With General Motors pulling out of SA, people forget that Opel is very much alive and well in South Africa.
And with that, Unitrans the new distributor – and Opel have invested nearly R1 billion in parts, warranty and service plans for its customers, as well as their dealer network. There are currently 35 fully operational Opel dealerships, with more expected to open over the next 5 years as the brand attempts to regain its traction locally.
In recent months, the Corsa has been the best-seller for the Rüsselsheim-based brand, and with good reason. Apart from the Corsa E classed as the best offering in the Compact Hatchback category of the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards in 2017, it was also a finalist in the 2016 WesBank/SAGMJ Car of the Year awards.
Despite that, one Opel model that many often overlook is the rather good Opel Corsa Sport 1.4T – which tops the local Corsa range. While not rivalling the Opel Corsa OPC in terms of performance it does feature a punchy 1.4 turbo motor - that produces 110kw and 220nm – and is paired with a 6 speed manual gearbox. This is actually the same output as the recently launched Corsa GSI that has just been launched in Europe.
Further adding to its sporty appeal is a factory-fitted bodykit, a sport-tuned suspension and 17-inch alloy wheels. The 5-door Corsa Sport also boasts a host of safety features including 6 airbags, DRLs, side blind zone alert, advance park and hill start assist 2, ABS and ESP, as well as standard kit including a sunroof and automatic headlights. Also on offer is Opel’s highly rated 7" touchscreen Intellilink system with BT and USB availability.
The all-new Corsa F (Mk6) is expected to debut later this year before going into production early next year. Since Opel is now owned by PSA, it will share its EMP1 underpinnings with the Citroen C3 and Peugeot 208. While it is expected that it will arrive in South Africa sometime next year, we wait for an official announcement from Opel regarding that.
Also worth noting is that relative to its direct competitors, the Corsa – on average – will have a lower insurance premium. Purely because it is a lower hijack and theft risk than its rivals. And with the Corsa Sport’s comprehensive specification, it actually represents great value when matching rivals with the same spec level.
And with that, for now, Opel has discounted the Corsa Sport until the end of July 2018. They have reduced its price to R268 320, whilst the sporty hatch is covered by an Opel 3 year/60 000km service plan and 5 year/120 000km warranty.