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null 1996 Chevrolet Corsica
MPG 23 City / 30 Highway

Introduction

Though it has been eclipsed by the new cars that flank its position in the Chevrolet lineup - Cavalier and Lumina - the '95 Corsica will offer something you won't find on other General Motors passenger cars. Something you won't find on any car from Ford or Chrysler, either. Like the Chevy S-Series pickup, the Corsica - and its sporty cousin, the Beretta - roll into 1995 with Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) as standard equipment. Promoted as a safety feature, GM wants to make DRLs standard on all of its vehicles by the 1997 model year. That's the official position. Unofficially, however, we detect a little bit of wait-and-see on the part of some insiders. They may want to test market acceptance before going ahead with a wholesale DRL commitment. If that's the case, the Corsica makes a perfect test vehicle because it's going to be phased out at the end of the '95 model year. The DRL principle is simple. When you switch on the ignition, the headlights come on, though at a lower intensity than nighttime illumination (this reduces electrical drain, which affects fuel economy). The theory behind DRLs is equally simple. Having your headlights on all the time makes you more visible to other drivers; GM supports its DRL position with statistics from Canada, where lights-on driving is required. Like some folks at GM, we're not so sure this feature will be perceived as positively by consumers as it is by its promoters. We think gauging the distance from an oncoming car is more difficult when its headlights are on, which makes passing tricky. Also, having your headlights on compromises the flash-to-pass function. There's also a styling side effect. If the headlights have to be on, pop-up headlights, like those on the Chevy Corvette and Pontiac Firebird, will become obsolete. You'll obviously make up your own mind about the Corsica's new DRL function. Aside from that, we think this car can be viewed as bargain transportation, with reasonable roominess and a fair level of standard equipment - including anti-lock brakes - for the price.
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