Corsa 1.4T Sport makes driv­ing fun again

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - ZO MOTORING - Val van der Walt

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.

Ver­dict

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.

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