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In 1899, Opel produced its first car, leveraging its 37 years of engineering and manufacturing experience. Although Adam Opel himself died before car production began, the Opel famly carried on his vision, helping to make the automobile affordable transportation for as many people as possible.
The Opel Corsa is a supermini that has been produced by General Motors' European subsidiary Opel since 1982 and has also been sold under a variety of other brands (most notably Vauxhall, Chevrolet, and Holden), and also spawned various derivatives in different markets, all of which are listed in appropriate sections below. The names Vauxhall Nova, Holden Barina and Chevrolet Chevy have been used for the Corsa in certain markets.
It has never been sold in the United States or Canada.
The Opel Corsa B was introduced in India in 1992. In India, the hatchback, saloon and wagon versions were sold as the Corsa Sail, Corsa (or Corsa Joy) and Corsa Swing respectively until the end of 2005. The hatchback model was still being produced, and extensively marketed in South Africa as the Corsa Lite under the Opel branding until 2009 at which point the Corsa Lite was discontinued.
Power came from 1.2 L Family 0, 1.4 L and 1.6 L Family 1 petrol engines, as well as an economical 1.5 L turbodiesel engine.
The Corsa is built at Figueruelas in Spain, and in other countries such as Germany (Eisenach), Argentina (Rosario), Brazil (São Caetano do Sul and São José dos Campos), Colombia (Bogotá), Mexico (Ramos Arizpe), South Africa (Port Elizabeth), India (Halol), and China (Shanghai).
The Opel Corsa 1.4 has its own set of plus points, but it is not considered the best choice available to buyers who are looking for a compact car that offers class leading mileage; it also does not come with the promise of low maintenance costs in the long run. However, that issue has a temporary solution with GM India offering a three-year warranty and service holiday package with a new Corsa.
The Corsa 1.4 GSi sports a comfortably powered 1,389cc engine offering 88 bhp of peak power output, which is class leading in the entry-level C-segment. Unlike the underpowered 1.3-litre engine in the Ford Ikon, the drive in the Corsa will be more engaging. The Corsa also features what GM calls the space-frame design, which optimises interior space, while keeping the car's exterior dimensions compact. So, though the Corsa looks much smaller than the Ikon on the outside, the difference in shoulder space at the rear seat will only be marginal.
But, the Corsa and for that matter even the Ford Ikon will have to make way for the Maruti Suzuki Esteem, the car that leads the pack when you consider fuel efficiency, maintenance costs and resale value. But, of course, the Esteem will mean a considerable compromise on interior space compared to the other two. The new Esteem has also managed to marginally improve on the car's earlier `dated design' image.
All the three entry-level cars are priced very close to each other in the Rs 5-lakh range, with the Esteem having a slight edge over the other two in a price-to-features comparison.
The Hyundai Santro is a small car and so really cannot be compared with the other two you have listed, though it will cost much lesser than your budget of Rs 5 lakh. So, if you don't mind stepping down into the small car category from the sedan segment, the Santro can be good choice. Otherwise, the Esteem or Ikon or Corsa, in that order, may be the one to buy.
- The Hindu Business Line, March 13 2005
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