Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Vauxhall Corsa Electric: performance, motor & drive

The plug-in Corsa is easy to drive and its electric motor has a surprising amount of poke

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Performance, motor & drive rating

4.0 out of 5

Model

0-62mph

Top speed

Driven wheels

Power

50kWh

8.9s

93mph

Front

134bhp

51kWh

8.2s

93mph

Front

154bhp

On the road, the Corsa Electric, unsurprisingly, feels quite similar to its closely related sister car, the Peugeot E-208. That means it has plenty of performance and drives in a direct and predictable manner. On the downside, the addition of the 345kg battery pack means the chassis and suspension are a little stiffer than those of a petrol-powered Corsa, resulting in a bouncier ride.

Vauxhall Corsa Electric 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

Like lots of small electric cars, the Corsa Electric’s instant torque makes it feel particularly peppy – much more so than its petrol or diesel equivalents. It’s quite telling that much of Vauxhall’s marketing material quotes the Corsa’s 0-30mph time of just 2.8 seconds – in other words, it's really quite quick away from the lights.

Advertisement - Article continues below

But it doesn’t stop there; the Vauxhall Corsa Electric is available with two power outputs – 134bhp and 154bhp – and both versions boast a swift 0-62mph time of under nine seconds, which can only be matched by the top-of-the-range petrol Corsa.

It’s worth noting, however, that the additional 20bhp of the 154bhp is only unlocked whenever you put the car into its ‘Sport’ setting; this not only boosts throttle response, but also adds weight to the steering to make the car more involving to drive. At the other end of the spectrum is ‘Eco’ mode which limits power to just 81bhp to eke as much out of the Corsa’s battery as possible.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

Like most electric cars, things start to tail off in the Corsa at 70mph or so, but for typical UK commuters, the Vauxhall’s performance should be more than adequate. A 93mph top speed won’t trouble sports cars, but it’s sufficient for those who regularly use their car on the motorway.

Handling

By basing the Corsa on the latest Peugeot 208, Vauxhall has worked wonders for the car’s handling. While the steering is light and there isn’t much in the way of feedback, it’s precise, giving the car a predictable feel. There’s plenty of grip and body control is good given the added weight of the battery.

One downside is that slightly stiffer suspension means the Corsa Electric bounces about a bit more than the petrol car. The ride is never brittle, though; you rarely feel shocks reverberate around the cabin, resulting in a relatively comfortable driving experience overall.

Refinement is excellent. The electric motor means the only notable sound is a bit of tyre noise, although it’s pretty well suppressed meaning long motorway miles are no hardship. The two-stage regenerative braking system works well, too, although we wish the ‘B’ mode setting was stronger, as this doesn’t come close to offering full one-pedal driving.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Hello there, I’m Tom Jervis and I have the pleasure of being the Content Editor here at DrivingElectric. Before joining the team in 2023, I spent my time reviewing cars and offering car buying tips and advice on DrivingElectric’s sister site, Carbuyer. I also continue to occasionally contribute to the AutoExpress magazine – another of DrivingElectric’s partner brands. In a past life, I worked for the BBC as a journalist and broadcast assistant for regional services in the east of England – constantly trying to find stories that related to cars!

Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

myenergi and Hendy Group partnership: making EV ownership easy and stress-free
myenergi zappi
Advertisement Feature

myenergi and Hendy Group partnership: making EV ownership easy and stress-free

From your first electric car purchase to the latest eco-smart and sustainable home charging solutions, myenergi and Hendy Group have got you covered
17 May 2024
What is regenerative braking?
Brake regen
Your questions answered

What is regenerative braking?

Check out our guide to regen braking or 'B mode'. We explain what it is, how it works and why you musn’t be afraid of it
24 May 2024
New Kia EV3 unveiled: baby SUV packs a punch and a 372-mile range
Kia EV3 - front
News

New Kia EV3 unveiled: baby SUV packs a punch and a 372-mile range

Kia’s EV family has just got bigger with the addition of the EV3, a car with many similarities to its EV9 big brother
23 May 2024