With a little Gallic assistance, Vauxhall has rejuvenated its Corsa Supermini to make sure it stays relevant to buyers in this crowded market. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Time, perhaps, to change the way you feel about Vauxhall's Corsa. This fifth-generation version aims to surprise in all the ways its predecessor was unremarkable. As a result, on paper at least, it's the most competitive supermini the brand has ever brought us. There's even an all-electric model.

The idea this time round with the Corsa is to strike a better balance between sportiness and comfort, thanks to a re-designed body shell and new aluminium engines. There are lighter underpinnings too, based on the new Common Modular Platform (CMP) platform this car shares with the latest Peugeot 208.

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Despite this, this fifth-generation model is slightly larger than its predecessor, with its bigger body and longer wheelbase delivering more interior and boot space from this five-door-only model. Inside, all Corsa’s have identical cabins, which centre around a new touchscreen infotainment system on the dash.

Engine-wise, there are two petrol units and a single diesel to choose from. Ideally, you'll want to avoid the base 75PS 1.2-litre petrol unit, which can only be had with 5-speed manual transmission. And go instead for the more modern three-cylinder, direct injection turbocharged 100PS 1.2-litre petrol powerplant your dealer will prefer to point you towards.

The minority-interest Corsa engine option is a 1.5-litre 100PS diesel. As for the all-electric Corsa-e version, well just one variant of that will be available featuring a 50kWh battery mated to a 100kW electric motor, this confection developing a healthy 134hp.

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Ultimately, what we're looking at here is a Corsa that can. It can be fun to drive. It can deliver a big car feel. And it can stack up well on the balance sheet. It's a small Vauxhall for which no apologies need to be made.

Book your test drive now at CMS Kidderminster by calling 01562 749000 or by visiting: www.cmsvauxhall.co.uk

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