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First Drive Opel Corsa


Opel revealed its new fifth-generation Corsa to the motoring press and public just a few weeks ago at the Paris Motor Show. Earlier this week we travelled to Frankfurt to test the new Corsa, prior to its arrival to Ireland this November. The Corsa was first launched in 1982 and was an instant success for the German brand, with 3.1 million models sold. To date over 12.3 million Corsa’s have been sold across the world.

Although this new model is instantly recognisable as a Corsa there are many changes to the car. Under its body there is a new front subframe and a fully revised rear suspension. The electric power steering has been tuned to offer more feel to the driver. The interior is bright and spacious, the centre console is completely new and cleans up the cabin with all the key functions operated through the 7” colour touchscreen infotainment system. There is a host of apps that users can download, including BringGo navigation and Stitcher for worldwide radio.


Irish customers can choose from four trim levels in the new Corsa, S, Excite, SE and Limited Edition. The standard level of equipment across all grades is certainly generous, with hill start assist included on the entry-level model. The Excite variant gains 16” alloy wheels, front fog lights, Bluetooth and USB connectivity with iPod control, cruise control and LED daytime running lights. The three-door Limited Edition Corsa features 17” black alloy wheels, sports suspension, a black roof and door mirror covers, side sills and rear roof spoiler. The interior boasts sports seats and pedals, a leather-covered steering wheel and air conditioning. The high-end SE Corsa benefits from the fitment of heated front seats, rain-sensitive windscreen wipers, a heated steering wheel, automatic lights and rear parking sensors, among many other features.


Powering the new Opel Corsa is a range of petrol and diesel engines. At launch we drove the 1.4-litre 90hp petrol engine and the all-new 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine. The former is a tried and tested unit that offers a refined drive and has CO2 emissions of 119g/km. The new 1.0-litre three-cylinder is a gem of an engine, delivering an impressive 115hp. It’s eager to progress both around town and on the open road, we found it quieter then most three-cylinder engines with sufficient power too for motorway driving. It’s a frugal unit too, capable of returning 4.9l/100km on a combined run. The Corsa now handles with poise and precision, it’s fun to tackle a twisty section of mountain road with good feedback through the new electronic power steering. If you’re after a diesel-powered Corsa then the 1.3-litre CDTi turbo diesel engine will suit your requirements, it produces 75hp (also available with 95hp) and has an annual road tax fee of €180.

Pricing for this new Opel Corsa commences from €14,895. It may be 32 years since Opel first introduced the Corsa but it’s come a long way in that time. This new model has grown in size and taken a step forward in terms of refinement and driving attributes. This new Corsa will compete against cars such as the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo and the new Skoda Fabia which we will be driving next week. From what we’ve experienced in this new Corsa, Opel are in a very strong position to compete for sales from the aforementioned competitors.