By Amanda Mfuphi
We all want performance cars that are practical and are just at the right price. Unfortunately, most performance cars come in at a hefty price tag and thus exclude the majority of consumers from experience an exhilarating drive that is also pocket friendly. To be honest, manufacturers have tried to introduce a bit of performance in the “affordable” car segments. The Opel Corsa GSi is one such vehicle that offer the driver a bit of performance at an achievable budget (under R400K). We recently had a pleasure of driving the Opel Corsa GSi and found it to blend in performance and a bit of luxury.
The Opel GSi, true to its form, projects a race car look on approach with its 3-door petite hatchback stature, honeycomb grille with large air intakes, a sculpted bonnet, rear spoiler, carbon-look side mirrors and 18-inch alloy light-wheels.
Getting inside the Opel GSi, you are met by a trendy, modern, sporty, and quality interior fit for a young trendy driver. The interior of the Opel GSi also extends the race-car feel of the vehicle with the sporty Recaro front leather seats, a sports steering wheel, leather wrapped gear lever and aluminum sport pedals. The leather seats also have heating functionality. The dashboard feels and looks luxurious as well with its leather finishes. The Opel GSi looks deceivingly small on the outside, but it has decent space inside, and we comfortably managed to sit 4 adults without complaints about legroom or headroom space, particularly at the back.
The GSi has a touchscreen infotainment system which is Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay enabled and has USB connectivity to ensure that the entertainment is taken care of in the GSi. The Corsa GSi’s infotainment also has live navigation system which takes the hustle out of location without the prospects of getting lost. On the safety front, you get lane keeping assist and front, and rear park warning sensors. Unfortunately, the GSi does not have automatic locking when the driver takes off and therefore the driver must remember to lock the vehicle to ensure that his passengers are safe during the drive.
The engine and drive
The Corsa GSi is powered by a 1.4 litre turbocharged petrol engine with 110kW of power and 220Nm of torque. The engine is paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox and has a top speed of 207km/h. The Corsa GSi can sprint from standstill to 100km/h in 8.9 seconds. The Corsa GSi is an exhilarating drive which delivers power well. It’s also a punchy, little pocket rocket. Opel indicates that the Opel GSi borrowed the Nurburgring-honed sports chassis from the Corsa OPC to ensure confident and stable cornering, and we certainly found this to be the case.
The car also offers more than expected performance in corners which is awesome for a car that borrows its name with such a proud heritage in South Africa. The stable is precise which comes in handy when you point the car in tight spaces in parking lots and in peak-hour traffic. We did find, however, the ride quality to be on the harsher side due to the suspension but it is no deal-breaker as the car still rides and performs quite well.
Price The Opel Corsa GSi is priced at R364,900. T
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