Review: Vauxhall Corsavan (2007 – 2015)

Rating:

Has the qualities of the standard Corsa with tidy handling and a neat cabin, designed as a van from the outset so impressively practical for a small vehicle.

None of the engines particularly sparkle but the 1.2-litre petrol is best avoided.

Recently Added To This Review

23 October 2012 DAB upgrade introduced

DAB digital radio is now available for all Vauxhall commercial vehicles for £195. The system is fitted by Vauxhall retailers and can be completely integrated with existing steering-wheel mounted... Read more

17 May 2012 1.2-litre petrol added

The Corsavan range sees the addition of a new engine option, a 1.2 petrol unit with start/stop. The new Corsavan engine has CO2 of 119g/km, a saving of 5g/km over the standard 1.2 engine with a claimed... Read more

11 July 2011

Corsavan ecoFLEX made more efficient. The Corsavan 1.3 CDTi 16v 95PS ecoFLEX Start/Stop now emits 95g/km of CO2 thanks to efficiency improvements including a variable geometry turbocharger, lowered chassis,... Read more

Vauxhall Corsavan (2007 – 2015): At A Glance

Rather than simply a standard Corsa without rear windows, the Corsavan was designed as a commercial vehicle and was planned as part of the original Corsa product line up from the beginning. It has plenty of the strong traits of the Corsa - good manouevrability, a nicely laid out interior and tidy handling. 

It's practical too with a full-length flat floor and clever extra-long load security cover arrangement that make it one of the most security-conscious small vans on the market. It has a taller and wider tailgate than the previous model and an increased payload of up to 555kg, although the Corsavan is just bettered by the Ford Fiesta van for outright cargo volume,. In total, the Corsavan will carry a load of up to 0.85 cubic metres.

The engine line up majors on efficiency rather than performance. The mainstay is the 1.3 CDTi that provides decent enough performance and adequate torque, even when fully loaded. There's also an ecoFLEX version of the engine that is fitted with stop start, among other efficiency measures, which returns an official 83.1mpg and CO2 of 89g/km which is more than sufficient to keep even the hardest business head happy..

The Corsavan has proved popular with van users who do a lot of city driving, where its compact dimensions, good all round visibility and ability to park almost anywhere come to the fore. But it’s pretty adequate on long journeys, with the CDTi engine capable of cruising comfortably at the legal limit and offering decent refinement. The 1.2-litre petrol struggles a bit more at these speeds though.

Vauxhall Corsavan (2007 – 2015): What's It Like Inside?

If you’ve ever driven a current generation Vauxhall Corsa, and many of us have as our own cars, a hire car or even the one we learnt to drive in, you’ll be at home in the Corsavan. The entire dash, console, seats and all the rest of the cabin are lifted wholesale from the hatch model.

This is a good thing as it means the Corsavan has a clearly laid out dash without the fripperies of some rivals. Like the Corsa, the steering wheel moves for height and angle, so it’s easy to find the right driving position whatever size you are.

There are some handy storage areas in the door pockets and dash of the Corsavan, but a few more wouldn’t go amiss to make life for the business user easier. Likewise, you will only be able to accommodate one passenger in the Vauxhall, so if you need to carry a third you will need to trade up your expectations.

However, safety is good in the Corsavan and all models come with a driver’s airbag, ABS anti-lock brake and there’s also remote central locking and deadlocks to keep the car safe from thieves. A standard bulkhead only comes up halfway up the load area, so it would be a wise option to order a mesh screen to keep loads from tumbling forwards into the cabin. This would also help make loads more secure even if thieves managed to break into the cabin.

Access to the load area is by the lift-up tailgate that provides a usefully tall and wide opening that is thankfully unhindered by the design and shape of the rear lights. A curve to the load sill makes loading heavy and bulkier items a little trickier than it should be, but the load floor is well up the task of coping with larger, weightier items. An optional rubber floor mat is a good bet to protect the metal and residual values.

There are tie-down hooks in the boot and Vauxhall also offers a full load compartment cover, which is really just and extended version of the Corsa hatch’s load cover, though it’s hand for keeping prying eyes away from any precious cargo you might have to carry.

Like all small car-derived vans, the lack of a side door means heavier items will always be trickier to load and unload. This is not a particular fault or shortcoming of the Corsavan, but just something to bear in mind if you intended to make complete use of the Vauxhall’s 550kg maximum payload.

What's the Vauxhall Corsavan (2007 – 2015) like to drive?

You have a choice of three engines when selecting your ideal Vauxhall Corsavan. The 1.2-litre petrol has 70PS and might appeal to some as the cheapest way into ownership of this small van. However, the start/stop version is a better bet thanks to its 65.7mpg and 119g/km CO2 compared to the basic version’s 62.8mpg and 129g/km.

Still, if the 1.2 start/stop seems appealing, you might as well head for the 75PS 1.3-litre turbodiesel that delivers 78.5mpg and 112g/km. Around town and on the motorway, the diesel feels more muscular at low and medium revs than petrol, which needs to be revved hard to give its best. This is especially true if you load the Corsavan up towards its maximum payload.

Our favourite engine in the Corsavan, however, is also the most frugal and clean in the shape of the 95PS 1.3 CDTi turbodiesel. It not only offers the most power and performance, making light work of heavy loads, it also delivers incredibly low 89g/km emissions. This is complemented by 83.1mpg average economy and it is possible to exceed this on the motorway with careful use of the right foot.

The 95PS Ecoflex 1.3 CDTi has a five-speed manual gearbox, the same as every other Corsavan, but with the Ecoflex model the ratios have been fine-tuned for added economy. Vauxhall has managed this without affecting the acceleration of the van and it is a real pleasure to plot around town or ply your trade on the motorway in it. This is possible as Vauxhall has also tweaked the engine’s ECU brain for maximum efficiency without compromising performance or usability.

Thanks to its hatchback parentage, the Corsavan is a real treat to drive. While the Ford Fiesta just has the edge in every area compared to the Vauxhall, the Corsavan is still enormous fun to drive. It corners with little lean and hangs on through bends with a tenacity that you will just not find in larger vans with their higher centres of gravity. In van terms, the Vauxhall is very much at the sporty end of the spectrum.

Vauxhall has also judged the ride quality very well as the Corsavan deals with lumps and rumps in the road far better than most vans. It makes it the ideal way to get about for those with multi-drop deliveries in and around town. Factor in steering that is light and the Corsavan’s compact size and you can make light work of heavy traffic conditions. On the motorway, the Vauxhall is stable and much more refined that most vans as it retains much of the sound-proofing of the standard Corsa hatch in the cabin.

Real MPG average for a Vauxhall Corsavan (2007 – 2015)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their vehicles could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

88%

Real MPG

45–68 mpg

MPGs submitted

7

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.