the Vauxhall Corsa-e is a household electric car. up there with the Volkswagen Golf and the Ford Fiesta, this budget supermini ranks among the top family cars in the race for annual sales supremacy. but now Vauxhall has rewritten the rulebook. as well as offering its evergreen small car with petrol and diesel power it’s now available as a pure electric model. based on the same platform as the Peugeot 208. Vauxhall’s first EV does battle with the established Renault Zoe. as well as small models like the Volkswagen e-up, and the mini electric.
For years the Vauxhall Corsa (Opel) has been a staple of the UK driving schools and a favorite for young motorists looking for their first taste of freedom. it’s long been a no-nonsense affordable kind of car. but for this latest generation, it takes a step a leap if you like into the world of electrification.
Motor Power, Battery, and Range
The exterior styling of the Corsa-e differs little from other versions. all the changes under the bonnet in place of the petrol or diesel engine are driven by a 134 BHP electric motor, 260 Nm of torque. drawing power from a 50 kWh battery. maximum range in ideal conditions is 209 miles. we’d expect to see more like 150 to 270 miles in real-world driving. depending on the outside temperature and how much time we spend on the motorway.
Every version comes with a mode 3 cable for public charging. but you have to pay a bit extra for a three-pin plug. which seems a bit stingy on these days. the Vauxhall Corsa-e is available with either 7.4 kW or 11 kW charging capability which means that mode 3 cable would differ depending on which you opt for. that faster-charging cost around 850 pounds though all models are capable of 100 kW DC rapid charging. enabling an 80% charge in as little as 30 minutes.
Interior and Infotainment
Here you’d never know you’re driving an electric car. because it all feels reassuring you familiar with plenty of space to put all your odds and ends like phones, wallets, and keys. high spec models like Elite Nav car get a glorious 10-inch touchscreen. but what’s less impressive is interior quality. in places, you’d like there are some scratchy plastics on the center console and the doors. and that’s the trouble there are loads more luxurious and premium feeling alternatives albeit with a petrol diesel engine that you could get for these cars 310 pounds per month-ish finance payment.
But on the plus side, there are loads of driver assistance systems like traffic sign recognition blind-spot monitoring, and automatic emergency braking.
Vauxhall Corsa-e Trims and Pricing
There are only two specs to choose from at launch.
- SE Nav
- Elite Nav
Plus those two onboard charging options. the entry-level car, which is SC Nav cost from 27,665 pounds after the plug-in grant has been taken into account. and features essentials such as a 7-inch sat-nav system with apple car play and android auto. plus climate control, alloy wheels, and LED lights. Elite Nav brings luxuries like that after mentioned 10-inch screen, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel matrix lighting a panoramic rearview camera, and keyless entry. Its price tag starts at 30,960 pounds.
However, with prices starting from a smidge over thirty thousand pounds, these cars are almost twice what a basic petrol model might cost.
Acceleration and Top Speed
Vauxhall Corsa-e is as quick as you’d ever really want it to be. 0-62 mph takes 8.1 seconds. but it’s the 0-30 time that Vauxhall quakes all over its marketing material. and that takes just 2.8 seconds which makes this car feel quite quick around town. raise your speed slightly and this course feels more than comfortable enough and more than capable. and I fall up to motorway speeds. that top speed is 93 mph. this speed applies to all of the PSA products that see on this platform. so it doesn’t matter which one you go for you lumped with that limited top speed. but it’s not likely to be much of a problem for those buyers in the UK at least.
You will find at the top end that this car suffers much like any of the petrol versions would as well in that it runs out of puffs when you try and go for it. putting your foot down at 60 or 70 miles an hour isn’t going to result in lightning-fast acceleration.
A Relatively Heavy Car
This Corsa electric version is heavier than the turbo petrol versions. so you will find that it bounces around a little bit more than you might expect.
The suspension is never uncomfortable though it’s well-damped. you never crashed through bumps and potholes round them off quite nicely.
Now that firmer suspension does give it a decent level of agility through the bends. there’s not much feel this is not through a hot-hatch. it’s not a mini electric. and it won’t feel quite as engaging or entertaining through a tight set of corners.
But most buyers won’t care about that. this is a car that can get you from A to B comfortably and quietly it is refined even at motorway speeds. it’s very little in the way of wind whistle or road noise.
Corsa-e have 17-inch wheels. and while I said before, that does result in a slightly stiffer ride. it doesn’t affect how quiet this car is on the move.
An Economical Vehicle
Running an electric car could work wonders for your bank balance. yes, most TVs cost more to buy but charge at home overnight on an off-peak electricity tariff and you could fill the Corsa-e battery for a little over 3 pounds. a lot less than a tank of fuel. then this fact there’s no road tax to pay all-electric cars are exempt from VED and. if you’re a company car driver in 2020 you’re paying no benefit in kind tax. this raises just 1% in 2021 and 2% in 2022 whichever way you look at it that’s a lot less than the equivalent petrol diesel model would set you back.
Now there are a series of drivers to choose from but the parameters that they alter are minor. most of it comes down to throttle response and even an eco you’ve got a nice little level of shove when you put your foot down. I reckon most people will leave it in its default normal mode and take the range that they’re given.
Regenerative Braking System
There are two levels of regenerative braking. the first is a coasting mode. so when you lift off you feel very little braking. the second applies the kind of regenerative brakes and captures energy that would otherwise be lost. that helps power things like air conditioning and reduces strain on the battery.
It’s intuitive enough to use and it’s where we’ve left it the whole time we’ve had the car. now that range of 209 miles is not to be sniffed at it’s not in the bracket of the Renault Zoe but it’s much better than cars like the mini electric, and Honda-e. and that makes this car so much more usable.
You haven’t always got one eye on the meter wondering where your next charge is going to come from. if like most people you cover less than 30 miles a day you could feasibly drive this car all week without plugging it in at all. and when the time does come to the plug-in, you’ve got loads of choice in terms of charging speeds and providing all the right cable you can plug it in near enough anywhere.
Do you know what it’s one of those electric cars that does feel like? it’s built for the mainstream and the masses and that is a great thing.
There’s very little to complain about in terms of practicality. there’s enough room in the back for adults to sit relatively comfortably and there’s a little compromise made when it comes to boot space. though you do miss out on the petrol cars underfloor storage which leaves you nowhere to sting the charging cable even the dinky mini electric manages to offer that so you’ll need to factor this in if you’re filling the boot with shopping or luggage. the last thing you want is them tangled up in the foot whales taking up valuable space in the back.
In almost every conceivable way, this new Vauxhall Corsa-e is a fantastic small electric car. it’s Pershore underpinnings give it an agile edge. and once you start that high purchase price it’s hard to argue with its rock bottom running costs and real-world range. but the problem is that the purchase price will be a sticking point for many new car buyers. because there are plenty of more capable cheaper alternatives and plusher more premium rivals are not far out of reach.
A unique electric car that has good valued features. Great for city driving. If you have no pricing issues. This EV can be added to your wishlist.
- Well Equipped with Features
- Good Handling
- Good Charging Speeds
- Poor Interior Design
- Less Space/Room
- Questionable Price Range (Compared with similar rivals)
Design and Interior