Coming soon: BMW 1 Series and Vauxhall Corsa

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2020 BMW 1 Series front
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What Car? team
16 Sep 2019 06:40

BMW 1 Series

On sale Autumn

BMW is preparing to up the ante with its next 1 Series, renewing its fight with rivals such as the Audi A3 (itself being renewed in early 2020) and the Mercedes A-Class.

The biggest change is the switch from rear to front-wheel drive for most models, which improves space inside for passengers and luggage.

Don't go thinking that the downside is compromised handling, either; the new car's front end feels especially sharp, while the steering is smooth, precise and responsive.

2020 BMW 1 Series dashboard

The four-wheel drive M135i has its own lowered and stiffened suspension set up to help it remain flatter in corners, and gets a limited-slip differential to maximise traction on winding roads.

Then later there will be petrol-electric plug-in hybrid variants, which should be capable of travelling for at least 31 miles on electric power alone.

Prices start from around £24,00, making the 1 Series slightly pricier than the A-Class, although it will stay closely matched on PCP finance.

Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall eCorsa front

On sale March 2020

The Vauxhall Corsa is overdue a reinvention, with its current two-star rating underlining just how far it lags behind its much younger rivals, such as the Seat Ibiza and Ford Fiesta.

However, the route to launching the all-new car has not been a simple one. Just as the new Corsa was nearing completion, Vauxhall was sold by General Motors to the PSA Group, necessitating a complete rethink.

So it is that the Mk6 Corsa will sit on the same underpinnings as the new Peugeot 208 and be offered primarily with the 1.2-litre Puretech petrol engine we recommend in a variety of Peugeot models in a range of outputs.

If that sounds a little cautious, bear in mind that Vauxhall has had freedom to develop the car in its own direction over the past two years, and that the British firm knows just how much rests on reinvigorating its best-selling model.

Vauxhall eCorsa rear

As such, they say that while the new Corsa will be no larger than the old one on the outside, it's better packaged, so provides more rear seat and boot space.

What’s more, there will be an electric version of the car, called the Corsa-e, in short order, which has a 211-mile range and competitive pricing.

With the three-door Corsa being dropped, prices are expected to start at around £13,500, although Vauxhalls have traditionally attracted generous discounts shortly after launch.

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