Vauxhall Corsa-e review
The evergreen Vauxhall Corsa has been given a new lease of life with a pure-electric powertrain. But can it compete with talented rivals?
- Practical five-door body
- Good real-world range
- Drives quite well
- No cable storage
- Renault ZOE is better value
- Three-phase charging costs extra
|Car type||Electric range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|Electric||209 miles||7hrs 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, this 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 the 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-30, DS 3 E-TENSE and even Vauxhall's own Mokka-e. Of course, being electric, the Corsa-e also isn't as affordable as its fossil-fuel-powered siblings, with the base SE NAV trim starting at £21,485 after the UK government's £2,500 plug-in car grant (PiGC).
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...
In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe evergreen Vauxhall Corsa has been given a new lease of life with a pure-electric powertrain. But can it compete with talented rivals?
- 2Range, battery & charging11kW home charging is extra, but don’t let that put you off; 100kW rapid charging from public points is standard across the Corsa-e range
- 3Running costs & insuranceIf you can stomach the high list price, the Vauxhall Corsa-e can be an incredibly cost-effective small car to run
- 4Electric motor, drive & performanceThe Corsa-e benefits from its Peugeot-Citroen underpinnings, which make it feel agile but easy to drive
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortThe electric Corsa’s dashboard is a little drab, while scratchy plastics on the doors are not befitting of this car’s price tag
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThe Corsa-e’s boot is a good size, but it misses out on the petrol car’s underfloor storage, which leaves nowhere to put the charging cables
- 7Reliability & safety ratingDon’t be put off by the Corsa-e’s four-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating; the car comes loaded with safety kit