Nearly four years ago in March 2017, Groupe PSA agreed to buy Opel from General Motors.
During this period, the original sixth-generation Corsa F project was already being developed. But following Opel’s acquisition, the project was restarted, and the car’s platform was switched from a GM platform to the PSA Common Modular Platform.
Therefore, this new Opel Corsa is the first model developed under PSA ownership. Will the new parent take the brand forward in a fresh new direction?
HAVE A LOOK AROUND
The Opel Corsa is a cute little compact hatchback. Underneath the extensive decals on the test unit is a sharp and rather elegant-looking car. With its fine lines, pointy nose and squat stance, the Corsa manages to exude a sense of playfulness.
Get behind the wheel and it becomes immediately obvious that this car was developed on a PSA platform.
There are numerous identifiable bits. The gearshift lever, instrument cluster and infotainment graphics, plus some of the various buttons around the cabin are all from Peugeot. It can initially be a tad confusing.
Fortunately, the cabin of the Opel Astra is a reasonably pleasant space to be in. Build quality is quite good, there is a reasonably good selection of equipment, and overall comfort is high.
Wireless charging comes as standard, and there’s also Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
That said, the air-con takes a long time to get properly cold. Luckily the weather has been cool the past couple of weeks. But this could become a problem when the heat eventually returns.
Then there’s the positioning and angle of the indicator/wiper stalks, which are rather awkward. Apart from being high up on the steering column, they are also angled sharply upwards.
If you typically position your hands at the three o’clock and nine o’clock positions on the wheel, you have to stretch a fair bit to operate the stalks.
OPEL CORSA: ZIPPING AROUND
The Opel Corsa is powered by a turbocharged 1.2-litre engine producing a peppy 128hp and 230Nm. This motor is paired with an 8-speed automatic.
Initial pickup is a little languid, but once you get going, the in-gear acceleration is actually quite good. Power delivery is smooth, and the engine is quite refined and quiet – considering that it is a 3-pot.
As the Corsa is relatively lightweight, it nips around with ease. The ride is generally quite good except over the harshest of bumps. And while the steering is light, its response is vague at best.
The Opel Corsa also gets a number of safety features including Traffic Sign Recognition and Lane Keep Assist.
The effect of Groupe PSA’s takeover of the Opel brand can be clearly seen in the Corsa.
There is an uptick in overall quality and refinement, even while retaining a certain youthful peppiness that any good compact hatchback should have.
Will the Opel Corsa win over many new customers? I’m not entirely sure, for the brand as a whole still lacks appeal here in Singapore.
The new Opel Corsa, however, should go some way to convince potential buyers that the French-owned German brand should not be overlooked.
Opel Corsa Turbo Elegance 1.2 (A)
ENGINE 1199cc, 12-valves, inline-3, turbocharged
MAX POWER 128hp (95kW) at 5500rpm
MAX TORQUE 230Nm at 1750rpm
POWER TO WEIGHT 110.5hp per tonne
GEARBOX 8-speed automatic with manual select
0-100KM/H 8.7 seconds
TOP SPEED 208km/h
CONSUMPTION 21.3km/L (combined)
PRICE INCL. COE $99,500 (after $15k VES rebate)
AGENT Auto Germany
Click here for more information about the Opel Corsa
Looking for a larger Opel? Click here for our review of the Astra
We review the Opel Astra Sports Tourer here