Opel Corsa GSi

Corsa GSi is all dressed up

Some cars look a million bucks just standing there. To be sure, this Opel Corsa GSi is one of those. 

That’s especially cool considering you can hook one for about a third of that money and best of all is it harks back to those Opel GSi heydays when Kadetts, Astras and little Corsa GSis like this were not just legends on the road, but they dominated on tracks too.

So this comeback GSi will certainly warm the cockles of any Opel fan’s heart — especially considering that packs agile OPC sport suspension, brakes with red callipers and 18-inch light alloy wheels; never mind a large honeycomb grille with larger bumper scoops, a sculptured bonnet with a greedy vent in its nose, a prominent rear spoiler and side sills. 

Open the door to slip into body hugging Recaro  pews behind that sport steering wheel and gear knob all in leather; aluminium sport pedals and you feel quite the star too. Yours at R365K, Corsa GSi is clearly dressed to kill. But does it? 

Well, not exactly — while this little red rooster clearly dresses like a wolf set to rip the entry hot hatch brigade asunder, it is not nearly as impressive as its flexy muscly looks would have you think. Powered by a lukewarm 110kW 220Nm turbo 1.4-litre four-pot mated to a short-ratio six-speed 'box, the show stops when the flag drops. A pity really, considering the brilliant credentials and pedigree that badge brings.

Quite why Opel did not just bring the full cream OPC and get it over with, is a bit of has us scratching our heads. We're pretty sure they'd have sold more of them, even at the premium, but this one is still a sheep, so totally misses its target audience. Sure, if you don't care about the go and you're happy to look the other way when a Swift Sport, let alone a Polo GTI pulls up at the lights that’s fine. 

So, if you're looking for a sporty looking car that looks a million bucks and turns heads, then this little new 3-door Corsa GSi has it and then some. To be honest, it gets along well at the sniff of the good old oil rag and for the rest, its a great little car. Just remember that’s not quite how it works in this neck of the woods and you will be on a hiding to nothing if ever the chips go down. — Michele Lupini

Engine: 110kW 220Nm 1.4-litre turbo petrol I4                
Drive: 6-speed manual FWD
TESTED (150m ASL):
0-60kmh:                 4.35 sec
0-100km/h:               9.11 sec                      
0-160km/h:              21.46 sec       
400m:                         16.3 sec @ 139km/h            
80-120km/h:             5.70 sec
120-160km/h:          9.56 sec          
VMax:                         207km/h                               
Fuel:                            5.8 l/100km                         
CO2:                            133 g/km
Warranty/Service:    3y 120K/3y 60Kkm 
LIST PRICE:                R365K           
RATED:                        6