To Italy in a small car: In the narrow coastal fringe of Liguria, the mountains rise directly from the Mediterranean Sea. Here we tested the Corsa’s talents as a holiday companion.

La Dolce Corsa

Numbers don’t lie. Sometimes they even open your eyes. Need an example? 4006 millimetres – that’s how long the current Opel Corsa is. The next number offers an interesting relationship: the first Opel Astra in the early 1990s was 4051 millimetres long. Of course, there are over 30 years between the two models – and yet the comparison shows the development in the automotive world.

Now in its sixth generation, the Corsa is as popular as ever. Two years ago, the bestseller celebrated its 40th birthday. And maturity suits the Corsa. Today, Germany’s best-selling small car is not only cleverly connected and technologically fit – it is also the market leader in its segment. Available with petrol, hybrid and electric power. It is precisely this versatility that makes the Corsa so popular. Are long vacation trips also included? We wanted to find out and set off for Liguria in Italy. 

The “small cars” of today can do a lot: The navigation system with Connected Services, voice recognition and over-the-air updates guides us through the Swiss mountains.
Welcome to Liguria: The 300-kilometre long coastal region always offers spectacular views of the sea, beautiful sandy beaches and seaside resorts.
Pure “fun to drive”: The western section of the coast is ideal for beautiful tours – there are fewer tourists here than in the east.
Stopover with a view: The port city of Imperia is located in the centre of the Riviera dei fiori, the flower riviera.
Stocking up: Tapenade, a sauce made from olives, anchovy fillets, capers and olive oil, is one of the region’s specialties.

Why Liguria? Because in Italy’s third smallest province, the Mediterranean flirts so prettily with the mountains. To the east is the Riviera di Levante, to the west is the Riviera di Ponente – and in the middle beckons the capital Genoa. According to the travel guide, Liguria is inviting at any time of the year. But it can get pretty hot and crowded in summer, so it’s better to go in spring: The area is coming out of hibernation, the air is warming up nicely, likewise the sea.

Lake Constance in Germany is quickly reached in the Corsa’s long sixth gear. From then on, the leisurely trot through Switzerland soon lowers the turbo petrol engine’s consumption below the 4.5-litre mark. We marvel at this at the first Autogrill, a typical Italian highway restaurant. Espresso and Cornetto convey holiday flair. It’s amazing how far ahead of northern Europe the Italians are when it comes to gas station cuisine, not to mention the prices. Back pain? None at all, not even for the driver – and he is 1.9 metres tall.

Mare e Monti

Liguria is the name of the narrow coastal fringe that stretches from the Côte d’Azur to Tuscany. The mild climate makes the region a year-round destination. Spring, early and late summer offer perfect weather conditions. What can you look forward to in Liguria? Fine sandy beaches and sophisticated cities, lonely hiking trails and romantic clifftop villages. Racing cyclists often fall in love with the coastline, which is over 300 kilometres long and has winding roads. Hang gliders, paragliders and free climbers appreciate the nearby mountains. Divers, kiters, surfers and stand-up paddlers have fun on the coasts.

After the snow-capped peaks of Switzerland, the sparkling Mediterranean Sea is the second visual highlight. Before today’s destination, Sanremo, there is a detour to Genoa, which has developed from a run-down industrial port into a lively cultural city. If you want to soak up the atmosphere, it’s best to start in the old town at the Piazza de Ferrari and then immerse yourself in the labyrinth of small streets.

Afterwards we take the Corsa for another hour along the Mediterranean – to Sanremo, which scores with its nostalgic flair of Riviera summer resort. Or with its Art Nouveau casino from 1905. The parking lot at the harbour is right at hand, 20 minutes later you can smell the pizzas on a small wooden table. Italy from the photo catalogue. And right in the middle of it all was a Corsa, which made it wonderfully clear how quickly and comfortably it can travel to far away destinations. A small car with big talents.

Small car, big talents: The new edition of the Corsa with the Opel Vizor brand face celebrated its premiere last year.

May 2024

Text und Photos: Dani Heyne