An overcast and foggy Frankfurt was the location for the European launch of the new Opel Corsa, which arrives in Ireland later this month and is now available to order.
In the new Corsa, Opel aimed to create a ‘more sophisticated, more comfortable and more efficient car’ and Ireland general manager Dave Sheeran believes they have done this, and more – hailing the fifth generation model as ‘the best Corsa ever built’.
Corsa fans will notice a new nose in the exterior of the car, but the biggest visible change is in the all new interior, which chief designer, Kurt Beyer believes is ‘the best in its class’.
It promises an intuitive 7in touchscreen infotainment system which connects Android and Apple mobile devices to the car, allowing drivers to stream music as well as access apps such as the BringGo navigation system.
We used this SatNav system while in Germany and it got us to where we wanted to go. We’ll be exploring the entire unit more thoroughly when we get it for a longer test run.
A host of driver aids will also be available in the new Corsa, including Hill Start Assist as standard. This prevents the car from rolling back on a hill.
The self-parking Park and Go; a front camera system with road sign recognition; following distance indication and forward collision warning alerts to prevent low speed fender-benders can also be specified.
I was impressed with the reversing camera in the test car I was driving.
Two new engine variants are available in the new model.
The 1.0-litre ECOTECH Direct Injection Turbo three-cylinder 115hp petrol engine will be available in the sporty 3-door Limited Edition model.
It has a top speed of 195kph and a 0-100km acceleration time of 10.3seconds. With CO2 emissions of 115g/km, it attracts €200 annual road tax and has a combined fuel consumption of 4.9 l/100kms.
Meanwhile, the premium SE model comes in a 90hp variant, with an annual road tax of €190.
Both versions of the 1.0 litre turbo petrol engine are paired to an all-new, compact six-speed manual gearbox.
I got a chance to drive the SE around Frankfurt, on the motorway and on the fog engulfed mountain roads overlooking the city.
I was impressed, it handled well on all routes, was comfortable to drive and was peppy in the city. It’s solid, and feels bigger than a ‘small car’.
The steering wheel is also nicely weighted. I’m looking forward to getting it on Irish roads to give it a proper run through though.
The new engines sit alongside the existing 1.2i (70hp) and 1.4i (90hp) petrol engines and the 1.3CDTi turbo diesel engines in 75hp and 95hp.
Opel is also introducing a new generation six-speed automatic transmission, the Easytronic 3.0, which, it says, ‘affordably combines the comfort of an automatic with the efficiency of a manual gearbox’.
Four trim levels will be available in the new Corsa in Ireland – the entry level S, the new Excite, the SE and the Limited Edition.
Cruise control, leather-covered steering wheel, front fog lights, Bluetooth connectivity, USB connection with iPod control, and steering wheel mounted audio controls are standard in the Excite trim.
Meanwhile, sports suspension with lower ride, sports style front seats and pedals are standard in the Limited Edition model, as well as chrome-effect exhaust tailpipe extension, dark-tinted rear windows, heated windscreen, IntelliLink audio system with digital radio with Bluetooth connectivity, and air conditioning.
Standard on the top of the range SE model are heated front seats and heated steering wheel, auto lights and wipers, IntelliLink audio system with digital radio with Bluetooth connectivity, electrically adjustable heated door mirrors and front and rear parking sensors.
My first impressions of this car are very good, however, the proof will be in how it performs on Irish roads, for a longer test spin. I look forward to it.
The new Opel Corsa will be available in both three- and five-door models, with prices starting from €14,895 for the 1.2i 70hp three-door model.