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Vauxhall Corsa VXR: Style over substance

CAR OF THE WEEK: Vauxhall Corsa VXR

WHEN MY Vauxhall Corsa VXR arrived on my drive I was excited; the sun was out and that simply enhanced the look of my stunning Lime Green test drive.

Vauxhall’s ultra-powerful hot-hatch, raises the bar for small, fast hatchbacks, with fierce acceleration of 0 to 60mph in 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 143mph.

However, with all that said and done the ride did not take me to any great heights. In fact it was far from surefooted and only really produced its best work when the accelerator was down. The assault course that is London’s roads – potholes and speed humps – provided a challenge for the Corsa VXR.

The reason for its tardiness is clearly not a lack of power but rather its application; the car suffers from a lack of traction off the line.

The standard Corsa VXR comes with Recaro front seats, a sporty bodykit including a dual Remus exhaust system, bi-xenon headlights, air conditioning, cruise control and Vauxhall’s Intellink infotainment system. It certainly looks the part and drew many an admiring glance during my seven days of evaluation.

Vauxhall only offers the VXR with one engine and body style, but it does give buyers a choice of option packs. Customers can specify conveniences like a reversing camera, safety features such as a lane-departure warning system, or luxuries like a panoramic sunroof.

Despite being the high-performance model of the Corsa, the VXR has exactly the same amount of interior and boot space as the regular car, which is spacious and has plenty of cabin storage.

However, the VXR is somewhat compromised by the fact that it’s only available as a three-door, which means its sloping roofline cuts into the available rear headroom a bit.

The VXR’s interior dimensions are the same as those of the regular three-door Corsa. There’s enough room in the rear for three passengers to sit comfortably, but as mentioned above, headroom may be an issue. Interior storage is decent and the door bins are massive, so the VXR can carry plenty of odds, ends and the miscellaneous bits that can easily accumulate. However, the glovebox is rather small compared to what you might be used to.

On occasion I found the Vauxhall Corsa VXR demanding to drive but it did provide me with some fun moments.

Highlights during the week for me were the distinctive colour, a few moments with the pedal-to-the-floor and the nods of approval from passers by as they gawped at the attractive but flawed Vauxhall Corsa VXR on my drive.

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