Vauxhall Corsa VXR review - can it match the Ford Fiesta ST? - Vauxhall Corsa VXR engine and gearbox

The Corsa VXR is faster and more composed than its predecessor, but its rivals are a tough bunch to beat

Evo rating
Price
from £18,925
  • Improved refinement, dynamics and cabin
  • Best rivals edge it for dynamic ability

The 1.6-litre, four-cylinder turbo engine and six-speed manual gearbox are carried over from the previous Corsa VXR, albeit with significant revisions to both. The intake system, clutch and flywheel, fuel injector, intercooler, ECU and exhaust are either new or heavily revised.

The six-speed manual gearbox uses new selector forks and a revised linkage to improve the shift quality, which was a major weakness of the previous model.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

The issue came from the last-gen's ability to snag second gear from first, or fourth when shifting down from fifth. It's better in the new VXR, with a cleaner, slicker and smoother shift. It's not the kind of shift that will have you changing up and down through the 'box just for the joy of it, but it's accurate enough that shifting is no longer a chore when you're on a charge. Pedal placement is just about suitable to enact heel-and-toe gearchanges.

Fundamentally however the box is still almost the same, putting it behind the Ford Fiesta ST's wonderfully precise and mechanical throw. It also can't match the Ford for ergonomics.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/porsche/cayman/202238/porsche-cayman-gts-40-2020-review-a-cut-price-cayman-gt4
Porsche Cayman

Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 2020 review - a cut-price Cayman GT4? 

The 2020 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 regains its flat-six and therefore top-billing in the class. It’s a brilliant package for those whom a GT4 is a bit to…
16 Feb 2020
Visit/supercars/201980/maserati-confirms-future-plans-as-fcapsa-flagship
supercars

Maserati confirms future plans as FCA/PSA flagship

A new electric GranTurismo, Alfieri super sports car and revenue-grabbing SUV all detailed in Maserati’s grand plan
14 Feb 2020
Visit/toyota/202232/250bhp-toyota-gr-corolla-hot-hatch-in-the-pipeline
Toyota Corolla

250bhp Toyota GR Corolla hot hatch in the pipeline

Following in the footsteps of the GR Yaris homologation special, Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division is to launch a hot Corolla
13 Feb 2020
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019