There is a generation that remembers the Opel Kadetts of the 1980s and ’90s with misty-eyed fondness. The expectation placed on the new Opel Corsa GSi by purists seems unrealistic to me, but I have never been swayed by brute performance alone. This girl needs a bit of luxury, tech and a safety feature or three.
The Opel Corsa GSi jostles for space in a segment that is crowded with commendable contenders, but I think it more than holds its own. The turbo-charged 1,4-litre engine mated to a short-ratio, 6-speed gearbox is responsive and delivers outstanding throttle response and torque.
There have been grumblings about the GSI’s OPC sport suspension set up on the legendary Nürburgring “Nordschleife distances” to ensure precise athleticism. I didn’t find it a hard drive, but I do have some natural padding that might have made it a little more comfortable!
The 3-door Corsa GSi features a sizable honeycomb grille with large air intakes. The new sculpted bonnet lines are striking. From the rear the prominent spoiler on the edge of the roof is not just for show, it creates additional downforce, and the sporty chrome tailpipe is framed by the vibrant design of the rear apron in body colour.
The interior is no slouch either with leather cladding, a sports steering wheel, leather wrapped gear lever, aluminium sport pedals, and the Recaro sports front seats. The Intellilink infotainment system comes with Apple Car Play and Android Auto and even a luddite like me found it easy to use.
There are many standard extras not available in more expensive vehicles. Overall this is a joyful cheeky little ride.