Join Date: Jul 2005
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Yep, that 3 pot 12v 1 litre Corsa is a horrible engine. The rev counter is the only thing that gives away the fact that you're not driving a rattly old diesel.
And the car's not much better than the engine - the Clio is an order of magnitude nicer to drive. The down-side of the Clio is the 'girly' image of the non-sports models.
Performance-wise, when thrashed through the gears, the Clio 1.2 8v's probably about on par with the Corsa 1.0 12v. The Clio engine should be torquier though, giving better acceleration at lower engine speeds. The Clio 1.2 16v is the engine to go for if the insurance isn't prohibitively expensive. It's not rocket powered, but it'll beat a lot of other superminis off the line, and it feels pretty lively if you're prepared to thrash it.
The Punto is also worth considering. I've had a few of them as hire cars, and they're good fun to drive.
Currently in Horatio's garage:
2010 Laguna III Initiale.