Vauxhall reckon they've successfully navigated the careful line between performance and cost with their new Corsa GSi. The GSi is a 150PS (148bhp) warm hatch that manages a Combined 47.1mpg, has the underpinnings of the hardcore (and now defunct) Corsa VXR but, crucially, stays in a low insurance band – six to eight bands lower in fact than the likes of the Fiesta ST or the Polo GTI.
The GSi may not be the ultimate hot hatch then, but it does have a few tricks up its sleeve. While the 1.4-litre motor under the bonnet screams mid-level small hatch, Vauxhall say they have been fiddling and allowed it to breathe a bit more. They haven’t gone too far though, 62mph arrives in a not massively stirring 8.4 seconds and the GSi has a top speed of 129mph. However the GSi not only gets the VXR’s chassis, but also its trick Koni Frequency Selective Damping tech, which should allow for a calm ride through town, but a more spirited one when called for – without the need for an adaptive system (which would have increased the price and weight).
Outside the Corsa has been pleasingly renovated for a more aggressive look. In comes a more furious chin, (fake) nose scoop, blended sills, big (17-inch standard) diamond-cut alloys, a single chrome-tipped exhaust and a rear wing that they say does add downforce. The extras work too, making the GSi seem a lot more of performance a car than it is, perfect for a young buyer looking to get into the market without breaking the bank. As standard the GSi comes with the aforementioned alloys, tinted rear windows, carbon effect exterior mirrors and grille bar, and LED daytime running lights. Inside, sports-style front seats, a leather-covered flat-bottom steering wheel and IntelliLink infotainment, offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity are standard.