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LAUNCH DRIVE: New Opel Corsa


Compact cars have become popular over the years, thanks to their affordability, fuel efficiency and their ability to fit almost anywhere.

Even in the SUV-crazy world we live in today, people still prefer small cars and if you were to ask the writer what he would get himself for his 30th birthday, it would be the new Opel Corsa.

First introduced in 1982, about 14 million units of the Corsa have found homes across the world.

To slightly break down the number, more than 180 000 vehicles were sold since 1992 and this sixth-generation Corsa promises to take the success even further.

Only three trims are on offer: Corsa, Corsa Edition and the range-topping Corsa Elegance.

In terms of looks, the new Opel Corsa retains some of its predecessor’s looks yet the new one now boasts clear lines, reworked front grille and bumpers.

The Elegance comes fitted with a black two-tone roof, gloss black roof spoiler and B-pillar, chrome styled upper front grille as well as a chrome beltline.

There are also sexy LED headlights.

Step inside the Elegance model – which is the only derivative we sampled at the launch – and you are greeted by a spacious interior. Opel managed to stretch the rear legroom by 20 mm compared to the outgoing model.

The boot space is measured at 309-litres and that can be further expanded to 1081-litres by folding down the rear seats, beating VW Polo Vivo’s 280-litres and 952-litres with the rear seats folded down.

Inside the Elegance model we tested, there is a fair yet acceptable amount of soft-touch material and the build quality is also not something to bemoan about. The steering wheel is covered in leather while the seats get cloth and leatherette trim, and are heated.

An uncluttered 7-inch digital instrument cluster with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility lurks on the inside.

There is also a number of storage spots for your wallet and water bottles.

Powering the new Opel Corsa are two engine options; an award-winning 1.2-litre PureTech three-cylinder naturally-aspirated engine with 55 kW and 118 Nm of torque and it’s credited with 5.8l/100km fuel consumption. This engine can only be had with a 5-speed manual transmission in the Corsa and Corsa Edition trims.

The Elegance is powered by a 1.2-litre force-fed three-pot petrol engine with 96 kW and 230 Nm paired with a six-speed automatic gearbox.

It is indeed a job well done by Opel as the Corsa goes about its business with so much confidence. The engine is nippy and delivers grunt even at high speeds. Throw it around a tight bend and it corners with little to no body roll.

Steering feedback is adequate and gives a clear idea of what the front wheels are doing while the six-speed automatic transmission delivers smooth gear shifts.

Safety in the Elegance comes courtesy of a 180⁰ view reverse camera, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, forward collision alert, front pedestrian detection and Collision Mitigation Braking come standard.

While the B-segment is one competitive one, the new Opel Corsa has all the thrills to shake the stable and it will be interesting to watch the battle.


  • Corsa R274 900 1.2 55 kW 5-speed Manual
  • Corsa Edition R294 900 1.2 55 kW 5-speed Manual
  • Corsa Elegance R386 900 1.2 Turbo 96kW 6-speed Automatic

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