Corsa 1.4T Sport makes driving fun again
Lately I’m enjoying smaller hot hatches a lot more than their bigger counterparts and other all-out performance cars.
Especially those in the B-segment are a lot of fun to drive and still allow the driver to be in control to a much larger extent than those falling into the C-segment category.
I find C-segment hot hatches overloaded with electronic driver’s aids and systems, which numbs the whole experience and disconnects driver and car from each other.
Then there’s also the matter of pricing...
While full-size hot hatches range from R450K up to a staggering R800K, you can get something slightly smaller for under R300K.
Yes, they’re not big and not all fire and brimstone when you put your foot down, but let’s be realistic, when and where can you really drive at 250km/h?
B-Segment hot hatches might not have the fire power of a Valkyrie missile launcher, but they are hard too beat when doing normal everyday driving.
Which brings me to the Opel Corsa 1.4T Sport.
This car is mild in comparison to all-out performance hatches, but offers the driver an ‘engaging’ driving experience from the moment you leave the house until you stop at work.
Under the bonnet is a somewhat puny 1.4-litre turbo-petrol with peak outputs of 110kW and 220Nm, but send that through a short-throw six-speed manual box and you have the recipe for driving fun.
What’s more is that the Corsa 1.4T Sport has a super light body on top of a very surefooted suspension, so every corner becomes a challenge.
And this little car wins every time!
In my two days with the Corsa 1.4T Sport, I made a number of people driving bigger, faster cars, look like they wasted money, and enjoyed every minute of it.
Especially in town, 110kW of compact car can easily outmanoeuvre 300kW of performance SUV.
The Corsa is nimble and quick and what’s more, it’s you driving the car and not the other way around.
In my books zero to 100km/h in 9.6 seconds counts for a lot more when the driver has a hand in it, instead of being taken there faster by a DSG box.
And a 204km/h top speed is also enough if you don’t own an abandoned aircraft runway.
Bells and whistles
The 1.4T Sport is the range topper in Opel’s Corsa line-up and comes fully equipped with luxuries and fancy features.
On the outside ‘Sport’ means you get 17-inch ‘smoked Titanium’ alloy wheels, a sunroof, front and rear bumper extensions, side rocker mouldings, a chrome exhaust tip and carbon-look side-mirrors.
Inside you are met with a small, leather wrapped steering wheel, gear lever knob and handbrake taken from the Corsa OPC (which SA doesn’t have).
Sporty bucket seats hold your posterior in place while you’re having fun in the bends.
Intelligent headlamps show the way ahead and around corners, and LED daytime running lights secure greater visibility.
Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, Straight Line Stability, Opel’s Brake Assist System and six airbags give the Corsa 1.4T Sport a Five Star NCAP safety rating.
And then there’s Opel’s IntelliLink in-car connectivity system, which works like a gem through the decent sized touchscreen in the dash.
The Corsa 1.4T Sport is a smile-aminute to drive and really puts the fun back into everyday commuting.
Because of the smaller engine it’s also much more affordable to drive properly and requires fewer stops at the pumps.
The suspension is top class and complements the drivetrain, making for an engaging drive and good handling characteristics.
If I have to find fault it has to be with the central locking system.
It’s too loud and klonky, sounding like you’re locking up a barn.
The Opel Corsa 1.4T Sport sells for R297 995 and is available from Provincial Motors in Richards Bay and Mtubatuba.