Vauxhall Corsa VXR Clubsport: Spotted

If you were to cobble together a 'perfect hot hatch' recipe - goodness knows it's been discussed enough times - then what would you have? A three-door supermini would be a good start, with a manual gearbox and punchy turbo engine making more than 200hp surely welcome, too. Moreover, if you were choosing componentry, how about dampers from Bilstein, a limited-slip diff from Drexler and brakes from Brembo?

All of that features in the Corsa VXR Clubsport, a run-out model for the previous generation fast Corsa that reinstated the mechanical spec of the Nurburgring Edition. However, that griffin sat proudly on the nose would always ensure it would struggle to attract attention - fast Vauxhalls do still have an image problem, don't they? And while it might not be the best handling pocket rocket ever made, and the interior doesn't look fantastic just a few years on from launch, the Clubsport Corsa is still worth investigating.

Back when PH first drove this version of VXR - and where the lead image is pinched from - it was described as "a fittingly rapid and raw farewell for the Corsa", set to find a "small but delighted audience". With good reason, too, thanks to great traction, strong brakes and a resoundingly old-school attitude. There was plenty to like, and that continued into the updated car, even if some would never give it another look.

In addition, while the VXR Clubsport may not have driven much like other Vauxhalls, it certainly depreciated like them. Which means cars like this one, registered in 2014 with a £22k list price (and having covered just 13,000 miles), are available for less than £10,000.

£9,277 to be precise, which looks like something of a bargain for a car so talented that's only covered a little more than a year's average mileage. Even the very cheapest VXRs (that are seven years older than this) currently command more than £4k.

So what's the problem? You know the problem. It's the wealth of alternative hot hatch options available for the same money. There can be little denying that the Fiesta ST is a more rounded proposition than the Vauxhall, and the Mk3 Clio 200 is one of the best handling front-wheel drive cars ever - the Corsa is not.

That being said, a Fiesta for the same money has twice the mileage of the Corsa; this Clio at £9,495 has more than four times the mileage, as well as being five years older. Which is quite a lot, really.

Nobody is saying that the Corsa is some forgotten hot hatch legend, though it arguably deserves more recognition than it currently attracts - particularly as a Clubsport. When cars like this are available for relatively little cash, perhaps more people might be attracted to the Corsa's charms.


Engine: 1,598cc, 4-cylinder turbocharged
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive, LSD
Power (hp): 205@5,750rpm
Torque (lb ft): 184@2,250-5,500rpm
MPG: 37.2 (NEDC combined)
CO2: 178g/km
First registered: 2014
Recorded mileage: 13,000
Price new: £22,390
Price now: £9,277

See the original advert here.




P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (65) Join the discussion on the forum

  • VR6 Eug 08 Feb 2018

    Ive had my share of vauxhalls over the years and most have been poor, i just dont like them...the fast ones have to much power for the chassis to deploy, unreliable, exploding engines, chav image going all the way back to the 16v gte astra, the only good one for me was my fwd cavalier gsi 2000, that ticked all the boxes in 1991 and never broke down in 3 years....

  • alorotom 08 Feb 2018

    The Mrs had a Nurby VXR and I loved it ... sold it at 3yrs with 4K on the clock to low volume dealer sourcing it for “a collector” and I believe it’s now just in a collection.

    It was a great little car! Loads of deals were to be had and not many ppl paid full list for one (list most VXs in my experience)

  • s m 08 Feb 2018

    I drove very similar car at Oulton on a VXR Experience day.

    Thought it was a fantastic little hot hatch especially with the proper LSD, handling very entertaining.

    Sporty Spice's brother was on hand to give passenger rides in these too. I watch the prices and will look out for one when they drop into budget.

    Have really enjoyed the sporty Opel/Vauxhalls I've had - both great drivers' cars ( Manta GTE and GTE16v )

  • S9JTO 08 Feb 2018

    I test drove one of these last year, identical spec to the car above funnily enough. It was truly enjoyable to drive, great soundtrack, good brakes and pretty decent looking (especially from the rear).

    I opted for the Ibiza Cupra in the end purely down to the interior quality, better 'image' (awaiting abuse), fuel economy (again, awaiting abuse), insurance and the fact it was only £1.5k cheaper than a 6 month old 1.8TSI Cupra at the time.

    Agree that it is a very capable and underrated car. That interior is a game changer for me though, apart from the buckets.

  • Roastie ITR 08 Feb 2018

    I also drove these on a VXR Experience day & really really liked them, would consider one in the future.

View all comments in the forums Make a comment