Opel Corsa 2012 | First Drive Car Reviews | NRMA Motoring & Services

14 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Opel Corsa 2012 | First Drive Car Reviews | NRMA Motoring & Services

Opel Corsa

First Drive

FIRST THOUGHTS: Small cars can#39;t seem to put a foot wrong at the moment in terms of popularity. They make a lot of sense for people who live in the city and need to run around town efficiently and easily.

Opel is hoping this fascination with all things small, assists the Corsa, as they make their foray into the Australian market proper.

What#39;s it like?

These days, small cars make a lot of sense in Sydney, or any large city in Australia for that matter. Even if you have to run some highway kilometres, the new generation of small cars offers up an excellent option. Fuel efficient, cheap to run and maintain and comfortable, they offer smart value for money.

Opel has hit the Australian market with a three pronged attack, and is hoping that the new Corsa can cash in on this size driven ‘less is more#39; buying philosophy.

Given the constraints of time, our First Drives are short – we tried to cycle through three models in a day – so stay tuned for full reviews as soon as we can get our hands on these models for longer tests.

First up, it#39;s the impressive little Corsa available in both 3-door and 5-door hatch configurations. The Corsa may once have been a Holden Barina, but it is now an Opel Corsa – as it always was elsewhere in the world. Opel might need to tap into both existing Holden badged Corsa owners as well as new ones to really connect with the market Down Under.

Rest assured though, Opel will be going to any length possible to reiterate the German engineering that has gone into their product.

As is the small car#39;s want of late, the Corsa feels a lot bigger than it actually is once you take you place behind the wheel and adjust all the major controls to suit your driving position. The stylists have done an exceptional job of not cramping the driver or passenger behind a wall of black plastic and bland switches and controls. There#39;s a lot to like about the initial feel from behind the wheel.

Remember, the Corsa is a European designed and built town car.

It#39;s not a ‘bahn stormer#39; with a focus on crossing continents. And the Europeans do this segment well given their populations and lack of space. They#39;ve been packing more into less, figuratively speaking, for a long time now.

The engine and gearbox combo is perfectly suited to the driving that the engineers had in mind. The 1.4-litre, 4-cylinder only generates 74kW and 130Nm and at freeway speed, you could argue that the 5-speed manual is one cog short, but around town, up to 60kph, the little Corsa is in its element. It works its way up to redline smoothly with a pleasing buzz and should have the target market satisfied with the power it delivers and how it delivers it.

As you#39;d expect, the ADR fuel number is competitive with Opel claiming only 5.8L/100km.

It soaks up the suburban road network with aplomb, and actually feels like a fun little runaround in terms of grip and chassis feel. There#39;s a feeling of solidity to everything, especially the chassis, which feels like it#39;s been really well put together. Really nasty bumps only just upset the composure and even then, the Corsa settles back down to business quickly.

Pricing starts at $16,490 for the 3-door, which is definitely not the sharpest in the segment, but given the level of build quality, and the feeling that this is a seriously well-built little vehicle, is a fair reflection of the end product. If you need a small car and you genuinely care about what it feels like to drive, the Corsa will impress you.


As city cars go, the Opel Corsa is genuinely impressive. It delivers for the driver a feeling of being solidly built, and cleverly designed. It looks different too so it should stand out from the sea of little city runarounds.

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