Adding stripes to a car can do a lot of things. It can provoke a smile from passersby, enable a bit of creativity in what you choose to drive around in, and allow your conveyance to stand out in a sea of grey… That or your friends might laugh at you. I put a Martini stripe on my MX-5 and I don’t care what anyone else says, it looks cool! Whilst “go faster stripes” wont boost horsepower, their addition can change perceptions. Today we are testing a car from GM that is bright yellow with a set of dual black stripes! Whilst you might be disappointed to find out that it isn’t Bumblebee from Transformers, it could pass as his illegitimate child. This “baby bee” is the 2016 Vauxhall Corsa Sting R.
This Sting R model is clearly aimed at the youthful end of the spectrum with a vivid colour pallet to choose from and those racy stripes. The new Vauxhall Corsa incorporates the current family face with a low wide grill and a set of stylish lights. Proportionally it is very similar to the model that it replaces but redesigned characteristics bring a fresher visual to this B-segment hatchback. A new crease that runs the length of the car creates a fluid motion that send the eye rearward to a short overhang. Black contrasting alloy wheels and mirrors finish off this bold Sting R.
The interior of this new Corsa is a marked improvement over its predecessor. Gone are the bland grey plastics and in their place you will find glossy black finishes. The dashboard also has a more interesting overall shape to it being more sculpted. The Vauxhall Corsa Sting R comes with BlueTooth, a chunky steering wheel, and a set of sport pedals. Plenty of adjustment in the seats and steering wheel means that all shapes and sizes will find a comfortable position. The new Corsa, as before, is offered in three and five door dependant if you want style or sustenance. That said, our three door test car was easy enough to get in and out of the back. Three can be seated on the rear bench with very respectable head and leg room. Visibility is yet another positive as unlike most new small cars, Vauxhall decided to retain a large rear window instead of replacing it with a porthole. A highly usable 285 litre boot further adds to its everyday usability.
The real star of the show is to be found under the bonnet as this 2016 Vauxhall Corsa Sting R possesses a new 1.0 litre turbocharged engine. A trend has formed for these little three cylinder turbos and Ford has been centre stage with their EcoBoost unit. Well, now it has some serious competition for the limelight as Vauxhall’s 1.0 litre is something of an entering marvel. It smooth as silk when running and is exceptionally refined for the breed. Engine noise is whisper quiet until you rev it out to the redline and vibrations are kept at bay. The torque from the turbo feeds nicely into the power band as the revs build. A six speed manual transmission with a good set of ratios at its disposal connects the engine to the front wheels. Around a busy town the compact size of this car is a pleasant ace to play and thanks to a “City Mode” for the steering, it requires very little effort to manoeuvre. On faster roads the 113 BHP engine pulls strongly and with verve. As its three cylinder thrum builds the car could easily fool the uninitiated into thinking it is of a higher capacity. There is a bit of body roll through fast bends, but the other side of this coin is that its suspension setup is rather good for soaking up bumps. Whilst the steering isn’t as direct in feel as a Fiesta, it is accurate. A generous helping of grip combined with the Corsa’s new found agility makes it an enjoyable drive. At higher speed wind noise does begin to build, but not to unbearable levels. When on the open motorway this car may surprise you with just how easily it keeps pace with faster traffic. It seemed that no matter what I threw at the 2016 Vauxhall Corsa Sting R it simply got on with it. This model with start/stop claims 57.6 MPG.
You can have the new Corsa from £9,495 but this trim and engine combination hits the nail on the head and starts at £11,395. Pricing is highly competitive undercutting key rivals. For years the Ford Fiesta has had things all its own way being the default car in this segment. The 2016 Vauxhall Corsa Sting R certainly challenges it for class leadership. A trend that is spreading throughout the Vauxhall range.