A little eco car has to tick a few boxes; it should emit less CO2 than a trumpeting mouse, be as cheap as a Primark suit and, if it's really on its game, still be fun to fizz about town in. With the Corsa Ecoflex, Vauxhall has failed.
Its main problem? The Fiesta Econetic, which trounces it on CO2 and claimed mpg, while managing to stamp a grin on your face as you drive it. The Corsa is slow and ponderous in comparison.
It comes down to this: 119g/km CO2 in the Corsa versus 98g/km in the Fiesta. Similar story on claimed fuel economy - 62.8mpg plays 76.3.
Taken in isolation, the Corsa isn't bad - it falls into the lowest tax threshold and won't cost you a fortune to run. But don't forget, you pay no tax at all in the Fiesta, which has a CO2 of well under 100g/km. Even the non-eco Fiesta 1.6 diesel chucks out less CO2 than this Corsa.
And that's because the only thing Vauxhall has done to make this thing ‘eco' is to adjust the ECU. So there's no special aerodynamics, no low resistance tyres and the gearing remains the same as the standard car.
Instead, Vauxhall promises to recycle your old car and give you up to a grand towards your new one. Not massively eco, but it's a redeeming feature of sorts. But on a car that fails in almost every other department, it's really not enough to save it.