Over Christmas I got an opportunity to reacquaint myself with the Opel Corsa. I had driven the car when it was launched in Ireland back in February, in the ‘good old days’ when we had press launches!

The car was a favourite in Ireland back in the eighties and nineties when we often heard former MD Arnold O’Byrne on radio and television talk about the company’s range of cars.

Around that time Opel sponsored the Irish soccer team and Arnold was nearly as popular in Ireland as former manager Jack Charlton.

The Corsa was launched in 1982 and I bought a skinny looking version around 1988. Now the designers have managed to make this new model look bigger, despite the dimensions being much the same as the previous version.

Built in Zaragoza, Spain, the first Corsa’s were three-door hatchback and two-door saloon models, with four-door and five-door versions arriving in 1984. This latest version is only available as a four-door as Opel simplify their product range.

The sixth generation of the nameplate is longer, lower, and has a longer wheelbase than its predecessor and is 108kg lighter than the previous version. This is the first new Opel produced since the marque was taken over by the PSA Group and Opel are now based in Gowan House in Bluebell, Dublin.

The Corsa is built on the same platform at the DS3 Crossback and the new Peugeot 208. Since my initial drive almost 12 months ago now, the Corsa has been voted Autobest Best Buy Car of Europe 2020 and also won the Golden Steering Wheel Award for best small car.

I found the car very sturdy and there was very little road noise. The digital instrument cluster is well placed to ensure that you only have to take your eyes off the road ahead for a second or two to check your speed.

There is room in the back for back seat for three people, but leg room is a bit tight. The boot is average, but the good news is that you get a proper spare wheel. It’s neat, easy to handle and comfortable to travel in.

Back in February my test car was white with a black roof and looking at the exterior it certainly is very attractive.

Inside there was a nice touch of red and white stitching on the seats and the dash had a touch of red and grey which looked very tasty. This time round it was a white again, but no black roof and the interior seats were black and grey.

There is also an electric Corsa-e available; it has range of around 330km. Also last year, Opel launched a new Grandland X hybrid and a facelifted Crossland. So it’s certainly all systems go for Opel right now.

For the new Corsa there are three trims: SC, SRi and Elite with entry prices starting at €17,975 for the 1.2-litre petrol; also available in 1.5-litre diesel. All come with LED headlights and auto-dip as standard. And ‘start’ is the important word when checking out prices of new cars. Road tax is €180.

Recently Opel teamed up with Energia, Ireland’s independent energy provider, to offer a free home charger to new Opel electric vehicle customers.

The offer invites customers to register a new, all-electric Opel Corsa-e this month (January) and if they are not happy after six months of emissions-free driving, Opel will exchange it for an equivalent priced petrol or diesel model.