It takes a village to raise a winner, Opel’s new 6th generation Corsa

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Opel has a new bambino in their family! Reared by Stellantis, the 4th largest automotive group in the world. Opel was acquired by the PSA group, the company responsible for the likes of Peugeot and Citröen. To make things more interesting, the French car maker merged with FCA earlier this year, the group that houses the likes of Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Jeep. As you can imagine, when you take the best of French, Italian, German and American automotive engineering, it means you are bound to get cool! This bodes well for the future as Opel and its cousins will be able to tap into the resources provided by a larger network.

The new Corsa is the first car for the new Euro-Americana hybrid familia.

With is mixed breed, it’s apparent that this new Corsa is a looker – it presents squared edges, a determined expression upfront and thoughtfully placed character lines down the side.  

Slide into the snug yet cosseting interior and delight in the cabin’s handsome lines – there's a flow from the exterior and a modern yet simple functionality. The tactility and overall feel of all the materials used add to an overall well-made space.

The seating is comfortable and even with the cloth upholstery of the Edition model, it’s pleasing to the eye with no major drawbacks.

Rear legroom has been increased by 20mm over the old Corsa model, but will still prove to be a little tight for taller passengers. Boot space is a sizeable 309-litres with a split-folding rear seat, allowing for up to 1081 litres of total space with them folded forward.

The wonderfully playful and agile drive of the Corsa is motivated by one of two engines. The diminutive 1.2-litre engine was awarded the International Engine of the Year award for four years running, from 2015 through to 2018 when driving PSA motor vehicles. It produces 55 kW and 118 Nm torque in the Corsa and Edition models, sending power through a 5-speed manual to the front wheels. Fuel consumption is listed as 5.8 l/100km on the combined cycle.

The Elegance model, with its turbocharged engine, produces 98 kW and 230 Nm torque, and this is the one to have. Thanks to the low weight of the new Opel Corsa, coming in at as little as 980 kg, the compact little hatchback positively flies. The 0 to 100km/h sprint is said to take only 8.7 seconds with a top speed of 208km/h. This model is only available with a sweet-shifting 6-speed automatic gearbox. Fuel consumption for this one, provided you do not try and achieve the top speed, is listed at 6.3 l/100km for the combined cycle.

The new Elegance flagship model features various safety and driver assistance features, such as a 180-degree reverse camera, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, forward collision alert, front pedestrian detection and collision mitigation braking. Heated front seats, a digital instrument cluster and LED headlamps with high-beam assist are also included.

This is an amazing amount of tech for such a small, compact car and will undoubtedly prove to be a future benchmark in the safety realm.

 

There was one gripe, however: the gearbox seemed to lag, with a noticeable delay before the next cog was abruptly engaged. It was pronounced at slower, around-town speeds. A definite demerit when considering the slickness of the dual-clutch automatic that can be had with its direct rival. 

 

The base model makes do with 15-inch steel wheels and a five-inch touchscreen display, while the mid- and high-spec versions upgrade to 16-inch alloys and a seven-inch touchscreen. The base and Edition derivatives furthermore feature drum brakes at the rear (the Elegance has discs all round), “grained” black exterior trim (as opposed to the flagship’s gloss items) and halogen headlamps.

In closing, the Corsa is a compelling product; arguably in the top three options of the vast competitive shopping list. Entry-level product is better positioned from a price point perspective, while the top-of-the-range Elegance model is the one you want but is the most expensive car amongst its peers, but its also the most well specified vehicle. So, I guess you get what you pay for!

 

The competition

Citroën C3, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai i20, KIA Rio, Mazda2, Nissan Micra, Peugeot 208, Renault Clio, Toyota Yaris and Volkswagen Polo.

 

Pricing

Opel Corsa 1,2 55 kW: R274 900
Opel Corsa Edition 1,2 55 kW: R294 900
Opel Corsa Elegance 1,2 Turbo 96 kW 6AT: R386 900

 

Service and warranty

A three-year/120 000 km warranty and a three-year/45 000 km service plan are included across the range.

www.opel.co.za/cars/corsa

 

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