Feisty per­for­mance in a small pack­age

DRIV­ING IM­PRES­SION/ For un­der 300 grand the Opel Corsa 1.4 Turbo Sport is a value-for-money hatch, writes Them­bek­ile Vok­wana

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS -

The 110kW petrol engine, with 220Nm of torque in the Opel Corsa 1.4 Turbo Sport, doesn’t sound like much in this day and age of “power wars” with cars churn­ing out more and more.

I re­cently spent some time with this feisty lit­tle car that has im­pres­sive ac­cel­er­a­tion from its 1.4l

It is by no means a speed­ing bul­let, how­ever it zips from 0-100km/h in a re­spectable 9.6 sec­onds. In hard ac­cel­er­a­tion the front wheels get a lit­tle jiggy as the car grap­ples for grip, but af­ter that it gets on with its busi­ness.

The car’s small size made it rel­a­tively easy to place in cor­ners and gave me con­fi­dence to push it a lit­tle bit be­cause I knew ex­actly where the tyres were placed on the tar­mac.

Its man­ual trans­mis­sion makes the driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence even more fun as more man­u­fac­tur­ers adopt the faster­chang­ing au­to­matic or semiau­to­matic trans­mis­sion. This brought out the boy racer in me, of course strictly within the le­gal driv­ing speeds.

The Corsa is shod with 17inch, five-spoke al­loys that give it an even sportier ap­peal, es­pe­cially when viewed from the side pro­file. The LED day­light run­ning lights come as stan­dard, as do the Bi-Xenon lights.

The com­pact car com­fort­ably seats four adults of av­er­age height and that works well for city driv­ing. But its cabin would not be ideal for the same four adults on a long-dis­tance cross­coun­try trip.

Front win­dows are elec­tri­cal and rear man­ual. The sev­eninch In­tel­liLink in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem works well and the sixs­peaker sound sys­tem might not be up­per pre­mium, but it gets the job done.

Con­ve­niences like air-con­di­tioner with pollen fil­ter, elec­tric and fold­able side mir­rors, au­todim rear-view mir­ror, nav­i­ga­tion, cruise con­trol and speed lim­iter con­trol come as stan­dard, and the sun­roof is op­tional. The boot space is 265l and can com­fort­ably fit size­able lug­gage and some gro­ceries but not a whole lot more.

Fuel con­sump­tion is a claimed 5.8l/100km from a 45l tank. In heavy Joburg traf­fic, I av­er­aged 8l/100km, with a lot of hard ac­cel­er­a­tion. ABS, elec­tronic sta­bil­ity pro­gramme, hill-start as­sist, seat-belt re­minder, lane change/blind spot mon­i­tor and other safety fea­tures come stan­dard.

I was for­tu­nate to ex­pe­ri­ence the Corsa on a proper race­track at the South African Fes­ti­val of Mo­tor­ing where I got to see some of these safety fea­tures first hand as the car was put through its paces at Kyalami by a pro­fes­sional driver. I wasn’t dis­ap­pointed by its per­for­mance.

At R289,315 the Corsa Turbo Sport is good value, and ac­cord­ing to Opel SA it is its biggest­selling ve­hi­cle at the mo­ment.

IT IS BY NO MEANS A SPEED­ING BUL­LET, HOW­EVER IT ZIPS FROM 0-100KM IN A RE­SPECTABLE 9.6 SEC­ONDS

The Corsa’s small size makes it rel­a­tively easy to place in the cor­ners.

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