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  • Writer's pictureMartin van Zeelandt / TCD

My Vauxhall Corsa 2017 - Diamond Edition

London, United Kingdom

Regular viewers to my social media pages (like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and more) are fully aware of the fact that I own a Vauxhall (Opel) Corsa from 2017. True to my new website, and the fact that I've had it for about 2 1/2 year now, I think it's time for me to review the beast that I call Charles Corsa, but the wife disagrees. She calls it Charly. So there. Time to review our purchase made in January 2018.

I have had a few cars in the past, and the first one I started with, was a Opel Astra 1.2l Bordeaux Red, and I made some small modifications. Truth be told, they looked absolutely horrible. But I did not have thousands to spend on it, so I did things on the cheap. It was cool back then, but now, not really. After that I owned a VW Polo 1.0l Lime Green, a Renault Twingo 0.8l Bordeaux Red, a Volvo S40 1.8l Red, and one Bordeaux Red, and a Mazda 2 Grey. I had to buy the Mazda, because of an accident I had with the Volvo. But the Mazda, as spacious as it was, it was a car with a lot of hidden mistakes and defects, and I think I spent about 3k on repairs. When the clutch went, I decided to get rid of it entirely, and I needed a vehicle to replace it. But money is an option: my back yard isn't filled with money trees. What should I choose?

My colleagues at the time gave me ideas. A lot of them. Seeing as I worked for a company hired by Opel/Vauxhall, the idea of purchasing a Vauxhall was easily made. But which one? It should have 5 doors, but I wasn't fussed about the engine, or anything else. It should be able to take me from A to B, and preferably back. We (me and the wife) went to Thurlow Nunn, our closest Vauxhall dealership, and found a Corsa, pre registered. But it still had done 10 miles, so it was brand new. To keep a long story short, we decided to get it. A Diamond Edition. Good engine. Exquisite interior, and funky exterior. I was so happy, I don't think I slept at all days before we would be given the key.

The day came, and I collected the vehicle. And I've driven it a lot since January 2018. To be precise: we are currently at 49k miles. I thought I was going to reach 60k miles at the end of the Warranty period, but due to COVID-19, that's not going to happen. But the 49k have been a bliss so far.

It does come packed with everything you need. A good stereo system, heated front screen, seats, and steering wheel. Airconditioning. Half leather interior. Automatic light system. Alarm (obviously). Intellilink system. And it all works. It just does. And that makes me happy.

It has been the purchase of the century for me, personally. It was worth every penny. But seeing as I've got some insight into the Warranty rules and regulations, I do maintain this vehicle extremely well. Always make sure that you service it on time, and as per manufacturing given intervals. Bird dirt on the car? Clean it! Don't leave it on there, or it might damage the paint, which isn't a manufacturing defect, but more caused by external influences. Clean the car every so often. Why not? It gives you the satisfaction that you are looking at a car that might be 2/3 years old, but still looks as shiny as the day it left the factory in Spain.

But it is important to maintain the vehicle well. Always have the services done on time, and correctly. Yes, you might go to your local garage around the corner, but let him/her use the correct spec oil, filter, etc. It is important: any incorrectly used parts might damage the vehicle, and it might not be a manufacturing defect, covered under Warranty. So what I do, is go to where I purchased the vehicle from, Thurlow Nunn in Luton. And I get a good service, every time.

But has it been all joy? Nope. As cool as the diamond edition is, with its fancy wheels, it isn't. I damaged the wheel slightly, so I wanted to have it repaired, but it turns out that not all companies can repair this. Only specialists can do this. Bummer. And one of the main missing pieces from the vehicle was an arm rest. It didn't come with one. And at first it didn't matter, because my journeys to and from work were alright, but I have changed jobs, and now I sit a total of 4 hours+ every day in the car, and if you don't have a centre armrest, you are buggered. But don't fear, Vauxhall is here! Thurlow Nunn ordered one for me, and I fitted this myself. And with my two left hands, I did do it. And it has been a life changing bit. My journeys won't be any shorter, but more pleasant.

What are the good thing about this car, compared to my previous vehicles? Well, there are many good things. The engine is good. The car's interior is good. The boot space is good. The stereo is good. I am happy, whenever I look at it. It just looks so damn good, doesn't it? (please look at the images below, and comment below if the car looks good or looks like garbage):

Some images are taken from when the car was new, and some were taken after it had already been used for a while. And you can tell that I keep the car in good condition. Even the interior. The floor mat driver side had a small hole in it, and I purchase one from Thurlow Nunn, and that has been pleasant ever since. I know that this is caused by wear and tear, due to the usage pattern of the vehicle.

So I've driven it excessively, and can say in all honesty that I do know the car's good and bad points. Don't worry: if you are thinking of buying one (not the new Corsa E), you might need to keep this in the back of your mind. Use it, but don't follow it by heart.

One of the issues is the space in the back. I'm 6.0 feet, and I've got long legs, so I've got my seat really far back. This limits the space for anyone sitting behind me. No, I'm not laying down, the back bit is still fairly straight, but the whole seat is so far back that a 6.0 feet person wouldn't be able to be comfortable sitting behind me. If you are a smaller person or you have got shorter legs, this might not be an issue for passengers.

Another small thing I have noticed is the storage. The dashboard storage is limited. The actual service booklet doesn't even fit in it. It's that small due to the fuse box being put there. And there's no storage surrounding the steering wheel. I would have liked more storage, but due to me fitting an armrest (which comes with a small storage compartment) it's all sorted now.

The only manufacturing defect I encountered, was when the front bumper sensor was going off randomly, when I wasn't even near any object. The sensor wasn't fitted correctly, and after visiting my dealer, they did sort it out, and now it's been working correctly.

Small detail: I do find the driver seat loosing its strength. I tried to persuade the manufacturer that this is a defect, obviously caused by usage, but it shouldn't happen. But sadly they declined it. I might need to fix this myself, but I hoped that it would be covered. The top layer of the seat is a bit looser, it's like it isn't attached properly to the foam layer underneath.

Besides these points, the car has been a bliss. It has taken me to the Netherlands several times, to Barry Island, to the Cotswolds, to wherever I want it to go. Epsom? London? Sure, no problem! The car has been there for me. And I think it's because of a few reasons. Good manufacturing process by Opel/Vauxhall/GM, good driver, and good maintenance. All these factors are visible in a good working vehicle. I don't drive the car extremely fast, nor dangerously. But when I need the power, it's there.

I have to say that this being the newest car I have ever owned, it has also been the best. From all the cars I have driven over the years, it has been there for me. Yes, I've driven other vehicles over the years too, lately Lexus and Toyotas, and they have been good, but I don't want to exchange the vehicle just yet. No need to get rid of Charles/Charly. It's a decent car. It's a car. But a car that is a car, not a project for a technician. Low maintenance, but efficient experience for the driver.

It does long distant drives very well. Oh, and I forgot to mention that it also has the ability to drive without me touching the pedals! How bliss is that? No lane warning system, but a cruise control that does it for me. You still need to touch the wheel, it's not a Tesla..

I give the car a 4.5 out of 5. Little things that nag me. But they are little. It does come equipped with everything you need. And things I personally don't need, but you (the reader) might. Protective child seat locks. Rear parking camera and sensors. It's got the lot.

So now the vehicle details. If you are bothered:

  • Vauxhall Corsa

  • Cylinder Capacity: 1398 cc

  • CO2 emissions: 120 g/km

  • Fuel: Petrol

  • Vehicle Colour: Grey

  • Vehicle Type Approval : M1

  • Version: Diamond Edition

There we go. If you are looking for a Corsa, make sure you investigate all the options out there: the specifications can be altered to your liking. Remember, Opel/Vauxhall do make the Corsa E now, so it might be that they do not fabricate the vehicle I have described. But I don't work for the manufacturer anymore, so I don't know. But you might see vehicles at your local dealership. Check them out, do a test drive, and see if it appeals to you.

Links that you might find interesting:

(always service your car on time. trust me. it will be for the greater good!)

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