Keenly priced, with up-to-date styling, dimensions and specification, the second-generation Opel Corsa Utility intends to challenge the Ford Bantam's dominance of the light pickup market.

Keenly priced, with up-to-date styling, dimensions and specification, the second-generation Opel Corsa Utility intends to challenge the Ford Bantam's dominance of the light pickup market.


The new Corsa Utility was recently launched in South Africa and demonstration models have already been spotted in Opel dealerships around the country. The bakkie was originally designed in Brazil and all its body panels are new or adapted from its passenger car cousin. It has uprated suspension, improved gearshift mechanism, standard power steering and adjustable seats akin to that of the Corsa Hatch.


Its passenger compartment has grown in width, length and height, with dimensions that qualify the interior as a "maxicab".

The new model is claimed to have the highest ground clearance in its class (214 mm) and the 520-mm deep load box has a volume of 1,19m³.


The Corsa Ute is no longer a half-tonner, but a sub-one-tonner. The entry-level model, which is fitted with a 1,4-litre, multipoint fuel-injected engine that produces 66 kW at 6 200 r/min and 115 N.m of torque at 3 200 r/min, has a payload of 680 kg. Its specifications include 14 inch steel wheels, vinyl seats, roof antenna, rev counter, 12 volt power socket, remote operated exterior rear view mirrors, head restraints, passive immobiliser system with rolling security codes, deadlock function. A sliding rear window and cloth trim can be specified.


The diesel-engined 1,7 Dti is significantly more powerful and torquey than its predecessor due to the addition of a turbocharger and intercooler. Peak power of 55 kW is produced at 4 400 r/min and 165 N.m of torque is available between 1 800 to 3 000 r/min. The diesel's payload is almost three-quarters of a ton - 735 kg.


The Sport derivatives of the 1,4i and 1,7 Dti are aimed at buyers in the leisure/lifestyle market and equipped with air conditioning, remote central door locking, CD player with electronic display, colour-coded panels, 14-inch alloys, sport seats, fog lamps, high mounted brake light, roof spoiler and rear sliding window.


In terms of safety, the Utility's head restraints are said to have a mechanism that pushes forward to reduce the chances of whiplash injury, pedals that collapse in the event of a frontal crash and anti-intrusion bars in each door.


The average price increase of the new range over the old is R6 563 per model and the two base models in particular compare closely with that of the Bantam 1,3i (R77 542) and 1,8 Di (R91 029).


Corsa Utility NEW PRICES OLD PRICES
1,4i R78 240 R76 920
1,4iS R107 270 R100 700
1,7Dti (prev 1,7D) R108 860 R97 060
1,7DtiS R132 030 n/a