I’ve had to wait a while to sample the new Opel Corsa sport. I had a few opportunities, but strangely thing just didn’t pan out the way it should have… but finally it was dropped off and I was really excited. Excited to drive a Corsa? Yes, I’ve heard nothing but good things about this latest version and to be honest, I just wanted to drive it.
On the outside, the Corsa look much like any other top spec Corsa in the range. It does, however, have a fresh new spoiler, side skirts and a rear diffuser and sure there is a little bit a farbon (fake carbon) here and there and it really does look good. The boot lid according to me, needs a little wing to finish things off, because this is not a regular Corsa, it’s a sport.
Engine wise, the 1.0 3cylinder gem has been replaced, with what I think is an even bigger gem, a 1.4 Ecotec turbo, rated at 110kw. This is mated to a smooth 6-speed box, which I think is really designed for maximum fuel efficiency in mind. The 1st three gears are relatively short and the latter feels stretched out. It does, however, love to cruise. Switch on the cruise control and just watch the open road disappear in your rear view mirror. I’ll say it again, this 1.4 is a great engine. In eco, I averaged a low 5.2l/100km on my 100km return test route at the national speed limit. This is marginally heavier than the 1.0l found in the Cosmo, but you do have a lot more grunt under your right foot with this one. The suspension is all new and the sport does sit a little lower. The overall damping is still a little too soft for my liking but gives a great balance in overall comfort for day to day driving with a hint of sportiness.
The interior is visually the same, with the exception of the front seats. They have more bolstering and feel a little bit sportier. They are full cloth, though. Maybe semi-leather would have been a nice touch, but I do prefer them to the ones that are found on the other models and I can live with the fact that they are full cloth. The highlight of the interior is the sporty d-shape steering wheel, which rumours have it, will also be fitted to the new OPC. I received numerous comments on how “cool” it looks. I agree, though… if a car supposed to be sporty, it should feel like it from the steering wheel.
The audio is a touch screen unit and features the intellilink system. It pairs to phones with ease, but won’t auto pair when you get into the vehicle. You have to select the phone and manually pair it, unlike other systems which usually auto pairs. The speakers and audio overall volume are probably still the loudest if audio is your thing.
The Corsa Sport which retails at R270 700 is only R20 000 more expensive than the 1.0 Cosmo and while the 1.0L is a really good engine, the 1.4 Turbo is just better. Its stronger and just as economical. If at, all possible, stretch for the Corsa sport.