Opel Corsa Lite 1.3 1997 Consumer Review

A simple reliable little car that got me from A to B for 16 Years

  • Model: Opel Corsa Lite 1.3
  • Year: 1997
  • Mileage: 240 000 Kilometers
  • Motor: 1.3 Petrol
  • Transmission: 5 Speed manual
  • How long did you owned it for: 16 Years
  • Comfort: 7/10
  • Fun to drive 6/10
  • Reliability: 10/10
  • Best Fuel consumption: 6.6l/100km
  • Worst fuel consumption: 8.5l/100km
  • What did you like most about the car: Reliable and Practical
  • What did you like least about the car: No aircon
  • maintenance: Installed a reconditioned motor at 180 000 km, replaced the water pump, CV joints, shocks and normal servicing.
  • Owner: Neil Peverett

Opel got the name right when they called this Corsa “lite”; lite on petrol, lite on brakes, lite on tires, lite on maintenance and even lite on the purchase price. Thanks to the cost effectiveness of this little car I could buy myself a house save up for another car and live a little; this even after the fact that I had to spend R30 000 on a reconditioned motor.

In terms of features this car is rock bottom; no power steering, no aircon, no electric windows, it doesn’t even have a rev counter or cigarette lighter. It only weighs 850 Kilograms so the 1300cc, 8 valve, fuel injected 4 cylinder motor coupled to a close range gearbox is more than adequate to push it around.

I would describe the drive as peppy but with no real passion, road holding is not great which is most evident in high-speed cornering, instead of enjoying the sensation of motoring through a corner you tend to more “hack” through with tires squealing. The motor although very consistent never has a high point or noticeable power band so you never feel the adrenalin of a sudden boost of power.

Comfort is good for a small car; surprisingly big inside, easy to get in and out of thanks too big doors and enough leg and head room even for tall drivers. Three people can fit in the back with a squeez and the rear seat folds down to create a panelvan with plenty loading space. The Lite has good ground clearance allowing it to run smooth on all road surfaces.

It’s not a drivers car but practical and consistent, tends to grow on you and soon becomes an old friend.

Written by: Neil Peverett

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