FUEL prices continue to rise and I can sadly see no prospect of the situation changing in the forseeable future.
I’ve seen one very noticeable result of this, with the general speed of motorway traffic down by between 10 and 20 miles an hour on a couple of recent journeys.
All the car makers are bringing out models that stretch every precious gallon further and further and one of the latest is the Vauxhall Corsa Ecoflex.
The most economical car in the range, it is powered by Vauxhall’s excellent 1.3 diesel, which returns a fantastic 76 miles per gallon and emits just 98 grammes per kilometre of carbon dioxide.
Those are figures right up with the very best – including the electric hybrids – and mean that this is a car which comes free of road tax and beats the London congestion charge.
Even the gear ratios are changed from the standard diesel Corsa and it also has lowered suspension, low rolling resistance tyres and new engine management software.
Ride quality is good and seat adjustment gives a comfortable driving position for all.
There is an up-market feel to the cabin helped by a sculpted fascia with aluminium-look touches and although rear legroom is tight if there’s a tall driver, the boot is a decent size and there’s a split/fold rear seat for extra space.
Vauxhall Corsa 1.3 CDTi EcoFlex
Mechanical: 95ps, 1,248cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 110mph
0-62mph: 12.3 seconds
Combined mpg: 76.3
Insurance group: 8
CO2 emissions: 98g/km
BIK rating: 15%
Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles
Main rival: Ford Fiesta Econetic, VW Polo Bluemotion