The Opel Corsa Lite is back but it’s not the cheap-and-cheerful, and spartan, hatchback you might remember.
BACK in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the Opel Corsa Lite was one of South Africa’s most popular runabouts, and now it’s back – in name at least.
Originally launched as an entry-level version of the second-generation Opel Corsa in late 1996, which was South Africa’s first generation, the Corsa Lite was an entry-level hatch with bare-bones specification and an attractive price tag.
And now the Opel Corsa Lite nameplate is being relaunched in South Africa as a re-specced version of the imported sixth-generation hatchback that was first introduced here in 2021.
Priced at R349,900, it’s not exactly entry-level anymore, but specification is fairly generous and it has also received an engine upgrade.
The Corsa base model was previously powered by a 1.2-litre normally aspirated petrol engine that offered just 55kW and 118Nm, but the new Corsa Lite upgrades to a turbocharged version of this engine.
The 1.2T engine produces 74kW and 205Nm, and gets the Corsa Lite from 0-100km/h in 9.9 seconds, according to claims. The Lite is sold with a six-speed manual transmission.
Standard features in the Corsa Lite include LED headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels, manual air conditioning, front electric windows, front and rear parking sensors and a 7.0-inch (17.8cm) touch-screen infotainment system.
Safety features include Lane Keep Assist and tyre-pressure monitoring.
It’s a far cry from the original Corsa Lite, which had wind-up windows and no air conditioning option, with power coming from a 1.3-litre engine that was good for 58kW, later replaced by a 65kW 1.4 unit.
But has Stallantis South Africa priced the new one low enough to attract decent sales volumes? Only time will tell.
Opel Corsa Pricing (April 2023)
Corsa Lite 1.2T 74kW manual: R349,900
Corsa Edition 1.2T 74kW manual: R356,900
Corsa Elegance 1.2T 96kW auto: R436,900
Included in the price is a three-year or 45,000km service plan and five-year/120,000km warranty.