Vauxhall says it concentrated on making the Corsa easy to drive in day-to-day life, rather than focusing on super-sharp handling. On that score, the company's succeeded: it’s no harder to live with any of its rivals. In fact, it’s perfectly pleasant to drive, with decent visibility, well-weighted controls and light steering that all make for easy manoeuvrability around town. It has safe and solid handling through the bends, too, and no nasty surprises waiting to catch you out. However, there are still some shortcomings. It doesn’t feel all that light on its feet, so it lacks that nimble feel you get in some of its rivals, such as the Ford Fiesta
. Meanwhile, the ride is also less than ideal. It feels slightly jittery and unsettled for too much of the time – especially at low speeds and even more so in the sportier models with their bigger wheels. The sportiest model – now that the fire-breathing VXR has been discontinued – is the GSI, and this comes with the same sports suspension that previously underpinned the VXR. The ride is what we’d describe as ’acceptably firm’. It’s comfortable enough that it won’t make you wince over every pothole, but things are taut enough to keep the body under tight control in bends and give you plenty of information about the road surface beneath. Again, the GSI doesn’t provide a driving experience that’s as polished or as thrilling as that delivered by the Ford Fiesta ST
, but there is plenty of fun to be had.