Killed off by comparatively low annual sales volumes and the arrival of purpose-built and more practical light commercials, the three-door hatchback van is an almost extinct species. Only one model has survived the ruthless cull: Vauxhall’s Corsavan.
So how does it justify its continued existence?
Because it is easy to park, can be locked away in a domestic garage at night, and is, in many respects, the ideal runabout for a construction site foreman or a mobile security guard plus dog.
Okay, it won’t swallow a mountain of parcels, but it certainly offers sufficient space for a big toolbox and some protective clothing. And if you have to park it on a domestic drive then its profile is low enough not to upset the neighbours.
Revised some three years ago with a reworked exterior plus a new chassis and steering system, the baby of the Vauxhall van line-up has been given a boost with the arrival of the fancy-looking top-of-the-range Limited Edition (LE) Nav. That’s the model What Van? has been sampling.
With twin black stripes running across its bonnet, roof and tailgate, a black front grille bar, black door mirror casings and 16in black alloy wheels, it is unlikely to go unnoticed in the high street. Power comes courtesy of a 95hp 1.3-litre CDTi diesel.
Two other specification levels are up for grabs: the Corsavan and the better-specified Corsavan Sportive.
The aforementioned 1.3-litre engine is also on offer at 75hp. Its 95hp stablemate can be ordered in fuel economy-oriented Ecotec guise with either a conventional manual gearbox or the Easytronic automated manual ’box.
Both versions of the 1.3 diesel are fitted with stop/start. The 95hp engine fitted to Sportive and LE Nav models gets 20Nm more torque than the one fitted to Ecotec variants.
Given the (often unfair) climate of hostility towards diesel emanating from some quarters, mention should also be made of the availability of a 70hp 1.2-litre petrol power plant.