The Corsa’s small size makes it relatively easy to place in the corners. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Corsa’s small size makes it relatively easy to place in the corners. Picture: SUPPLIED

The 110kW petrol engine, with 220Nm of torque in the Opel Corsa 1.4 Turbo Sport, doesn’t sound like much in this day and age of "power wars" with cars churning out more and more.

I recently spent some time with this feisty little car that has impressive acceleration from its 1.4l engine.

It is by no means a speeding bullet, however it zips from 0-100km/h in a respectable 9.6 seconds. In hard acceleration the front wheels get a little jiggy as the car grapples for grip, but after that it gets on with its business.

The car’s small size made it relatively easy to place in corners and gave me confidence to push it a little bit because I knew exactly where the tyres were placed on the tarmac.

Its manual transmission makes the driving experience even more fun as more manufacturers adopt the faster-changing automatic or semi-automatic transmission. This brought out the boy racer in me, of course strictly within the legal driving speeds.


The Corsa is shod with 17-inch, five-spoke alloys that give it an even sportier appeal, especially when viewed from the side profile. The LED daylight running lights come as standard, as do the Bi-Xenon lights.

The compact car comfortably seats four adults of average height and that works well for city driving. But its cabin would not be ideal for the same four adults on a long-distance cross-country trip.

Front windows are electrical and rear manual. The seven-inch IntelliLink infotainment system works well and the six-speaker sound system might not be upper premium, but it gets the job done.

Conveniences like air-conditioner with pollen filter, electric and foldable side mirrors, auto-dim rear-view mirror, navigation, cruise control and speed limiter control come as standard, and the sunroof is optional. The boot space is 265l and can comfortably fit sizeable luggage and some groceries but not a whole lot more.

Fuel consumption is a claimed 5.8l/100km from a 45l tank. In heavy Joburg traffic, I averaged 8l/100km, with a lot of hard acceleration. ABS, electronic stability programme, hill-start assist, seat-belt reminder, lane change/blind spot monitor and other safety features come standard.

I was fortunate to experience the Corsa on a proper racetrack at the South African Festival of Motoring where I got to see some of these safety features first hand as the car was put through its paces at Kyalami by a professional driver. I wasn’t disappointed by its performance.

At R289,315 the Corsa Turbo Sport is good value, and according to Opel SA it is its biggest-selling vehicle at the moment.