I remember a time when the Opel Corsa was the car to drive. It was among the top selling vehicles in the country and enjoyed cult-like following. It was cool, hip and trendy. All who owned one were the people to hang out with. And who can forget the light side of life ads which helped build the Corsa’s status within its targeted audience to something much larger than it’s “jelly-tot” like size. Aimed at youngsters and positioned mostly as a “start-up car”, the Opel Corsa has “grown-up” over the years and attained a more premium feel to it.
ttending the recent launch of the 2015 Opel Corsa I found that the brand has knocked together yet another quality offering in that it is refined, dynamic and offers a great driving experience.
EXTERIOR: Is it the same Opel Corsa quality we have come to know and love?
From a styling point of view the new 5-door Corsa looks pretty much the same as its predecessor apart of course from the front end which has become friendlier than one might expect a German car to look thanks to its shooshing headlights which go over the bonnet. To be honest that’s where the fun in the exterior design stopped but Oh! It is worth mentioning that the 2015 Opel Corsa has as a cheeky and dynamic face as its smaller sibling, the Opel Adam.
It’s still a “jelly-tot” in size being only 4m long, 1.7m across and 1.48m tall; and in case you can’t quite visualize those dimensions, think – Mini Countryman, which is also 4m long. From the side, the new Corsa is almost indistinguishable from its predecessor and to the rear, well; there is not much to look at from that angle apart from the Opel-badged boot release. Oh! But to be fair the 2015 Opel Corsa has a certain look about it which I am sure General Motors is not too keen to stray too far from – after all one does instantly recognize it as a Corsa thereby setting it apart from other cars in its class. Oh! But what is most exciting about its exterior is that the 2015 Corsa comes standard with 15-inch heels, which beats the norm of 14-inch tyres in this segment of vehicle.
INTERIOR: As attractive inside as it is on the outside
Thankfully the interior of the Corsa is not only a bit more up-quality than before, it’s much more fun than its exterior. Some plastics have been retained – particularly in the lower end of the dashboard but apart from that, the multifunction steering wheel, piano black touches on the doors and dash, electric side mirrors and a solid gear lever will give you plenty to smile about. Oh! And the new Corsa also comes with a new infotainment system called the IntelliLink system and which can be hooked up to your Android or iOS smartphone to access most of your apps for convenience. It also has a satellite navigation system called BringGo, an app called Stitcher which allows you to listen to radio stations across the world and Siri Eyes Free voice control which enables you to operate IntelliLink with your voice.
Oh! Even though its practically a mini-car, the new Corsa is generous when it comes to space and storage conveniences, that said however, the luggage compartment is be a bit of a challenge especially if you and two of your ‘cant-pack-light-worth-a-damn’ BFFs go on a road trip.
THE 3 PROMINENT Ps: Power Performance Product range
Oh! Here’s the bit I like the most! The 2015 Opel Corsa is available in 3-models – Essential, Enjoy, Cosmo – and with a chirpy little 1.0-litre turbo engine which Opel call ecoFLEX. In case you think this isn’t enough vrooma to get you zipping about town let me assure you that with 85kW and 170Nm of torque this is as much power you need for a spirited drive. Oh! And combined with a 6-speed manual gearbox you’ll be all too happy to drive the long way home!
For those of you with a proclivity for a bit more of a racy experience the good news is that the Corsa OPC will be making its way to our roads towards the end of 2015 and I have it on good authority that under its hood will be a 1.6-litre turbo producing 152kW. Oh! Yes ladies, you might want to refasten your bra straps when you drive this one!
DRIVING EXPERIENCE: Does it go as well as it looks?
In a nutshell the new Corsa drives much, much, MUCH better than both its looks and the out-going model. Oh! And did I mention it drives much better than the previous model? Good! Here’s why. Firstly its three-cylinder engine is the business and on the launch drive the “jelly-tot” never missed a beat, maintaining power in all conditions without coughing, spluttering or straining; instead, the ecoFLEX engine responded well to all the pedicured requests of my dainty size 4 feet and did so with the smoothness of Barry White’s voice coercing me to turn off the lights.
Oh! And another thing, if you enjoy driving stick then you will understand why I am enamored by the 6-speed gearbox which proved to be sharp and direct, making the drive confident and composed. Even when driving at higher speeds it held firm to the tarmac and shrugged off the Cape winds. Oh! And with a claimed fuel consumption figure of 5-litres per 100kms, driving the 2015 Opel Corsa is comparable to being on a low GI diet – it’s good for the health of your purse!
WOW FACTOR : Not just one, but quite a few WOW factors!
Oh! There are so many things to enjoy about the 2015 Opel Corsa such as the fact that it has evolved into a more sophisticated and grown up car. Other noteworthy factors include the infotainment system and snappy gear change but there are a few others things I raise my manicured paws at.
Also Read 7 Things I Love about the 2015 Opel Corsa
PRICE: Will it break the piggy bank?
Prices start at R185500 for the Essentia which is almost R10 000 cheaper than the starting price of the previous model. Oh! But before you go traipsing off in your heels to buy one – note that it doesn’t offer air-conditioning – which could be a disaster in the form of melting foundation and mascara. Rather dig a little deeper and get the Enjoy which is priced at R216 200 and is more generously equipped with Bluetooth, steering-mounted audio controls and IntelliLink. Oh! But the top-of the range Cosmo at R236 300 offers the finer points every woman’s car should being cruise control, climate control and smarter interior appointments.