In-depth reviews

Vauxhall Corsa-e review

The evergreen Vauxhall Corsa has been given a new lease of life with a pure-electric powertrain, making it one of the most affordable ways into electric motoring

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Pros

  • Practical five-door body
  • Good real-world range
  • Drives quite well

Cons

  • No cable storage
  • Renault ZOE is better value
  • Three-phase charging costs extra
Car typeElectric rangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
Electric222 miles7hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)28mins (10-80%, 100kW)

While previous generations of the Vauxhall Corsa have been the first cars of many a teenage or student motorist, and a favourite choice of UK driving instructors, the latest generation of Corsa isn't holding back as it enters the electric hatchback class with a point to prove. 

The arrival of the Corsa-e is thanks to Vauxhall and its German sister brand Opel being taken over by Peugeot and Citroen's parent company PSA Group (now Stellantis) in 2017. As a result, both the internal-combustion and electric versions of the Corsa are based on the same platform as the current Peugeot 208.

The Peugeot e-208 is one of the Corsa-e's main rivals, alongside the Renault ZOE, MINI Electric and Honda e, as well as larger and more practical SUVs, like the Mazda MX-30DS 3 E-TENSE and even Vauxhall's own Mokka-e. Of course, being electric, the Corsa-e isn't as affordable as its fossil-fuel-powered siblings, with the basic trim starting at just under £22,000 after the UK government's £2,500 plug-in car grant (PiCG).

The Corsa-e is driven by a 134bhp electric motor, drawing power from a 50kWh battery. Maximum range in ideal conditions is 209 miles, but we'd expect to see more like 150-170 miles in real-world driving – which is much better than some of this car’s style-centric rivals. Performance is sprightly and it handles well; refinement is excellent, too.

By almost every measure, then, the Corsa-e is a great small electric car. In fact, once you’ve got over the high purchase price (or nailed down a good finance deal), it’s hard to argue with that real-world range and those rock-bottom running costs. But ultimately, there are cheaper but equally capable models on the market, while larger, plusher rivals aren’t far out of reach, either. For a more detailed look at the Vauxhall Corsa-e, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

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