Of Corsa, Opel’s answer to the techno savvy city car

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The first impression

I have to admit, I have a personal history with the Corsa nameplate. I got my driver’s licence together with my friend, who also got an Opel Corsa B as her first car. 18 year olds and first cars go together like hot chocolate sauce on freshly scooped vanilla ice-cream – dangerously delectable.  Parents would beg to disagree on the other hand – is more of a nervous twitching sensation for them.

It was the second generation model, but the first model to hold the Corsa name badge in South Africa. It looked like an aerodynamic egg – with two doors and sat squat to the ground on its four wheels – sporting funky mags. We joyrode that car, exploiting its 1.4 fuel injected engine. The fuel injection was a big thing at the time – making us think and feel as if we were the “bomb.com” at the time.

The Corsa B successors, the C and D fell out favour with me. There wasn’t anything wrong with them, I just didn’t have the same personal connection with them as I did with the B, which in my mind had a cool factor.

The all new Corsa, the E, features the gorgeous new Eurocentric face of the Opel brand, like that of the cheeky ADAM. Its Opel’s latest design philosophy of ‘sculptural artistry meets German engineering’. The interior of the new Corsa has an aesthetic appeal not seen in pervious Corsas. Its techno savvy, while presenting its self in a modern way and being made of good quality materials.

This New Corsa, is the best Corsa yet! 

On the road

Part of the new Corsa’s charm is its new 1.0 ecoFLEX engine. This light and compact sewing machine sized motor packs a big punch for its petite size, 85kW in fact. Its efficacy is thanks to its 3-cylinder turbo charged motor, which has a fantastic sounding thrumming noise – giving an audible impression similar to that of Porsche’s Boxster engine – only less aggressive.

Opel gearboxes aren’t my favourite. They are sticky and just feel as if they let the overall driving feel of the car down. I’m happy to say that this isn’t the case with the Corsa. Its 6-speed manual gearbox is a good one.

The suspension of the car is set to the softer side of life. As a result, the Corsa has a gentle nature over less than perfect roads. The trade-off for a comforting ride is a less than enthusiastic driving prowess. The new Corsa isn’t a sports car. The Opel ADAM as the smaller sibling would be better able to make that claim.

As part of the Corsa’s tech savvy approach within the competitive compact hatch segment, the Corsa Cosmo, the top of the range model, comes standard with a City Mode function. This makes easy work of steering in the city, creating a feather light action when activated. It also includes an Eco button with Start/Stop technology to save fuel in congested traffic.

As part of the Cosmo package, the Corsa comes with intelligent Blind Spot indicators, front and rear parking sensors and the option of a self-parking system, a R5 000.00 optional extra.

There really isn’t much this little car doesn’t have – except for electric windows in the rear, instead there’s a set of old-school windup windows.

I really like the interior. It is a mix of faux leather with perforated 3D fashion seats that have an interesting geometric pattern. It feels good quality without losing form to function.


What I liked

  • The gorgeous front of the Corsa.
  • The 1.0 ecoFLEX engine.
  • Quality feel of the cabin.
  • High levels of standard specification.
  • Good gearbox.


What I’m not mad about

  • Okay rear-end.
  • Over assisted power steering.
  • Temperamental Start/Stop function.



The figures



The extra stuff

All new Opel Corsa derivatives will be sold as standard with Opel’s 5-year/120 000km warranty and a 3-year/60 000 km service plan.

The verdict

As you can see, this super mini category of cars is very competitive. In fact, we could add more to the list of potential competitors: cars like the Toyota Yaris, the Honda Jazz or even the funky Suzuki Swift. The list is length, so the choice abundant.

The Corsa is a standout option on the list, with little against it.

The most overall worthy car as the winner in this category would have to be the Ford Fiesta. Its engine, the 1.0 turbo EcoBoost has won the global engine of the year – three times in a row. Its chassis also offers a fun drive and its pricing is outstanding, offering huge value. If Fords aren’t your cup of tea, the Opel Corsa is a great choice. My choice would be the mid weight Enjoy model.

Corsa 1.0T Essentia                          R185 500

Corsa 1.0T Enjoy                              R216 200

Corsa 1.0T Cosmo                            R236 300



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