My New Car: A Very Short Term Review
I've had the Opel Corsa GSi nearly a month now, put roughly 1300 km/800 miles on it, so what's it really like?
For quite a while I had been looking for an upgrade to my previous car, the Hyundai i20, and after ages of online searches, going out to look at vehicles and timeless research on a car that will give me bang for my buck, I finally ended up on this; a 2020 tangerine-coloured Opel Corsa GSi.
My new baby on the day of pick up!
As any logical person would do, I went and researched the car before hand, I read and watched reviews on it, I made sure I knew everything I needed to before test driving the vehicle. All the reviews had one common statement shared between them, "rather get yourself a Ford Fiesta ST or a Polo GTI."
To this day I cannot understand how car reviewers could even make those comparisons, let me tell you why, and for fair comparison purposes I'm going to use the Polo GTI as a benchmark, as the Fiesta ST is no longer offered where I'm from. First of all, the Corsa GSi puts out 110kw/220Nm whereas the Polo GTI puts out 147kw/320Nm, this means that the cars aren't even of the same category of hot/warm hatches, they may be similarly sized in the segment but with those performance figures, why is the Corsa GSi not being compared to the Polo GTS which then does offer similar performance specs? Even price wise it just doesn't make sense. I made my way to VW's website just to configure a Polo GTI more or less with the same extras the Corsa comes with, the result was a car costing roughly $31000/£23000, which is quite a lot of money considering that's not all the extras. Now, a full-house Corsa GSi with roughly the same options if not more than that of the GTI I configured comes in at roughly $26000/£19000. What I'm tryna say is, it's not even the same price, so why are people comparing the two vehicles? It's just not fair. To make a relatively more direct comparison, I configured an 85kw Polo R-Line with some decent kit and even that came in at roughly $29000/£21000, so even that costs more than the GSi where I'm from! I think it's fair to say that if you want to compare a Corsa to a Polo GTI, rather compare it to a Corsa OPC/VXR then.
Anyway, now that those comparisons are out of the way, let's talk about my actual experience with the car thus far.
I don't think I'm alone when I say that from the outside, this car is most certainly a looker! Even being a mid-sized hatch it manages to turn quite a few heads, although that may also be down to the tangerine-orange/yellow colour, which, might I add, compliments the body very very well. The car has some meaty and sporty looking grills on the front (although in the lower parts are fake), it has amazing looking two-tone 18" alloy wheels with the design from that of the 2014 Astra OPC/VXR, it's a 2-door and we all know that increases the cool factor and even the rear looks sleek with the single exit exhaust on the left and the sporty-looking rear wing. All very nice and pull together to create a hatch that, as a I said earlier, will turn heads. All-in-all it's nearly identical to the OPC/VXR in terms of looks, except for the missing badging and the rear bumper/diffuser as well as exhaust set up being slightly different.
Modest yet sporting looking rear-end of the GSi.
Specs, Performance and Features
The Corsa GSi takes the the engine, a 1.4T, directly from the car it replaces, the Corsa 1.4T Sport. As mentioned earlier the car pushes 110kw/200Nm driving the front wheels through a 6-speed manual gearbox, and it's certainly fun to drive! The car moves really well and up hills feel non-existent, certainly a pleasure and painless drive this car is and is certainly enough to put a smile on your face! The car also takes the chassis as well as suspension straight off of the OPC/VXR which was, in fact, tuned on the Nürburgring. Now, I know what you're thinking, surely that means a stiff and uncomfortable drive? Well, yes and no. I daily this car and although the suspension is very stiff and you can feel even the smaller bumps quite a bit, I've never once sat there and thought, "Geez, this is genuinely uncomfortable" or "This road surface is too bumpy". It's really not as bad as it's made out to be. Another reason for this is the napa leather Recaro Racing seats the car has, and wow they are comfortable! They're great for playing around in too, if you throw the car around corners they will definitely keep you in place, oh and the car is more than capable of gripping around corners, it's quite incredible! Further features I believe should get a mention are front and rear PDC, a really responsive infotainment system, Apple Car Play and Android Auto, heated seats, a heated steering wheel, road sign reader, collision warnings and some grippy Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires. Certainly a pleasure to be in!
Some of the best seats I've ever sat in!
A Small Bit of Bad..
Now, this car is quite hard to fault in my eyes, I love it! It fits in well between normal every day hatches and hot hatches, it's extremely fun to drive and handles well, the fuel economy isn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be, I can go on and on... However, this doesn't mean its absolutely perfect, so here's some minor things I found a little annoying:
- The car does not have navigation built in, it requires a mobile app called 'BringGo' which for some reason is not supported on my Samsung Galaxy Note9. Thank goodness for Android Auto!
- The car does not come with a spare wheel for who knows what reason.
- The car actually can't measure your fuel consumption, it will tell you your distance on the trip computer but for some reason won't give you your MPG or l/100km, very strange.
- It has front and rear PDC as well as a decently sized screen yet it has no reverse camera... even the cheapest of cars nowadays have that. Very odd.
This all, however, is quite minor considering how good the car actually is.
The Final Verdict
I firmly believe that not only have some reviews been too harsh on this car (especially because they've compared this to GTIs and STs), but even been wrong in some circumstances. This car is fun, handles extremely well, it goes when you put your foot down, it has some really awesome features and it's easy to daily drive. Oh, and I almost forgot, it's INCREDIBLE to look at! Don't underestimate this little car!