The Corsa city car was last sold in Australia as a Barina in 2005 but returns to Australia as the entry point to the new Opel range that will go on sale in September and also include the Astra small car and Insignia mid-sizer.
The fourth generation of the Opel Corsa, built in both Germany and Spain, is already six years old, though was updated in 2010.
It is likely to court some controversy by costing noticeably more than competitors in a price-sensitive segment.
The Corsa starts at $16,490 for a three-door hatch body style, with one five-door variant offered from $18,990.
Its sister city car, the Holden Barina, costs $15,990 in five-door form, while other five-door competitors which include the Mazda2, Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris, Hyundai i20 and Volkswagen Polo start between $15,690 and $16,990.
All Corsa models come with a 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine producing 74kW of power and 130Nm of torque, which are higher outputs than those offered by the Toyota Yaris but lower than most key rivals.
A five-speed manual is standard with a four-speed auto a $2000 option for all but the base model, which are not atypical gearboxes for the class though six-speed autos are offered with some competitor cars.
Opel says the Corsa accelerates from 0-100km/h in 11.9 seconds, or 13.9sec in auto form.
Fuel consumption is rated at 5.8L/100km for manual versions, rising to 6.3L/100km for automatic-equipped Corsas.
Standard features for the $16,490 base model Opel Corsa comprise the likes of 15-inch steel wheels (with full-size spare), daytime running lights, four-way adjustable steering wheel, cloth seats, electric front windows (but manual-winding rear windows), steering wheel controls, electric side mirrors, keyless entry, single-CD audio and Bluetooth with voice control.
USB input with iPod connectivity and MP3 compatibility won’t be available until an MY13 upgrade.
Safety for all Corsas includes six airbags, electronic stability control and a five-star independent crash-test rating from NCAP.
A Colour Edition version of the three door starts at $18,490 and brings a black roof to combine with a choice of bright colours, 16-inch alloy wheels (with space-save spare), sports seats up front, cruise control, trip computer, sports pedals, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a number of exterior and interior embellishments.
A $750 Sport Pack option for this model adds a sportier suspension tune, lower ride height and bigger (17-inch) gloss-black alloys.
The Opel Corsa range is completed by the ‘Enjoy’ five-door hatch, priced from $18,990 and equipped with sportier-looking 16-inch alloys and a similar specification line-up to the Colour Edition.
The five-door also comes with a ‘Flexfloor’ false cargo cover in the boot, which measures 285 litres – with 700 litres of cargo space claimed if the rear seats are folded.
A $1250 Technology Pack includes rear parking sensors, auto-dimming rear view mirror, rain-sensing wipers, auto headlights and ‘Adaptive Forward Lighting’ that can peer around corners at night and is claimed to be a segment first by Opel.
Price: $16,490 to $20,990
Body styles: 3dr and 5dr hatch
Engine: 1.4-litre 4-cylinder
Power: 74kW at 6000rpm
Torque: 130Nm at 4000rpm
Transmission: 5-sp manual (or 4-sp auto)
0-100km/h: 11.9 seconds (13.9sec)
Fuel consumption: 5.8L/100km (6.3L/100km)
CO2 emissions: 136g/km (147g/km)