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2011 Chevy Corsa Utility 1.4 Club [Review]

2011 Chevy Corsa Utility 1.4 Club [Review]

Here comes some excitement, the Chevrolet Corsa Utility Club sub- one tonne pick-up, white in colour, canopy in place and powered by a 1.4 litre fuel injected petrol engine that is transversely mounted and it’s got a Chevy badge.

Simply put, my right foot and toes have had a delight. No noticeable travel with the accelerator pedal but a pretty decent throttle response. The Corsa Utility has 115Nm of torque at a rather low 3200rpm for a non-turbo charged car and a meagre 66kw of power at 6200rpm on tap.

The first TATA we wrote about had a similar 115 Nm of torque but nowhere near the response of this unit. Because all the torque is available from such a low engine speed I didn’t notice the serious deficiency in power.

Perhaps this is how driving a diesel engined car feels. Anyway all that torque on the Corsa Utility is good for towing up to 670 Kg of…whatever, kids in the back or hay stacks if you are in Christian Ministry or are the farmer type. I never seem to run out of grunt and second gear is ideal for most hill climbs. It’s not rear wheel driven so no figure eights on the complicated streets of Vredehoek, Cape Town but lots of elevens (sort of) as the front wheels struggle for grip as I corner with a lead foot and the steering wheel locked on target. It’s astonishing how light the steering wheel is. I am in first gear but I have to be gentle with the throttle lest I end up at the end of the uphill driveway with a ruined front bumper and some poor fellow pasted on the windscreen.

The transmission on the Corsa Utility is obviously manual (5 speed) and so easy to move about. Not the clunky unit in the Honda Civic I tested a while back. The gear knob is small enough to fit in my hand and every time I shift it so willingly moves into position that I sometimes feel that I probably didn’t move it to the correct spot. The only thing that I can perhaps fault on the Corsa Utility is the gear lever with is that the throw is rather short so shifting to neutral was a bit daunting at first.

The interior of the Corsa Utility is no quality affair by any means. It’s as boring and as plain as any cheap Chevy your money can buy but as a consolation, its way better than a TATA. It is obviously a two-seater, the seats are made of clothe and are relatively comfortable. No parcel shelf behind the seats like in your favourite performance coupé but enough storage room for a guitar, a church banner and a traditional Afrikaner box drum. The side mirrors have to be manually adjusted which sucks if you don’t have long arms to adjust the passenger side mirrors. The rear view mirror is excellently positioned and rear visibility is brilliant even though the canopy is still on. There is a sliding window fitted into the back window so you can speak to any passengers you are carrying on your utility mini truck in the back. Trust me it works. I’ve been both a front passenger and a cargo passenger in the Corsa Utility.

It’s also fuel-efficient; the owner has achieved about 400 km on about half a tank. More precisely the fuel consumption ranges from 6.39 l/100km to 11 l/100km from a generous 50 litre petrol tank.

This is the first car that I’ve genuinely enjoyed driving from the very start. The only downside to this car is that at around R132000 the interior is extremely basic. Air conditioning comes as standard and that’s about it. For a 2011 car that’s not much considering that a 1.4 Volkswagen Polo Vivo comes with a pretty decent music system. No central locking also and the petrol cap cover has to be opened with a key.

All this aside my passion for driving has only been kindled and I genuinely believe that the Chevrolet Corsa Utility is a driver’s car. Sadly I can’t keep it and have since had to return it to the owner (after less than 15 min of driving). Nonetheless as I finish typing this up I’ve had several stints in it. Next time, I’ll attempt a great escape and be found days later driving rather precariously on Chapman’s peak drive.

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