OPEL Corsa 3 Doors
Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
The fifth generation of the Opel Corsa marked its debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.
It was the last Corsa generation completely developed by the German car-maker before it was taken over by PSA (Peugeot-Citroen).
After almost 12 million units sold in 32 years, the Corsa was a big success from the German car-maker. The fifth-generation grew in size to 4.02 meters (158.3”) from the initial 3.62 m (142.6”) length of the first generation in 1982. It also grew in features and performances.
The front fascia was characterized by the “wing” shaped headlights, which incorporated the Opel’s signature and LED daytime running lights. The sporty trapezoidal grille featured the chromed Opel badge. A lip-spoiler was installed on the lower part of the apron, and two side air-intakes hosted the fog-lights (if mounted). An arched rear side window amplified the sporty look of the three-door version. The sculptured doors and rear fenders made the car look longer.
Inside, the car featured five seats, but with limited access to the rear seats. On the base models, the dashboard was simple and plain, with a center stack where the radio and climate controls were installed. The instrument cluster was simple and easy to read. On higher trim levels, a new infotainment unit was installed with a 7” touch-screen. It featured connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The car offered a wide choice of diesel and gasoline engines. Depending on the power version, it was available with a 5- or 6-speed manual fitted as standard. A 6-speed automatic or 5-speed automated gearbox was on the options list. For the 3-door version, the top of the range model was the Corsa OPC that offered 207 hp.
The Opel Corsa was a strong player in the small car segment starting with 1982.
The successful 6th generation Opel Corsa was updated in 2010. Besides more available features and a redesigned face, Opel introduced a new range of engines compliant to the Euro 5 emission standards.
With the redesigned front grille, the reshaped headlamps and the refreshed radiator grille, the new Corsa feature a more expressive and sportier look.
To further personalise the small car, Opel introduced new exterior colors and interior looks.
Inside, Opel installed a new infotainment system called “Touch & Connect” that came with a 5-inch color touchscreen, a navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, as well as iPod and USB connections.
While from the outside, the Corsa seemed rather small, the interior space was surprising, for both the front and the rear occupants.
Not many competitors in the segment offered the features available with the Corsa, such as a heated steering wheel, halogen Adaptive Forward Lighting, Hill Start Assist, a panorama sunroof or an integrated bicycle carrier.
The entire range of engines was reworked to offer more power, lower fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions. The diesel powerplants’ power ranged between 75 hp and 130 hp, while the most powerful 1.6-liter turbo that offered 192 hp was to be found on the sportier Opel Corsa OPC.
Comfort was also enhanced in 2010 as the chassis received significant improvements. Opel revised the dampers, the springs, the anti-roll bars, the steering gear and the ESP, thus the new Corsa was more refined and offered improved stability.
The fourth generation of the Corsa was introduced in 2006.
It had the world premiere in London and the sales started immediately, with big success on the market.
The Corsa was a joint development between General Motors and Fiat. While the Italians produced the Fiat Punto and the Alfa Romeo MiTo, Opel got the Corsa. It even had some engines from Italy, but not the design. The exterior was Opel’s project.
Compared to its predecessor, the new generation was bigger and its headlights swept-back on the fenders left the impression of a compact-sized car. The arched, triangular, rear windows offered the impression of a sporty coupe. It was the same theme design from the Astra GTC, which led to a thicker C-pillar on the upper side and a raked tailgate. In the back, the elliptic taillights were mounted above the rear bumper to be protected from parking, low-speed crashes.
Inside, the Corsa offered decent space for four adults. In the front, the two seats were placed higher so the driver could have a better view on the road. But the rather dull dashboard, with a center stack that looked like a sad robot with the round vents in the middle, was not as pleasant as the rest of the car.
With a McPherson suspension in the front and a semi-independent one for the rear, the Corsa was a typical city vehicle. It was offered with a choice of gasoline and diesel engines from both car-makers. It was available with a 5- or 6-speed manual, depending on the engine. There was also an option for a 4-speed automatic or a 6-speed automated, with an electronically controlled clutch.
After just three years on the market, Opel introduced a mid-life cycle refresh for its small-segment Corsa in its attempt to catch up with its main European contenders.
On the outside, the small-segment Corsa received body-colored handles and door mirrors for the upper trim levels instead of black as on its non-facelifted version. Also, the black rubber stripes from the bumpers and on the sides were replaced following the car’s color. Moreover, the little vehicle received a sportier bumper with two side-scoops that flanked the center grille on the lower apron, where Opel installed fog lights as an option. On the non-facelifted version, the bumper sported only a wide and narrow grille at the bottom. At the back, the high-mounted taillights were clear instead of red.
Inside, the carmaker kept the same look but with better materials. The carmaker installed white dials inside the instrument cluster for the upper trim levels depending on the options. Its base models retained the black ones. Its triangular rear side windows were fixed. Opel considered that a pop-out opening system was useless as long as it installed an AC unit. There were several options for the climate controls, either manual or automatic systems.
Under the hood, Opel installed new or improved engines. The base, inline-three, one-liter unit gained two more ponies. For the diesel version, the German carmaker introduced a new, 1.3-liter unit carried over from Fiat, while the older 1.7-liter four-pot made by Isuzu was increased to 100 hp.
The third generation of the Corsa was unveiled in 1999 as a 2000 model and it was the smallest car offered by the German car-maker on the European market.
It was available in three or five-door configurations.
The small-segment hatchback market in Europe was highly contested in the 2000s by most of the car-makers, from Italy, Japan, France, and Germany. It was a highly competitive segment and important due to its high volume. The Corsa itself was sold in more than 500.000 units a year and that made it an important player in the segment.
The new “edge” design trend affected the little 3-door Corsa and the designers installed bigger headlights with an angle toward the grille. The small doors provided access for both front and rear seats. Right behind the rear doors, a small, and narrow, a vertical side window was included in the C-pillar. That was a Corsa-specific feature in the small-segment. To protect the taillights from scratches and parking bumps, they were installed on the C-pillars.
Inside, the car featured good amenities for its segment, even though the base model didn’t feature power-windows or air-conditioning. Moving up to the trim level and options list, the Corsa was fitted with a good sound system with CD-player, on-board computer, and four power-windows.
The Corsa was available with a wide choice of engines ranged between 1.0-liter and 1.7 liters, both gasoline, and two turbodiesels. The standard transmission for the entire range was with a 5-speed manual. There was an option for a 4-speed automatic or a 5-speed automated (Easytronic). The top of the range engine, 1.8-liter gasoline, was available only for the 3-door version.
The first generation of the Corsa was introduced in 1982 and it stayed on the market until 1993 when the second generation was launched.
In 1997, a three-door version was launched.
While the first generation featured a boxy design, the 1993 generation came with a rounded shape from bumper to bumper. The 3-door version followed the same principles in design and it was based on the same platform. The length was the same as well.
With the rounded headlights and small grille, the Corsa had’s front fascia looked like a smiley face. The hatchback body style with rounded edges and the small tailgate made the car look smaller than it was.
Inside, the Corsa featured a basic interior, but in line with the other competitors on the base trim level. Cloth seats racked windows and no power steering. The air-conditioning was available only for upper versions. The access to the rear seat was possible via wider doors than on the 5-door version and with reclining front seats. Depending on the options, engine version, and trim level, the Corsa 3-doors was available with more features, including airbag, ABS, air-conditioning, on-board computer, stereo, and power steering.
The car was taken out of the production line in 2000 for the European market, but it remained on others. It was fitted with a wide choice of engine, from a small 1.0-liter gasoline unit up to a 1.7-liter turbocharged diesel, built by Isuzu.
Opel unveiled the second generation of the Corsa in 1993 and offered it on the European market with a choice of three- and five-doors bodyworks.
The first Corsa’s generation was sold in the U.K. as Vauxhall Nova, but GM used the same nameplate for both sides of the English Channel with the second generation. It other countries around the world under Vauxhall, Holden, or Chevrolet badges. Its affordable price and low maintenance costs transformed it into a massive success for General Motors.
Hideo Kodama designed the vehicle in Russelsheim, Germany, and the result was one of the best examples of bio-design cars in its segment. At the front, there was a mild blend of straight lines and curved corners. Its wrapped-around plastic bumper was black for the lower trim levels and body-colored for the upper ones. The rounded headlights with corner-mounted turn signals were narrower on their inner side. A narrow grille with a horizontal slat sported the Opel badge in the middle. In the three-door version, the little Corsa featured a fixed window for the rear passengers.
Inside, the carmaker made room for two adults at the front and three in the back. Although, only for very short distances since there was minimal knee room. On the dashboard, depending on the engine and trim level, the carmaker installed an instrument cluster with four dials for the upper trim levels or just three for the lower ones. Since it was built to fight for the top position in the European sales charts, the Corsa received an air-conditioning unit as an option.
Opel offered the small-sized vehicle with a choice of diesel and gasoline engines. The top-spec version was the GSI, which featured a 1.6-liter unit that provided 106 hp.