

Friday 8th November
quotequote all
Shed took a bung of the size that would make Bruce Grobelaar blush to make this shed of the week.

Triumph Man

6,039 posts

115 months

Friday 8th November
quotequote all
Coming soon to a Maccy D's near you!

Turbobanana

1,526 posts

148 months

Friday 8th November
quotequote all
Crap car, but in Shed's defence there wasn't a great deal of interesting material available to choose from, when I looked through the classifieds yesterday trying to predict what would get chosen.

s m

18,073 posts

150 months

Friday 8th November
quotequote all
court said:
AFAIK these run exactly the same oily bits as the VXR. Map them and an easy safe 200hp is yours
At which point you have an Integrale humbler!

the_hood

442 posts

141 months

Friday 8th November
quotequote all
Doesn't do it for me. No thanks.

StuE39

473 posts

64 months

Friday 8th November
quotequote all
Can anyone actually quantify why these are such terrible cars, compared to other offerings of the time? I'm not talking about in comparison to a Fiesta ST for example - as I think at the time the VXR was the competitor to the ST.

What actually makes this car bad? Not just, it's dull or it's boring.

cerb4.5lee

12,754 posts

127 months

Friday 8th November
quotequote all
It is a bit of a sleeper I reckon, and in no way did I expect it to do 0 to 60 in 7.6 seconds just from looking at it.

You can understand why the GT86 gets some stick for its performance when an old Corsa is just as quick! biggrin

J4CKO

28,422 posts

147 months

Friday 8th November
quotequote all
Get past the Vauxhall snobbery and its probably perfectly adequate, maybe even moderate fun. They do seem to not rot and its 11 years old, the MOT situation would put me off but they do seem to keep going.

Not a lot of want for it though, I could just see that on "Police Interceptors" or some other fine Channel 5 fodder, parked at the side of the road with a Police BMW behind it as the copper searches it finding weed and a few hundred quid. Before handcuffing a chap in his early twenties in a track suit and baseball cap, probably no license, insurance or MOT....and there is the Vauxhall Snobbery...

Sean207

14 posts

84 months

Friday 8th November
quotequote all
But there was a GSI in the Corsa B range...my mate had 2. They looked the part at least even if they were not even warm by todays standard...