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Of Corsa it can.. Would Vauxhall's supermini live up to its 70mpg claims? CHRIS RUSSON put it to the test and was astonished by the result.

Byline: CHRIS RUSSON

THE Vauxhall Corsa has been turned into an urban street fighter for the eco-conscious driver - thanks to the introduction of a stop-and-start system.

Vauxhall claim the move gives the new 1.3-litre diesel Corsa ecoFLEX an average fuel figure of 70mpg - but when I put it to the test, the results were even more astonishing.

On a 77-mile run, I managed to clock up an incredible overall figure of 79.8mpg.

My route took in A and B roads, dual carriageways, country lanes, a stretch of motorway and even city-centre traffic. Although by no means a scientific experiment, this was designed to test the Corsa in real-world conditions.

I drove at the speed limit where possible, used a light touch on the throttle and stuck to the two-second rule to maintain a safe following distance.

Within a few miles after setting off, the Corsa's average fuel consumption read-out was showing a figure in the mid-60s - and that would rise to 80.5mpg after a stretch on the open road.

When I reached the city, I expected it to drop quickly.

But it was in the congested urban traffic that the stop-start system came into its own, cutting the engine whenever the Corsa came to rest at traffic lights or junctions.

In the 15 minutes it took to cross the city centre, the engine was off for more than a quarter of the time - an obvious fuel saver.

The stop-start operation felt quite natural once you became used to it.

A special feature on the Corsa's version allows the driver to select whether or not to keep the air-con running while the engine is off. If you leave it on, the engine will fire up as soon as sensors detect that the air-con is becoming too much of a drain on the battery.

I elected to run with the air-con set to turn off, so the fuel economy readout fell only to 78.2mpg by the time I left the city.

This was followed by higher speed work on dual carriageways and a stretch of motorway, before I joined the queues back into the city, where the stopstart system came into its own once again.

By the end of the run, I had covered 77.3 miles at an average of 29mph and used less than a gallon of fuel.

The stop-start Corsa has CO2 emissions of 105g/km.

This may not be the lowest in the Vauxhall line-up but this Corsa is specifically designed to be most efficient around town.

It costs pounds 13,745 - pounds 800 more than the cheapest diesel Corsa - but comes with air-con as standard.

The eco mode can be switched off when desired and, driven hard, the car can accelerate from standstill to 60mph in 13.6 seconds.

Factfile Model: Vauxhall Corsa Exclusiv 1.3 CDTi ecoFLEX stop/ start Engine:1.3-litre diesel Power: 75PS Fuel economy: 70.6mpg combined CO2 emissions: 105g/km Warranty: Lifetime/ 100,000 miles Price: pounds 13,745 On sale: Now
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 29, 2010
Words:504
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