1998 Opel Corsa 1.0 gasoline from Romania


A very honest car


ECU failure - replaced with a second hand one.

Mass air flow failure - bought a new one.

Timing chain rattling bad.

General Comments:

Cheap to buy, cheap to run and maintain. I consider it reliable despite the problems I had with it (e.g. when the ECU went dead, I was able to bring my car home under its own power, even though it had 2 functional pistons and was drinking fuel like a 2 litre engine).

It made me feel very good driving it, I enjoyed every ride with this little car. I find it comfortable, even on long journeys (I'm 1.83m).

Very economical, almost no performance at all, but it manages to put a smile on your face when you rev the engine to 6000 rpm and drive it like a much bigger engine. Still slow (I've got a maximum of 140 km/h or 87 mph), but very fun.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th March, 2012

1998 Opel Corsa D 1.7 diesel from UK and Ireland


It would bring you to hell and back, a classic tough nut of a car


Alternator problems at first, and quite expensive to repair. Back window washer hose.

The wheel alignment is a issue, quite regularly has to be done as the car is quite heavy for its size and the wheels a little small. So very easy knock it out, and on Irish roads can be poor!

New clutch, but justifiable wear and tear.

General Comments:

This is an amazing little car, Fantastically reliable, ridiculously easy on fuel. I drove from South East Ireland to North West Ireland for €20 at an average speed of 70 Mph. That would cost €50 in the Carina 1.6 petrol.

The engine at 160k does not burn a drop of oil.

It will also pull its way out of anything, and I've had it in some sticky spots.

Down side; the gear box is like that of a Nut field tractor; as crude as the day is long, irritating!

Very poky inside, but in the heal of the hunt, I bought a different car for these bad points I mentioned, and have went back to the Corsa D. It costs me €30 every 2 weeks to fuel, and is a vizer to move on the straight.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th October, 2008

1998 Opel Corsa City 1.0 from UK and Ireland


Excellent first car if well chosen (and/or lucky); but not the big family car


Rear and middle parts of the exhaust had to be replaced when they nearly started to fall off. Earlier the front part of the exhaust had to be welded, so the exhaust seems weak in general. However I have avoided replacing the expensive front part (which includes the catalytic convertor).

Check engine came on occasionally; dealer said it's the air mass meter. I replaced it, but the problem did not go away. I finally started looking for advice on the Internet; at 2carpros.com they told me to check all the pipes leading to the airbox. I found a hole in the crankshaft ventilating hose. 5 Euro to buy a new one - and the problem went away!

Later, the check engine came on again - EGR valve. Had to buy a replacement for 300 Euro. It is a common problem with this model, so the dealer has them in stock.

Failed to start on the road once; rescue service found a bad contact in the RPM sensor connection, and fixed it on the spot.

When the car is well loaded, i.e. 4 adults and some baggage, at starting or on uphill roads, some scratching of the exhaust on the rear axle is heard. This does not happen with minor loads, i.e. just 2 adults in the front and a kid in the back.

My mechanic recently said that the underbody is starting to rust.

General Comments:

My first car - and an excellent choice throughout for the purpose. It did have a number of small problems, but never anything really serious, and after a garage check-up, it has marched through NCT (the Irish mandatory car test) on the first try.

Steering and accelerator both have good clear feedback, albeit might be too stiff for someone like a petite lady.

Comfort is moderate, but this actually worked to my advantage - the car keeps me from losing concentration. Performance is actually great for a 1 liter car, but I've tried other 1L Corsas with worse performance.

Dealer service is best avoided, to put it mildly. This car is to be looked after by a caring mechanic you know well.

The problem with exhaust scratching may be because of a worn rear suspension or an error in welding the exhaust - different mechanics say different things. My solution now is to use the car only for light loads - it's mostly my commuter vehicle.

I like this model and would generally recommend it, but there are lots of lousy ones around. Be VERY careful when checking; I strongly advise measuring engine compression before buying one, as the mileage on them is now quite high, and if an engine was not well cared for, it can be problematic.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th April, 2008

2nd Feb 2010, 18:12

This is from the author of the original review - a 2010 addition.

The car started to have more problems throughout 2008 and 2009. During these years:

- Had to replace the alternator as it stopped working (and its internals seem to have fallen apart).

- The rear wheels started to get stuck after a long parked state more and more - ending with a fully stuck car and a need to replace the handbrake wire.

- Had to use an oil additive to stop some small dripping.

- Had to replace the oil pressure sensor which dripped strongly and caused the oil pressure light to flash (even though the oil level was good)

- The wheels stopped holding alignment (I did not fix this yet - may be tie rods or steering rack wear)

- Finally, the left rear wheel started jamming/whistling, and as I understand the entire drum assembly had to be replaced (with a used one, plus new bearing)

But, the car is still driving along!

I do not see many Corsas that old around anymore. Apparently it's not built to last much longer than that.

But it will remain a good memory. This car taught me to drive.