New Corsa pleases Mom
IN April, the new Corsa led Opel passenger car sales with 331 units sold — the most Corsa sales in a month since January 2009.
Wheels recently had the middle-of-the-range Corsa Enjoy on test and we let a mom, a young professional and a pensioner loose in the hatch, which retails for R216 000. (Dealers do have good discounts so watch the ads.) Compared to the rather Spartan entry-level Essentia for R185 500, the Enjoy come with many of the “upper-class comfort downsized for the city” that Opel fits to the Cosmo, which sells for R236 300.
On top of the standard equipment, our test model had the seven-inch touch screen with Intellilink with BT, USB, AUX inputs; advanced park assist, blind side Zone Alert on the side mirrors; and front and rear park sensors.
The 40-something mom, who drives a Renault Clio, said she enjoyed the equally planted feel of the Corsa around corners, as well as the solid “clunk” the doors make when closing and the “lovely little growl” the threecylinder engine makes.
Being petite, she really appreciated the ergonomic design of the driver’s leg room. “By the time we have moved the seat forward far enough to reach the pedals, most of us shorties end up bashing our knees against some protrusion under the steering column. There is none of that in the new Corsa, which I really, really appreciate, and the seat is firm and very comfortable.”
Opel states the Corsa’s speeddependent electric power steering adds precision, and the mom concurred. “It feels like you could turn this wheel with a feather. I like.”
From a security point of view, she did not like not having a “little light or something” to show when the car doors have automatically locked and being a Luddite, she could not operate the seven-inch touch screen that links to both iOS and Android smart phones. She also asked why the digital clock is displayed so small, but the speed is indicated twice and talking of speed, she wanted more power, with no appreciation for what the little mill
was pushing out.
The 70-something pensioner, who drives a Honda Jazz, looked forward to Opel’s latest offering, for as he said, there is no room for mediocrity in the heavily contested B-segment and the Corsa is one of the best-selling city cars in Europe, so it must be fantastic, right? Erm, no, it seems. “The external design is unpretentious and might get lost in the welter of interesting designs now available in the B-segment. This does not mean that the Corsa is not good-looking; each design element in fact looks gorgeous when viewed on its own, but they don’t add up to a car that make me go ‘wow’.
“That said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the new Corsa is much better looking than the reliable 1990’s model that is still running around on our roads. Inside, I found the Intellilink system placed too low in the centre console for easy operation. Everything else exudes restrained class and the overall perceived quality is excellent, with the polyurethane-covered steering wheel the only thing that felt a little out of place in this price class.”
Under the hood, the mechanics are of the highest quality. The 85 kW/170 Nm, three-cylinder engine will get you to 100 km/h in about 10 seconds and top speed is around 190 km/h. Fuel consumption is a meagre six litres/100 km, which is excellent for city driving.
As a technical package, the Corsa makes a really good impression, although the price will deter buyers.
The young professional
The 20-something professional who drives anything fast, appreciated the power that comes out the Corsa’s 1,0 turbo engine.
“Even though it has a bit of a lag before 3 000 rpm, it really gives quite the kick of acceleration afterwards. The Corsa will get you to 120 km/h before you decide what song to listen to on its seven-inch multifunction display, which in its own right is impressive for a car in its category. It handles well around bends, with a tight steering to give you added confidence in your control of the vehicle. “Opel really paid attention to the little details, and it makes a noticeable difference in the aesthetic appeal of the car: LED daytime running lights, a sporty stainless steel exhaust tip and an unnecessary digital display of your speed.
“That said, the leg space is not for a tall driver and the foot pedals are too close together. If you’re a sizeable guy or girl, your passengers are really going to battle with rear leg space as well.
“Other than that, I can’t find many things wrong with Opel’s new offering. Well, besides the fact that my girlfriend described it as ‘pretty’.
“That’s a bonus point for female buyers, but if you’re a guy looking for something to boost your testosterone levels, it might not be the car for you.”
Top: The option you should have in the new Corsa (left) is the seven-inch touch screen that links to both iOS and Android smart phones.