Vauxhall has a new hot hatch, and despite their habit of putting VXR badges on things, this one doesn’t wear one. Instead it’s wearing a GSI one. Last time this happened to a Corsa was 1993.
Naturally, a Corsa that isn’t as powerful as the top-of-the-range VXR sounds great because in theory, it should mean we’ve got a hot Corsa that handles. And if there’s one thing that let the VXR down, it was that it didn’t handle at all. It had too much power and would just understeer everywhere. They should have called it the “Vauxhall Orbit.”
But hold your horses though. Because you can’t have one. Well, you can but you would have to be pretty thick to buy one. You see, there’s some things you should know about it first: it’s not just a little bit less powerful than its even-more-expensive VXR brother, it’s actually a lot less powerful. We’re talking 27% less power, down to 148 bhp. Now I know there’s plenty of fun cars out there with less power than that, but they tend to be quite light. Not so with the GSI which has a 1300kg dry weight. By the time you account for two people and fuel, you’re looking at a car that weighs the same as a Jaguar XE. It’s hideously slow too, with a 8.9 second 0-62 time, it’s lucky to even be called a “hot hatch” when you consider the competition.
It gets worse still, when I heard about this car, I thought it’d cost 13-maybe-14-grand. But no… As you can tell from the title, this car costs “from” £18,995. That’s more than the brand-new Fiesta ST, which is faster, better looking, handles better and comes with way more equipment. When asked why it was so expensive, Vauxhall were eager mention that the GSI comes with fake carbon fibre door mirrors, tinted windows, and phone compatibility. All things you could add to your standard Corsa yourself for about £80. That’s not to mention the “plus” package, which contains rims that are 1-inch larger, Xenon headlamps, and Recaro seats for another £1900.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Vauxhall have not long been bought by Peugeot. Who by the way, appointed a new director of sales at the same time this car’s price was announced. Does it seem to you a tad suspicious that Vauxhall seem to be taking a turn for the worst after being bought by one of their main competitors? We think it does.
Given all that, this is might not be the best time to buy a Vauxhall. So, here’s five great cars that are cheaper than the Corsa GSI;
- Ford Fiesta ST
I found this one on Auto Trader for £3,990, with only 37,000 miles. It has the same 148 bhp as the GSI, but it’s nearly 200kg lighter so it’s 0-62 time is a whole second quicker, at 7.9 seconds – even if the top speed is only one mile an hour more. Not to mention that it’ll probably offer a much more involved driving experience. This one is a gem, half leather sports interior, six disk CD changer, and much easier on the eyes.
- Audi RS6 C5
How does 500bhp sound? Much better than 148 bhp, that’s for sure! The owner had this sports saloon professionally remapped from 450 to 500 bhp and has the dyno sheet to prove it. It may be a high miler at 96,000, but that many miles on an Audi is like 25,000 miles on a Vauxhall. Did I say it’s got a white interior too? Not only that but you can guarantee it’ll sound better with a 4.5 litre Bi-Turbo V8 under the bonnet. Furthermore, it’s a staggering £8245 cheaper than the Corsa GSI at £10,750 – even if all the money will go on petrol and insurance, having a car with a 200 mph speedo trumps a 128 mph Corsa any day of the week!
- Series II Jaguar XJ-S
If a Corsa GSI isn’t classy enough for you, then we’ve got you covered because it doesn’t get any classier this: a smooth straight 6 and timeless appeal for £12,500. And low miles too. Since it was built 28 years ago, this car has covered only 45,000 miles. That’s only 1600 miles a year! Need I remind you that the XJS came with a real wood dashbard? It just oozes appeal this car. Even if you don’t have this kind of money to spend, they’re available for as little as £8000 – though this one’s price is easily justifiable with it’s calibre of care from the owner.
- L322 Range Rover Vouge Supercharged 4.2 V8
With considerably more road presence than a Corsa, and lot more capabilities, this Range Rover is a tad cheaper than the GSI at £17,950. While it’s true a 2006 RR like this can be bought for about ten grand less than this one, it’ have two or three times this one’s mileage. It’s also worth mentioning that this one has the best colour scheme too – you can’t argue with black on black, silver wheels and white leather!
- Porsche 996 911 Carrera 4
What if I said you could have an AWD Porsche 911 with only 28,000 miles for the price of a Corsa? As bonkers as that sounds, it’s reality. This dream motor is up for sale right now for £17,995. Not much when you consider what you’re getting for the money – for starts, one of the best engineered motors to ever grace this Earth. A lot of people like to hate on the 996, they think it’s ugly however I to think it’s very pretty. And if you were born after the mid nighties, you’ll know it as “Sally” from Disney Pixar’s Cars!
By James Harrison