Opel Corsa C, one of the cheapest cars you can buy. Opel Corsa C, cheaper than walking. Or is it? Find out in this investigative article, courtesy of Almost Car Reviews.
I once went to the Trademark Bureau to ask how much the Almost Car Reviews brand is worth, but all I was offered was the door out and make myself scarce until they will personally show me how to use it. Anyway, at least I’ll talk about the Opel Corsa C. You’d think it was as reliable a car as the Model D, and you’d be so wrong that Boris Johnson would ask you how can someone manage to botch it so bad.
Opel Corsa C, the kind of car that has the price set in cents. Hilariously cheap car to buy, which is usually disposable income left over from the weekend pub crawl. Whether bought by women who couldn’t care less about cars or bought by entry-level insurance agents, the Opel Corsa C was and is a cheap car to buy but not necessarily cheap to keep running. But this makes it very reliable, because the car is aware that at the first major failure it’s off to the graveyard. The car knows about fear and hangs on its parts as long as possible. Because most Opel Corsa C owners repair their cars on the guiding principle of “some plastic there, some duct tape over there, nothing here”.
Mum used to have a 2006 Corsa C since 2010. It is among the later models, a 1.3 CDTi with a manual transmission. She always insists that she has a “Corsa 13”. That car is abused in ways that beg belief and yet it refuses to die. The mechanic told her to take the car on the highway at least once a month to floor it and clean the engine. Obviously she couldn’t be bothered to listen to him and uses it for the home – work – city – home routine. It has a clogged intercooler. When you floor the pedal to the bottom, you lose power because you have a lot of diesel but no air. You take your foot off the pedal, the diesel doesn’t enter the engine anymore and so now it has room for air and that’s how you gain power. You floor the accelerator, you lose speed. Take your foot off the accelerator, pick up speed. It once caught fire in the parking lot at home while she was on vacation in Austria. The mechanic had a look afterwards and found that only the battery needed to be replaced.
Opel Corsa C Engines
- 1.0 of 60 horsepower – The cheapest version of an already extremely cheap car. It’s cheaper than a Logan, so you know what level we’re talking about. If we were in the boxing world, we would be fighting in the gnome category. Occasional issues with the air flow meter. Otherwise, it doesn’t break down because it has so little stuff to break down in the first place. Windows and seats are optional on this version.
- 1.2 of 75 and 80 horsepower – The one with 75 horsepower is decent enough to buy. You have no expectations or pretensions from it and it won’t disappoint you either. The 80-horsepower “TwinPort” instead is the famous 1.25 MultiJet from Alfa Romeo and has a serious issue that I will talk about in the general section.
- 1.4 of 90 horsepower – As with 1.2, the simple pre-facelift model until 2003 is decent in terms of performance and reliability, and the “TwinPort” after 2003 is to be avoided more than those dubious guys who want to invite you to photo sessions for fashion magazines, but only if you give pay some money in advance. You know them, you see them at the bus stop. Also, the timing kit must be changed at the same time with the water pump.
- 1.8 GSi 125 horsepower – This was meant to be the sporty version of the Opel Corsa C, kind of like the Opel Corsa OPC. Obviously they forgot to put in an 1.6 engine, because Opel. There is nothing wrong with this engine, but neither is it exciting. Plus there are more chances for Graham Norton to spend intense moments with Sofia Boutella than to find people that are genuienly interested in an Opel Corsa C OPC.
- 1.3 CDTi of 70 horsepower – I’ve known this engine for a while. Very reliable, but as anemic as a student who has to survive the weekend with only 25 cents. And its so noisy that certain ethnicity women with golden teeth would be envious of it.
- 1.7 DI and DTI of 65 and 75 horsepower – Did you think that only VW Golf 4 has naturally aspirated diesels? Take that, for the 1.7 DI engine doesn’t even have an intercooler. As with 1.0, it doesn’t break down much because it has nothing to break down in the first place. However, acceleration is measured by the calendar, even on a Corsa body.
- 1.7 CDTi of 100 horsepower – This Isuzu engine has long been the workhorse of all Opel commercial vehicles. I just don’t understand why you would put the Corsa. Do you have pigs to carry to the country side, but you don’t have money for an Astra G that costs a whole 50 euros more? Do you want to sit with the plumes sack in your arms while driving? At least you know it’s an engine of legendary reliability.
Opel Corsa C General Issues
- The TwinPort 1.2 and 1.4 engines have serious camshaft issues, specifically the 20 bolts that secure the bearings. A bosts costs less than an pound, so it is important to check all the bolts and replace them if necessary. There are a lot of tutorials for this so that even someone with hamfisted idiot like me can do it. With a maximum of 10 pounds you can save your engine.
- The steering column is another weak point for the Opel Corsa C, and here you can expect any part to fall off. However, no matter how light the car is, you can only turn it with the power of the wind. This and with camshaft bearing are the most expensive repairs on the Corsa C, only that the steering column problem is universal, on all engines and it costs so much that most people just scrap the car altogether than repair it.
- Bonus points for the rear wheel bearings that tend to break down and run away. However, given that you have a Corsa C you will most likely buy used bearings anyway. Even if a top bearing (like Febi Bilstein, Vaico or FAG) costs as much as a six pack of Fosters.
- Get your rubber duck and Borat costume set for it will be raining in the car. Specifically, the water gathers on the pedals. So what’s up doc? The brake cylinder is mounted high, close to the hood on the drainage canal of the wipers. The water infiltrates there, drains on the path of the brake pipe and reaches the pedals. So be careful not to have leaves and other dirt around the drainage channel from the wipers. Why? Because Opel.
Opel Corsa C Verdict
It’s a cheap car to buy and, if you know what you’re doing, also cheap to maintain. Many pieces fall off, but most of them cost as much as a pack of cigarettes and a maximum of two beers. It’s a cheap car, unpretentious, for people who don’t want to pay much for cars but who still want something reliable to haul them around. Or at least if it’s not reliable, at least make it cheap. A perfect car for the kind of buyer who goes by the logic “Sir, I’m only interested in the color, what do you open the hood for?” You didn’t take the plunge, but you didn’t take buy the last word in luxury either. Because for you the car is just a car. Just a tool that you are forced (or obliged) to drive because it is faster than taking the bus to work. You drive a car, even if you are terrified, panicked and afraid knowing that you have to face the traffic. That’s about the Opel Corsa C clientele. I don’t judge these people in any way, because not everyone has or is interested in cars or driving.