dates : 26th September 2004
30th September 2004
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.
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
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
It also has an easy-to-use single opening lever and a
durable plastic edge liner incorporating strong tie-down
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.
new turbodiesel engine is sourced straight from the
Corsa sedan range and itís a fine example of modern
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.
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
Four-cylinder, transverse turbodiesel, 1 696 cc
55 kW @ 4 400 rpm
165 Nm @ 1 800 rpm
Five-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
km/h: 14,0 seconds (estimated)
Speed: 165 km/h (estimated)
consumption: 6,8 litres/100 km (estimated)
Car Torque is