Opel may have pulled out of the US-marked decades ago, but they have been thriving in Europe since then. Okay, maybe thriving isn’t entirely true. Surviving is more accurate. The Opel Corsa has been in production since 1983, and having driven the previous and current generations of the Vauxhall Corsa, I can say that they’re terrible. But a new generation has just been unveiled, and it might actually be good this time.
First, a little background. Opel has always been GM’s European division, with UK-market versions badged as Vauxhall’s. And because they were made by GM, they were always worse than the competition, because GM are bad at making things unless it has a V8. But in 2017, Opel and Vauxhall were bought by PSA, who also own Peugeot and Citroen.
As a result, the new Corsa sits on the same platform as the new Peugeot 208, and as a result weighs as little as 980kg (2160lbs). The GM engines, some of which date back to 1996, have been replaced by new gasoline engines and a diesel engine. They’re not very powerful, with 75bhp up to 130bhp, but its competitive with its rivals, and Opel claims that it offers improved fuel economy. These new engines are hooked up to a 5-speed manual, or an 8-speed automatic, the first car in its segment to have this option.
The new Corsa has lots of new technology too, including LED matrix lights, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and “sensor-controlled flank protection” which alerts the driver if they are going to hit an obstacle, such as a wall, while doing low-speed maneuvers. The latter two features are handy, given that the Corsa is one of the most popular drivers-ed cars in Europe.
The new Corsa hits dealerships (and rental lots) on the 1st of July, and starts at 13990 Euro’s, which is equivalent to $15899.