Fun And Raspy City Car

Whether you call it the Vauxhall Corsa GSi or the Opel Corsa GSi, one thing is for certain - the Corsa GSi is one zippy concoction made to make a lot of bang for not a lot of buck. Available in mainland Europe as Opel and in the U.K. as the Vauxhall, the Corsa GSi packs a tiny, 1.4-liter turbocharged, engine, enough power to surge to 62 mph in less than 9 seconds and, with a proper amount of sporty features honed by the OPC, enough character to make you happy.

Exterior

2019 Vauxhall Corsa GSi
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Looks of the Corsa GSi had to resonate with its raspy character. Vauxhall has made a name for its GSi cars by subtly beautifying and modifying them to express the sporty side of the business.

The latest model builds on the same pillars of sportiness introducing the little Corsa GSi with the honeycomb grille, pronounced Opel Blitz and intricate set of chromed and black pieces intertwined to create quite a unique expression at the front.

The Corsa GSi’s rear also supports some clearly sporty touches. The most obvious thing is the rear spoiler. Interestingly enough, Vauxhall highlights its capabilities to create downforce, but I am not quite sure it can create a meaningful amount of it.

Paint is complementing the exterior without a doubt. Vauxhall is usually rather liberal with paint options for its performance cars. The GSi included. After all, this Opel is yellow. I like it like that. I have to comment on the wheels as well. Not that the Opel/Vauxhall went overkill with them, but his one has 18-inch babies shod in 215/40 ZR18 tires. Behind them, you can find the red calipers hugging disc brakes developed on the Nürburgring "Nordschleife" by Opel’s Director of Performance Cars and Motorsport, Volker Strycek.

The Corsa GSi is that special. Seriously.

Interior

2019 Vauxhall Corsa GSi
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The Corsa GSi isn’t exactly praised for its interior.

First of all, it looks plainly dated, but with the new seats, one can definitely find something inviting and riveting on the inside.

As the car itself is developed on the Nurburgring, Opel technicians found out that having decent side bolsters in the Corsa GSi is a must.

Drivetrain & Performance

2019 Vauxhall Corsa GSi
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The Vauxhall Corsa GSi can achieve 62 mph in 8.9 seconds. It will accelerate from 50 mph to 75 mph in 9.9 seconds in fifth gear.

These numbers are quite happy for a Fiesta-sized car. The engine inside is a small, 1.4-liter, turbocharged, unit that’s capable of delivering 148 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. Not exactly a powerhouse, is it? Well, the Corsa GSi doesn’t even try to be an OPC? That is its biggest achievement actually. It will provide you with fun, even with a lower top speed of 129 mph. All that with a six-speed stick shift.

Pricing

2019 Vauxhall Corsa GSi
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I know I have said that the Corsa GSi should be cheap and fun. But it hardly is as its price in Germany is just shy of €20,000 ($23,500). Is that too expensive for a small car with a 148 horsepower engine? Not really, I guess.

Competition

Ford Fiesta ST

2018 Ford Fiesta ST High Resolution Exterior
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Although the Corsa GSi isn’t exactly a proper hot hatch, the car is sharp enough to be compared with the first versions of the previous Fiesta ST. You know - the one with 180 horsepower. Nevertheless, the Fiesta ST is still far more advanced and considerably more powerful compared to the Corsa GSi. Thanks to its more powerful engine, it will do 62 mph in around 7 seconds. Considerably quicker than the GSi 8.9.

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Fiesta ST.

Mini Cooper Hatch

2014 Mini Cooper
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With 136 horsepower, the Mini Cooper with a 1.5-liter, turbocharged, engine feels like a better competitor to the Corsa GSi than any version with a more powerful 2.0-liter engine. Even this one will do 62 mph in less than 8 seconds and surge past 145 mph. As with any Mini, it is already prepped for dynamic challenges like no other small car, and it seriously threatens the likes of the Corsa GSi. The latest model is considerably bigger than any previous Mini hatch, making it far more in line with B-segment city cars like the Corsa GSi.

Read our full review on the Mini Cooper Hatch

DS3 1.6 THP 155

2010 Citroen DS3-R High Resolution Exterior
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The DS3 Racing is a bit too flamboyant to be compared with the Corsa GSi, yet, its softer brother that sports a 165-horsepower, 1.6-liter, THP engine, isn’t. That one is sized just right to compete with the Corsa GSi and its likeness.

Read our full review on the Citroen DS3-R.

Final Thoughts

2019 Vauxhall Corsa GSi
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Significantly improving the standard version of the Corsa, the OPC-tuned GSi takes on the shape of a warm hatch. A performance hatch, as Kia would say. The car isn’t super fast, nor does it try to be. Yet, it is famously capable of delivering a whole lot of fun. Even at the Nurburgring, as that is the place where it was developed. The 148 horsepower engine is just enough to motivate it to some fun speed. Yet, it will never overpower it. All in all, the Corsa GSi makes for one fun European hatch destined for the younger audiences.

  • Leave it
    • Could be a bit more powerful
    • Could be a bit quicker
    • Should be a tad more flamboyant inside

Further reading

2015 Vauxhall Corsa High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2015 Vauxhall Corsa.

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