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Opel Corsa Utility

Broadcast dates : 26th September  2004
30th September 2004


Judging by public reaction, Opelís second generation Corsa Utility is already a winner. The combination of chunky good looks, a massive load bay, large cab and improved power characteristics will shift parameters in the half-ton pick-up market.
In fact the term half-ton is a bit redundant for this type of vehicle. Fordís Bantam has already upped the ante to a payload of over 600 kg, and now the Corsa breaks new ground.

In this 1,7-litre diesel variant, the maximum load capability is a class-leading 790 kg.

Apart from its load capability, the load bay measures just under 1,2 cubic metres, being very deep and very long.

It also has an easy-to-use single opening lever and a durable plastic edge liner incorporating strong tie-down hooks.

Ground clearance is 214 mm, and this is very useful over rough terrain, as one would encounter on a typical construction site or on a farm.

The previous diesel version of the Corsa Utility was no great shakes in the power department, using a naturally-aspirated diesel engine.

The new turbodiesel engine is sourced straight from the Corsa sedan range and itís a fine example of modern diesel technology.

Producing 55 kW, itís smooth, reasonably quiet and has an ability to rev well beyond 4 500 rpm, giving it a good engine range through the gears.

Itís also strong on torque, producing 165 Newton metres between 1 800 and 2 000 rpm.

The cabin is claimed to be the largest in its class, a category populated by vehicles like the Bantam, Nissanís aging but super-tough 1400, and the similarly aging VW Caddy.

The test example is the sport version, and features a number of detail extras over-and-above the base version.

Part of Opelís strategy with the Corsa Utility is to offer base and sport or luxury versions in both the 1,4-litre petrol models, and the 1,7-litre diesel variants.

The Sport package includes alloy wheels, front fog lamps, a high-mounted brake light, a rather strange roof spoiler that could double as utility frame, colour-coded wheel arch mouldings and bumpers.

Interior luxury touches peculiar to the Sport pack include remote central locking, a radio/CD, air-conditioning, sports seats, a rear sliding window and a sunroof.

Fit and finish on this Corsa is a vast improvement over previous models, as is the quality of plastics and the Sport-specific metal trimmings used.

The ride is good and the electric power steering provides surprisingly good feel. The front suspension incorporates a solid sub-frame in its design, while the rear uses conventional torsion beam suspension which has proven load capabilities.

The only slight question mark is price. At over R130 000 itís the price of well-equipped light car. We would probably opt for the base version at just over R100 000 in diesel form.

Opel Corsa Ultility 1,7 Sport

  • Engine: Four-cylinder, transverse turbodiesel, 1 696 cc

  • Power: 55 kW @ 4 400 rpm

  • Torque: 165 Nm @ 1 800 rpm

  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel-drive

  • 0-100 km/h: 14,0 seconds (estimated) 

  • Top Speed: 165 km/h (estimated)

  • Fuel consumption: 6,8 litres/100 km (estimated)

  • Price: 132 030

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