Opel Corsa C is one of the cheapest cars you can buy. Opel Corsa C, cheaper than walking. But is this the truth? The following is an investigative article by AlmostCars.

I once went to OSIM to ask what the AlmostCars brand was worth, but all I was offered was the door to get out before they kicked me out. Anyway, at least I will talk about the Opel Corsa C. You’d think it was as reliable a car as the D model, and you’d be more wrong than when you think you have a loyal girlfriend and she’s cheating on you with your best friend.


Opel Corsa C, the kind of car whose price on autotrader is listed in pence. A very cheap car to buy, which is usually disposable. Whether it is bought by women who have no car expectations or by insurance agents at the beginning of their career, the Opel Corsa C was and is a cheap car to buy and expensive to maintain. But that makes it very reliable because the car is aware that at the first major breakdown it ends up on the scrapheap. The car knows fear and pulls the parts it has as much as it can. Because most Opel Corsa C owners repair their cars on the principle “some plastic there, some ductape there, nothing here”.

My mother has a 2006 Corsa C. It’s among the later models, a 1.3 CDTi with a manual gearbox. She always insists she has a “Corsa 13”. That car is abused to the last degree and still refuses to die. The mechanic told her to take the car out for a long drive at least once a month to give it the pedal and clean the engine. She obviously doesn’t listen to him and goes home – work – city – home. It has a clogged intercooler. When you push the pedal all the way down, you lose power because you have lots of diesel but no air. You take your foot off the pedal, the fuel doesn’t go into the engine but it makes room for air and that’s how you get power. You press the throttle, you lose speed. You take your foot off the gas, you get speed. It caught fire in the parking lot in front of his apartment building while he was on vacation in Austria. The mechanic found that the battery just needed changing. That’s the Opel Corsa C. 


Opel Corsa C Engines


  • 1.0 MPI of 60 horsepower – The cheapest version of a car and so extremely cheap. It’s cheaper than a Logan, to give you an idea of what level we’re talking about. If we were in the boxing world, we’d be fighting in the midget category. Occasional issues with the airflow meter. Otherwise, it doesn’t break down because there’s nothing to break down. Windows and seats are optional on this version.
  • 1.2 MPI of 75 and 80 horsepower – The 75 horsepower one is decent. You don’t have any expectations from it and it doesn’t disappoint. The 80 horsepower “TwinPort” on the other hand is Alfa Romeo’s famous 1.25 MultiJet and has a serious situation that I’ll talk about in the general section.
  • 1.4 MPI of 90 horsepower  – Like the 1.2, the simple model up to 2003 is decent in terms of performance and reliability, and the “TwinPort” after 2003 is to be avoided more than those dodgy guys who want to invite you to photo shoots for fashion magazines, but only if you give them some money in advance. You know them, you see them at the Unirii station. Also, the timing valve needs to be changed on time, along with the water pump. 
  • 1.8 GSi of 125 horsepower – This was meant to be the sport version of the Opel Corsa C, a sort of Corsa OPC. Obviously, they forgot to put in another 1.6 engine, because Opel. There’s nothing wrong with this engine, but it’s not exciting either. Plus there’s a higher change for Santa to exist, rather than people actually being interested in an Opel Corsa C OPC.



  • 1.3 CDTi of 70 horsepower – I’ve known this engine for a while. It’s very reliable but about as anemic as a college student having to survive the weekend on just 25 pence. And it’s so noisy that noir citizens would be envious of it, because of the racket it makes. 
  • 1.7 DI and DTI of 65 and 75 horsepower – You thought only the VW Golf 4 had diesel engines without turbos? Take that, the 1.7 DI engine doesn’t even have an intercooler. Just like 1.0, it doesn’t really break down because there’s nothing to break down. However, acceleration is measured with a clock, even on a Corsa body.
  • 1.7 CDTi of 100 horsepower – This Isuzu-sourced engine has long been the workhorse for all Opel commercial vehicles. I just don’t understand why you’d put it in the Corsa. You have to carry pigs to the country, but you don’t have the money for an Astra G that costs a whole 50 euros more? Do you want to sit with your bag of plums in your arms while driving? At least you know it’s an engine of legendary reliability.



Opel Corsa C General Issues

  • TwinPort 1.2 and 1.4 engines have serious issues with the camshaft, specifically the 20 bolts that secure the camshafts. One bolt costs 1$, so it’s important to check all the bolts and change them if necessary. There are lots of tutorials for this job so even someone with meat hands like me can do this. For 3 quids maximum, you save your engine.
  • The steering column is another weak point for the Opel Corsa C, and here you can expect any part. However, as light as the car is, you can turn with wind power alone. That and the wear on the drive train are the most expensive repairs on the Corsa C, except that the steering column issue is universal, on all engines. And when it fails, it’s usually more expensive than what the car’s worth and this is it’s main death sentence.
  • Bonus points for the rear bearings which are prone to failure. However, since you have a Corsa C, you will most likely buy aftermarket bearings. Even if a top bearing (like Febi Bilstein, Vaico, or SFK) costs only 30 $. 
  • It’s raining in the car. To be more precise, water is collecting at the pedals. What’s going on, doctor? The brake cylinder is mounted on top, close to the hood at the wiper drain. Water seeps in there, drains down the brake line, and gets to the pedals. So make sure you don’t get leaves and other dirt down the wiper drain. Why? Because Opel.



Opel Corsa C Verdict

It’s a cheap car to buy and if you insist, cheap to maintain. It breaks a lot of parts, but most of them cost as much as a pack of cigarettes and two beers at most. It’s a cheap, unpretentious car for people who don’t give a damn about cars but still want something reliable that will get them around. Or if not reliable, at least cheap. A perfect car for the kind of buyer who goes by the logic “mister, I’m interested in the color, what are you opening the bonnet for?” You haven’t even got yourself the ultimate luxury. Because the car it’s just a car. Just a tool you’re forced (or obliged) to drive because it’s faster than taking the bus to work. You drive a car, even if you get the dread, panic, and fear knowing you have to face traffic. That’s the Opel Corsa C clientele. I don’t judge these people in any way, because not everyone has them or is interested in cars or driving.