Compact car; Built in USA
  • 4-door hatchback
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $1,800*


1991 Chevrolet Corsica LT 4-door sedan


1990 Chevrolet Corsica interior


1991 Chevrolet Corsica interior


1992 Chevrolet Corsica LT 4-door sedan


1994 Chevrolet Corsica 4-door sedan

Pros:
  • Acceleration (V6)
  • Antilock brakes (1992-96)
  • Price
Cons:
  • Acceleration (early 4-cylinder)
  • Control layout
  • Engine noise (4-cylinder)
  • Rear-seat room

Neither assembly quality nor refined driving quality can match Japanese compact rivals. Even though a capable Corsica doesn’t quite stand out, though, it’s a sensible buy secondhand, just as it was when new.

Overview

Sharing its structure with the Beretta coupe, the compact Corsica sedan and hatchback attracted a more sedate audience. A 4-door hatchback joined the 4-door sedan for 1989. So did a sporty LTZ, packing features like the Beretta GT. By 1990, the original engines were gone, replaced by a larger 2.2-liter four and 3.1-liter V6. Base cars now were outfitted like the prior year’s midlevel LT grade. The sporty LTZ got reclining front bucket seats with adjustable lumbar supports. That LTZ had gas-pressurized shock absorbers, stabilizer bars, quick-ratio power steering, and 15-inch tires.

Yearly Updates

1991 Corsica
A driver-side airbag went into the Corsica’s revamped interior. The sporty LTZ was dropped, leaving a 4-door notchback sedan and 4-door hatchback in LT trim. In place of the LTZ, Chevy offered the Z52 sport package. The new dashboard contained a more modular grouping of ducts and controls. Rotary dials replaced buttons and levers for headlamps and wipers.
1992 Corsica
Antilock braking became standard in 1992, as the 4-door hatchback body style disappeared. A new fuel injection system boosted output of the 2.2-liter 4-cylinder engine from 95 to 110 horsepower. A 5-speed manual transmission remained standard with 4-cylinders, but was not available with the V6.
1993 Corsica
Except for the addition of a shift interlock and low-oil-level warning light, little was new for ’93.
1994 Corsica
The 4-cylinder engine gained 10 horsepower, and the new V6 delivered 20 more horsepower than its same-size predecessor. Manual shift could no longer be installed in 4-cylinder models, all of which got 3-speed automatic. The V6 came with a new electronic 4-speed automatic transmission. Door-mounted front seatbelts could now be left buckled.
1995 Corsica
Daytime running lights were added, along with a revised rear suspension and larger tires. Fluid in the 4-speed automatic transmission, standard with V6 models, now was supposed to last 100,000 miles under normal conditions. Rear coil springs moved from ahead of the axle to in line with hubs, in an attempt to improve ride quality.
1996 Corsica
Except for longer engine-service intervals, nothing was new in the compact Chevrolet sedan. Corsica and its Beretta mate were dropped after ’96.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

By 1990, Corsicas had a standard 2.2-liter 4-cylinder engine that made 95 horsepower, and an optional 3.1-liter V6 rated 135 horsepower (later 140). The 2.2-liter had an Isuzu-built 5-speed manual gearbox, while the V6 got a Muncie-Getrag stick. Output of the base engine grew to 110 horsepower for 1992, then to 120 for ’94. Also in 1994, the V6 gained 20 horsepower, now rated at 160. A year later, the V6 lost five horsepower. Through 1991, all models could have 5-speed manual shift, but from 1992 on, only automatic was available with the V6. In 1994, a new 4-speed automatic transmission went into V6 Corsicas, but 4-cylinder models retained the prior 3-speed automatic and manual shift disappeared completely.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.1/191
Engine HP 135-160
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 185
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
4-speed automatic
19/28
20/28
21/29
22.7
23.4
ohv I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.2/133
Engine HP 95-120
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 120-130
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
25/34
24/31

Road Test

Four-cylinder engines are noisy and anemic, even with the increased power for 1992 and again for ’94, delivering barely adequate acceleration. That makes the V6 a much wiser choice. Fuel economy suffers a bit with the V6, but you benefit from much better performance.

Although the LTZ offered the ultimate Corsica setup for power and handling, it suffered a noticeable loss in ride comfort. The combination of base suspension and tires discourages even moderately aggressive driving. Some cars have an optional sport suspension that gives more sporting handling with no penalty in ride harshness.

Space is ample up front, but rear leg room is marginal for tall passengers. Trunk space is adequate. The early 5-door body style offered fine cargo-carrying versatility, but optional fold-down rear seatbacks help extend the usefulness of the sedan’s trunk. The dashboard layout, as revised for 1991, is quite serviceable, but rotary headlamp and wiper dials cannot be operated without taking your hands off the steering wheel.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1996 Chevrolet Corsica 3.1-liter

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 4
40%
Fuel Economy - 6
60%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 4
40%
Quietness - 4
40%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Front - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
30%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 5
50%

Total: 42

Specifications

4-door hatchback
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
103.4 183.4 68.2 56.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
39.1 15.6 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.1 37.4 43.4 35.0
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
103.4 183.4 68.2 56.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
13.5 15.6 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.1 37.4 43.4 35.0
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1995 Corsica 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 3
60%
Front Passenger Injury - 2
40%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 89
Injury 119
Theft 30

Trouble Spots

Brakes
Description: If ABS system stops working and the ABS light comes the hydraulic modulator may need to be replaced. (1993-95)
Engine noise
Description: Ticking noise from the engine after startup on V6 models may be due to loose piston wrist pins requiring replacement of all six pistons and pins. (1994-95)
Engine noise
Description: A rattling noise on cold startups could be due to oil-pump starvation and cavitation in the automatic transmission. (1994-95)
Transmission leak
Description: A revised transmission-oil seal (green in color) was created to correct a leak at the right front (drive) axle. (1992-94)
Water leak
Description: Water leaks onto the right front floor are caused by a gap between the air-inlet screen at the bottom of the windshield. (1991-94)
Transmission problems
Description: Transmission may pop out of gear and into neutral at highway speeds. Valve body must be replaced. (1995-96)

Recall History

1990
Description: Owner’s manual is missing rear-seatbelt information.
1990
Description: Shoulder-belt retractors may fail, leaving occupants improperly restrained.
1991
Description: Steering-wheel nut may not have been properly tightened, allowing steering wheel to separate from column, causing loss of control and potential for crash without warning.
1992
Description: The service brake stop-lamp switch becomes inoperative.
1994
Description: Suspension support assemblies do not meet weld-integrity specifications and could severely impair steering capability.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.