The vibrant slowpoke
Usually I approach bright, new packaging with a hefty dose of mistrust but in the automotive world I welcome freaky hues and multi-colour interiors with open arms. Our roads are far too polluted by white and silver cars with black interiors so I immediately took a shine to the Opel Corsa Colour Edition.
Galimoto Media collectively likes the latest offerings from Opel; the new Astra and Corsa are both very accomplished vehicles that have won us over. To add a little spice and more youthful appeal to their baby hatchback, Opel S.A. now offers the three-door 1.4 Corsa in five limited Colour Editions.
The car also receives striking 17-inch wheels (painted black if you wish), tinted rear windows, chrome exhaust tip, black radiator grill and a black roof. Overseas the blackness continues onto bonnet and rear hatch but our local manufacturer played it safe by leaving these out; except in the black one, naturally.
The Corsa’s interior is pimped up with shiny piano-lacquer on the center console, door grab handles and its adjustable multi-function steering wheel, while the air vent rings are painted to match the vehicle’s colour. Finally, the comfy and supportive sports seats have matching colour stitching zipping around their fabric.
Build quality and material use is very good and the vibrant body colour is also visible on the upper door close. My test vehicle was, if you’ve somehow missed the accompanying photos, a bright yellow specimen. Its nickname after a week was UltraMel Lemon Sunburst Canary Vangwa.
The custard-coloured Corsa is an absolute pleasure to drive – because it possesses a tightly tuned suspension, fat tekkies, meaty steering and nicely weighted pedals. The five-speed gearshift is notchy and can be imprecise, but that wasn’t the canary imposter’s biggest problem.
When you finally open the cage and let her fly, she half-heartedly flaps a few meters and sits down again. I can’t fault the 1400 motor for its torque or smoothness, it just lacks outright power and a bit of zest. This means that a Colour Edition is driven mostly flat out – in some cases to keep up with traffic.
Its brakes are fantastic and the road holding is commendable, the wee Opel zips around corners with verve and breaches its grip levels with safe under-steer. The firm rear end immediately settles down post-corner or post-bump and may shake the fillings of rear passengers slightly, but the car just lacks a bit of oomph.
It does make up for this by being quite fuel efficient – consuming an average of just 5.5L/100km and emitting 129g of CO2/km. The 1,398cc in-line four-cylinder promises 74kW (101hp) of power or 130Nm of torque, resulting in a GPS-measured 0-100km/h sprint of 11.7 seconds.
That’s a very… let’s call it acceptable figure. Acceptable for daily commuting and colourful drivers who are not in a hurry. This may even include your trendy teenage offspring who shouldn’t be let loose with anything more than a hundred horsepower.
Youngsters will surely delight in the car’s lively handling, freaky ventilation and volume knobs, BMW-esque indicator and wiper stalk, never mind the choice of paintwork. Choose between Sunny Melon, Magma Red, Oriental Blue, Casablanca White and Black Sapphire, but keep in mind that the last two aren’t technically “colours”.
More bait comes in the form of fog lights, power steering, power mirrors and windows, air-con, RDS radio with CD/mp3 and AUX input, seven speakers, a rear roof spoiler, multi-level boot, alloy pedals, ABS brakes with EBD, two airbags, ISOFIX mountings, alarm, immobiliser and remote central locking.
An Opel Corsa Colour Edition is sold with a five-year 120,000km warranty and roadside assistance, plus a three-year 60,000km service plan. The price of N$180,750 seems reasonable for a bright ‘n agile hatchback with decent equipment levels, but outrageous for a Technicolor slowpoke.
0-100m: 7.0s / 77.6km/h
0-200m: 11.1s / 96.8km/h
0-300m: 14.4s / 112.1km/h
0-400m: 17.5s / 122.6km/h
1/4mile: 17.5s @ 76.3mph (122.8km/h)
Climate Overcast, drizzle
Road Wet/damp tarmac, level
Occupants Driver, no passengers
Fuel level 1/3
Odometre 7 760km