The current generation of Corsa van offers a choice between a 1.2 litre petrol engine and a 1.3 litre CDTi diesel engine. The latter also comes in two different power outputs - 75bhp and 95bhp. The latest model has updated both of these engines to be Euro 6 compliant. Depending on the exact configuration and model you buy, you will get either a five- or six-speed manual gearbox.
The Corsa van offers a load space of 0.92 cubic metres. The new model can handle payloads of up to 571kg, while previous versions could accommodate only slightly smaller payloads of up to 550kg.
The Corsa van has a lot of features, both included as standard and available as options. Safety features include a number of active systems such as stability control, traction control, brake assist, and hill-start assist, along with a set of six separate airbags. Tyre-pressure monitoring is also a standard feature. The extensive list of possible add-ons includes the likes of lane-departure warnings, forward-collision alerts and traffic-sign recognition.
Positives and Negatives
Arguably the biggest weak point of the Vauxhall Corsa's commercial incarnation is the lack of loadspace. Being based not just on an everyday car but a supermini, it is absolutely tiny by van standards. In its defence, however, it is specifically targeting the niche but very real market for very small vans the size of hatchbacks. Even within this market, its 0.92 cubic metres of loadspace is a little lacking, with rivals such as the van versions of the Fiat Punto and Ford fiesta offering a full cubic metre, but it's not exactly minuscule. It also makes up for the slight lack of space by offering a rather more generous potential payload than the competition - 571kg for the latest model, compared to the Ford Fiesta's 508kg, for example.
Its fuel economy is strong, thanks to its small size and the inclusion of eco-friendly features such as stop-start as standard. It is also very pleasant to drive, and this is undoubtedly thanks in large part to the fact it is essentially a car with the back seats removed. Its suspension is very good if a little firm on an empty load, particularly in the latest model, as this was one of the departments to receive an upgrade. It handles well, and all engine options perform well for their size. The diesel engine is a little loud driving around town, but seems to settle down more comfortably when it is given the chance to maintain high speeds. It is not the fastest vehicle off the mark, but it never feels underpowered either. It copes well with high speeds once it reaches them, and it doesn't struggle with full loads.
The Vauxhall Corsa van is very rich on features. The portfolio of safety features is going to be hard to beat, and other offerings include a “town mode” for the power steering, which provides more assistance, electric windows and mirrors and a DAB radio with Bluetooth. Add-ons for the cab include heated seats and steering wheel, heated windscreen and a 7-inch touchscreen sat nav. The design of the cabin is sleek and modern, though a little vulnerable to losing its shine through scratches. The cabin is roomy and comfortable and provides plenty of adjustments, but is somewhat lacking in storage space.
The Vauxhall Corsa van occupies a very specific niche for very small vans and will be of little interest to those outside that niche. If this is the kind of vehicle you are looking for, however, it is definitely a solid contender. It is not perfect, but it gets a lot right.