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Reader test: Opel Corsa Ute

2009-09-16 09:01


I felt compelled to write in about my little bakkie when I noticed the topic and link in Wheels24.

I have owned many cars in my time; fast, slow, flashy, big, small, cheap, expensive, new, old - you name it. But when the need arose to drive something sensible, sanity prevailed.

The criteria were: cheap to maintain, low fuel consumption, car-like ride, relative comfort and safety, and pleasant styling. After having sold the large V8 German saloon, I had some reservations, but have, in fact, been very pleasantly surprised.

"Babe magnet"

The little silver “babe magnet” is the perfect companion as my daily commuter. The time that I made the change of transport coincided with a change of house and lifestyle.

We now live on the West Coast and my business is in the southern suburbs of Cape Town, so the Corsa does a minimum of 120 km a day. In fact, I have done just short of 6 0000 km in a little over a year. Regarding fuel consumption, I get a minimum of 950 km on a tank of 55 litres standard grade diesel which is approximately 5.79 l/ 100 lm.

Slower driving around town, believe it or not, gives me even more mileage per tank. Many garages in and around Cape Town sell 500ppm diesel at 20c per litre below the prevailing rate, which translates to a decent tip for the attendant and smiles all round.

I have found that the motor performs better, particularly uphill in third gear, on 500ppm diesel, with one brand of 50ppm being particularly low on pulling power. (Heaven knows where some of the motoring magazines get the inflated consumption figures from.)

All this without missing a beat. Only a faulty wiper mechanism was replaced free of charge, without any hassle, and on time, as promised, by Reeds N1. The vehicle salesperson that looked after me was one of the most knowledgeable guys I have ever met, providing relevant info when asked.

For the long haul

In the evenings three large dogs love a trip to the local school for some exercise. On the odd weekend away, fully loaded, the car performs like a gem. Very stable and true, good brakes and class leading 80-120 km/h acceleration times, the added convenience of loading items for the new house in a high, lockable load-bin as well as a comfortable secondary area for smaller passengers suits our need for the essential South African bakkie.

The sharp increase in price since my purchase should partially offset depreciation due to higher than average mileage. This increase is largely due to the downward trend in sales volumes of the “heavy metal” that stressed out owners are sitting with in the same traffic jams as I do.

I have grown in more ways than one to love the many experiences with my bakkie, the only negative point being marginally higher noise levels than that of the petrol driven derivative. But believe me, that extra little bit of NVH translates to a very happy little thrum at the gas station.
Happy motoring.

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