Light fantastic

Road Test
Richard Gooding

The Vauxhall Corsavan has been realigned with the revisions enjoyed by the latest passenger car version. GreenFleet examines the changes.

We’ve tested both diesel (GreenFleet 82) and petrol (GreenFleet 86) versions of the recently revised Vauxhall Corsa, and though they may be the stars of the Griffin’s perennial best-selling range, the light commercial vehicle (LCV) variant has long played a supporting role. So, enter stage right the new Corsavan, suitably refreshed in line with the passenger car models.

Emissions of 90-128g/km
Just as the Corsa fights the Fiesta at the top of the UK sales charts, the Corsavan does battle with the van version of Ford’s supermini in the LCV arena. Available with one petrol and three diesel engines with CO2 outputs from 90 to
128g/km, the new Corsavan has an increased payload of 571kg (up by 21kg over the old model) and a load volume of 0.92cm3. For comparison, the Fiestavan (original names here!) has, on average, a payload of 500kg, a load volume of 1m3 and emissions ranging from 82 to 122g/km. Not much in it then. 

Just like its passenger car brother, the new Corsavan benefits from an improved specification for 2015, with lots of standard equipment. Body-coloured bumpers and the new Corsa’s Adam city car-like face make it look a whole lot smarter, while Sportive models gain metallic paint, 16-inch alloy wheels and front fog lights. Inside, a CD30 audio system with MP3 player/aux-in/Bluetooth/USB and DAB connectivity guarantees non-stop entertainment for those on urban as well as longer journeys, while Vauxhall claims that improved ‘driver ergonomics’ ensure that all drivers should feel comfortable.

Vauxhall’s easy‑to-use and impressive IntelliLink colour seven-inch touchscreen system which features on selected versions of the new Corsa is available as an option on the Corsavan, too.

Measurably improved
Just as the Corsavan shares many exterior and interior features with its passenger car sister (it is just a Corsa with no back seats and panelled in rear windows after all), it’s the same story with the driving experience. Measurably improved from the model it replaces, the Corsavan has the same sharper responses as the road car, light speed‑sensitive power steering (with a switchable ‘City’ mode for even lighter responses) and car‑like comfort levels. On the move, there’s very little noise considering there’s lots of empty space behind the front seats.

Any overly noisy road surfaces are filtered out by the five-stage removable parcel shelf. A handy piece of kit, it is very practical for split loads which still need some sort of cover away from prying eyes, while a mesh upper and steel lower bulkhead protects the load area from the cabin. There are lashing eyes and a net to additionally secure cargo. 

The Corsavan’s 1.3‑litre CDTi four-cylinder diesel engine is shared with the new Corsa road car and is punchy through the gears, ideal for nipping through the cut and thrust of city traffic. The five-speed manual gearbox is positive and helps make urban driving easy, as do the Corsavan’s small dimensions. As you’d expect from a light commercial designed for minimum CO2 emissions, an auto-stop function turns off the engine when the van is idle to maximise emission-saving and fuel economy.

Vauxhall quotes an official 85.6 miles per gallon on the combined cycle; our average over 381 miles was 70.0. Still impressive.

Eminently sensible choice 
Impressive is one word which sums up the new Corsavan. Building a light commercial vehicle version of its rejuvenated supermini and adding in more practicality at the same time was a wise move by Vauxhall. With a more appealing interior and a larger overall payload than the Fiestavan, the new Corsavan is an eminently sensible choice in the LCV sector. The old model sold over 34,000 examples in the UK, with the 1.3 CDTi the most popular version. Going on this outing, there are very few reasons why that shouldn’t increase.

Further Information