Opel Corsa 1.4 5Dr Hatch Review: Why, of Corsa!

Opel Corsa 1.4 5Dr Hatch Review: Why, of Corsa!

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
23 Sep 2008

Our memories of the old Corsa are of a keen, zippy little thing, willing to whisk you out of trouble if, while still half-asleep in the morning, you find yourself drifting into the wrong lane. The new car doesn’t give that feeling though – it just feels heavier but at the same time, more refined than its predecessor.

Pop open the bonnet and what will greet you is Opel’s 1,364cc 16-valve ECOTEC powerplant. Mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission, the Corsa develops 90bhp at 5,600rpm and produces 125Nm worth of torque at 4,000rpm. It will go from nought to 100km/h in 14.8 seconds, hauling all of its 1,145kg at a rather steady pace (well, the Corsa’s a compact hatch after all, and if you’re seeking something quick, then we highly recommend you look in the direction of a hotter hatch, Volkswagen’s 1.4-litre Golf GT Sport…which is some $32k away). When driven at a relaxed pace, the Corsa will go about doing its job dandily, but when you prod it hard to get a move on, it will take that split second to figure itself out, downshift, and then stretch itself all the way to its 6,500rpm redline. Also, it must be said that the Corsa’s engine note isn’t that inspiring once you past 4,500rpm – it sounds more like a complaint around that region.

That aside, acceleration is pretty brisk from first all the way to third gear, and it will do so smoothly without any drama, although you can just feel the weight it’s hauling along – but as a whole, Opel seems to have manage to configure it perfectly for city driving. Response to the right foot is surprisingly adequate, and despite having only 90bhp, the Corsa can do a good job of keeping up with expressway traffic on the fastest lane. It cruises along the expressway comfortably, displaying a composed road-holding capability. Road and wind noise are almost non-existent, with engine noise kept at a minimal…again, as long as you keep it revving below 4,500rpm.

Now, if there’s ever a “best-handling” award to be given out in this class, the Corsa should be able to rightfully receive it. Why? Cos’ it inspires confidence and shows sheer dynamism every single time you drive it hard around the bends. Despite the rather tall 185/65 R-15 tyres, understeer remains well-controlled, and it doesn’t condone to body-roll clumsily like, say, the Grande Punto. The downside is that it has a noticeably firm ride, and potholes and speed bumps are soundly felt in the cabin – but still not bad for a compact hatch.

When braked hard, it doesn’t take that long to come to a complete halt, partially thanks to the ABS and EBD that comes standard.

Little cars should look fun and cheer you up on a miserable Monday morning. And gladly, the Corsa has the ability to do so.

As a car, the Opel Corsa is a competent all-rounder. If you’re looking for a car that feels good when driven in any traffic condition, the Corsa is the perfect choice – you just can’t go wrong. Sure, it looks nondescript and more grown-up now, but the point here is its driveability and build quality which, on a day-to-day basis, is pleasant enough. The cabin space is another one of its trump card too.

A good effort on Opel's part, it still has issues with regards to the interior to sort out. But hey, every car has its flaws. Although we find it hard to overcome that little part, but if we were to look at it as a whole car, the $68k Corsa is a worthwhile buy.

(Cue smile)

Credits: Story & pictures by Azfar Hashim

New Cars
get quote bg
Sell your car at the highest price in Singapore
  • pros
    Convenient and Hassle-Free
  • pros
    Consumer Protection
  • pros

    Transparent Process
    With No Obligation

Other Articles
Explore moreright arrow
Maserati GranTurismo Lands In Singapore
Kia Carnival Hybrid Unveiled In Singapore