The Corsa is a strong small car that gave a good all-round performance. The driver's airbag did its job in the frontal impact but may have reached the limit of its ability to protect. The car's body performed well and there was only modest deformation of the passenger cell. Side impact protection was also good but the results were clouded by a high reading from the dummy's spine which would not affect a real driver in the same way. Protection given by the child restraints was patchy, while that for pedestrians was poor.
A front passenger's airbag is fitted as standard. Chest injury risks for the passenger were lower than for the driver but both were acceptable for this size of car. Opel fits a composite plate behind the steering wheel shroud to cushion the driver's knees. While any attempt to protect the driver is welcomed, this did not fully satisfy Euro NCAP requirements. The design did not overcome the threat of upper leg injuries or penetrating injuries to the knees. The centre rear seat belt was lap-only, which protects less than a three-point belt would.
The driver's head and chest were safeguarded, but his abdomen and pelvis were exposed to some risk. There were very high loads transmitted up the dummy's spine which gave an artificially low reading for the driver's chest. A pole test was carried out using a Corsa fitted with a head-protecting airbag; this is an optional extra, but it was very aggressive and only just passed the test.
There was no permanently fixed warning against using a rear-facing restraint on the front passenger seat. Identical forward-facing restraints were used for both children. The children's heads were protected in front impact, but the younger child risked neck injury and the protection for their chests rated only as 'fair'. The 3-year-old also risked injuries from the side impact.
The windscreen was where an adult's head was most likely to land, and this gave more protection than the bonnet. Otherwise, the Corsa's performance was poor.