They say change is as good as a holiday, and this little hatch provides the inspiration for one. With practicality and versatility, it is the sort of car you ditch your first beaten up model for. It is the 2014 Opel Corsa Essentia.
The Opel Corsa has always looked to me like a cute insect of sorts. This, however is classy, funky and smart – Opel has escaped from the bug look. It says “I am a professional person who wants to be taken seriously without being seen as boring.” The aluminium body has received some cool curves that give the car an extra edge. There are not too many frills. It wears 15 inch alloy light alloy wheels which match the rest of the upbeat body. Smart headlamps have a Guide-Me-Home feature which will illuminate the path ahead for a few minutes, like a polite date escorting you safely to your front door.
The inside has enough to offer in terms of standard equipment. It has power steering with radio controls, power mirrors, automatic central locking and electric windows in the front. It also has Bluetooth, but no audio streaming – this is one of our gripes, but at least it has an auxiliary cable to plug your phone into. All you need is a cable. Space is quite decent and it would make for a perfect small family car, or student chariot.
The new Corsa comes with a host of standard safety features which include two airbags, ABS brakes and EBD. It is powered by a 1.4-litre engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission. Power is measured at 74kW and it has 130Nm of torque.
It won’t win any races, so if you’re looking for something speedier, you might want to try out the 1.4T Enjoy derivative which is a bit more spirited. Otherwise, the car feels solid and safe and does everything you ask of it. It is small enough to perform beautifully in the traffic and small city gaps. It provides a fun and comfy drive.
The price starts from R187 800 and it will come with a five year/120 000 kilometre warranty.