Driven: Opel Corsa Sport

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Having driven the Opel Corsa Enjoy 1,0T earlier this year, I had high expectations of the Corsa Sport. The 1,0T impressed with its outstanding engine, trim levels and build quality, and I was looking forward to driving this sportier, top of the range Corsa.

The Corsa Sport certainly looks the part, with carbon fibre touches on the mirrors and grille, front and rear bumper extensions, side rocker mouldings and nifty stainless steel exhaust tips. My white test car looked stunning on dark 17” alloys.

Clare had a white one but we like it in red  – Ed

The sporty theme continued in the cabin, with a leather wrapped gear knob and flat bottomed sports steering wheel. Shiny alloy pedals add to the racy look, and the black cloth Moonray sports seats are outstanding – comfortable but with great support.

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spacious interior with a sporty feel

The interior is otherwise very similar to the rest of the Corsa range, with plenty of space and comfort in front and a reasonable amount of leg room for rear passengers. The Corsa Sport is well equipped with air con, one touch front electric windows, steering wheel mounted controls, rain sensing wipers, and cruise control all standard. The hatchback boot takes 285 litres of kit and the rear seats can fold down 60/40 when required.

Techno bunnies will be happy with the 7” touchscreen and Intellilink system, with Bluetooth and USB compatibility. You can play around with an effective voice control system and tune in to online radio, and the six speaker sound system is not bad at all. A really nice addition is Bi-Xenon headlights with cornering light control, and the car also has LED daytime running lights as standard equipment. My test car was equipped with the optional park assist and blind spot alert package, which is well worth considering.

Does it live up to that “Sport” badge? Well, pretty much so…  Although this Corsa is by no means a red blooded hot hatch, the 1.4 turbo motor delivers 110kW and 220Nm of torque with a claimed 0 – 100km sprint of 9.6 seconds. Don’t judge it on these figures, though – with very little lag and a great six speed manual ‘box, the Corsa Sport is tremendous fun to drive from light to light and hustles itself past the speed limit and slower cars with a “let’s do this!” attitude. The sports suspension gives a firm ride without being hard, and definitely improves on the standard Corsa’s handling with less body roll.

My only real gripe is that the speed sensitive power steering is too light at speed. Driving back from an all-night endurance kart event in Vereeniging, I was really aware of making constant small adjustments and it was disappointing to note in an otherwise great, sporty little car.

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As with other Opel models I’ve tested, the Corsa Sport has all the safety essentials: ABS, EBD, ESC, Brake Assist, traction control, SLS and six airbags are standard, with a five star EuroNCAP safety rating. Fuel consumption came in at around 7,0 l/100km on my test, but this could easily be improved to bring it closer to the claimed 5,9 l/100km.

With a price tag of R255,200.00, the Corsa Sport comes at quite a premium over the base model Corsa, but if you’re looking for a well-equipped small car with a genuinely sporty character this could be the car for you. It’s a good mix of practicality and fun, economical to run on a day to day basis and comes with a 5 years/120,000 km warranty and a 3 year/ 60,000 km service plan.

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