The Vauxhall Corsa-e is a compact, sporty electric car
Vauxhall Corsa-e Review
The Vauxhall Corsa-e has been designed from the ground up to be a mass-market electric car.
Released in 2020, it looks – both inside and out – pretty much identical to its petrol and diesel siblings.
However, under the hood, it’s a whole new ball game. Out with the internal combustion engine, in with the electric motor.
The Corsa e is based on a new electric drivetrain called the eCMP platform, as are the Peugeot e-208 and the DS 3 Crossback E-Tense.
It’s a sporty 5-seater, with an exciting exterior and a more conventional interior.
Read our review of the Vauxhall Corsa-e below to discover its key features, pricing, trim levels, range, etc.
- Very good value for money
- A small car, but fits 5 people
- Rapid charging up to 100 kW
- Part of vast, in-it-for-the-long-term PSA Group
- Interior could be a bit more exciting
Range & Charging
The Vauxhall Corsa-e has a 50 kWh battery.
How far will it go when fully charged? According to its WLTP rating, it will cover 209 miles, on average.
A good rule of thumb is to knock 10% off the official WLTP mileage to reach a real-world range. That brings the range down to 188 miles.
Our range guide explains how an EV’s range depends on several factors, including outside temperature, how you drive, how flat the terrain is, etc.
Is 188 miles good enough?
Actually, for most situations, that should be plenty. How often is your daily round-trip more than say 150 miles?
If you do need to go beyond 150 miles – and want a comfort blanket – the Corsa e has a rapid charging port known as CCS. It delivers charging speeds up to 100 kW, which is really fast for a car in this segment.
So if you find yourself running low on battery on a long trip, just pull into a motorway service station, plug in, and you’ll be on your way again after half an hour or less.
At home, assuming you have off-street parking, there is also a Type 2 charging socket for overnight charging. Wake up to a full tank every morning – lovely!
Compared to other 5-seat EVs, the Corsa-e range is superior to the old 40 kWh Renault Zoe (167 miles), the cheapest Nissan Leaf (151 miles), and the VW e-Golf (130 miles).
However, its brother-in-arms the Peugeot e-208 (195 miles), the new Nissan Leaf e+ (215 miles) and the imminent Renault Zoe ZE50 R110 (221 miles) all have better range.
The Corsa-e also has two settings for regenerative braking or ‘regen’. Lifting your foot off the accelerator causes the car to slow down. This happens as the electric motor goes into reverse and acts like a generator. This process charges the car’s battery. So, braking = recharging the battery.
Vauxhall Corsa-e Price
There are two trim levels for the Corsa-e, as follows:
- SE Nav: from £27,665
- Elite Nav: from £30,310
These prices include the £3,000 plug-in car grant.
How does the base model SE Nav compare with its 5-seat competition?
It’s considerably cheaper than the 250+ mile range Hyundai Kona Electric (£7,900 less), Kia e-Niro (£7,300 less) and the new Kia Soul EV (£6,600 less), but these are bigger cars.
The Corsa-e is also cheaper and has better range than both the new Hyundai Ioniq Electric and the VW e-Golf.
The only 5-seater it is closely price-matched to is the 40 kWh Nissan Leaf. The Leaf is a larger car, and you would save £800, but it’s range is lower at 151 miles – the Corsa does 188 miles.
Other compact EVs with 5 seats to consider are the new Renault Zoe R110 ZE50 and the Peugeot e-208. Both cost less.
In terms of value for money, the electric Corsa is very well placed. Regarding value, people often say: “I want good range on a single charge, but I don’t want to pay too much for it.”
So, when you divide the Corsa’s on the road price by its range – and compare it to all the other electric cars on the market – it comes in 6th place. Not too bad.
Specifications, Trim Levels & Online Configurator
Vauxhall’s online configurator is obviously the best place to decide exactly which features and options you would like.
However, as configurators can sometimes be a bit confusing, we list below everything that comes as standard on the two trims, together with the optional extras you can choose.
The first choice you need to make is whether you go for a Corsa-e that has a 7.4 kW on-board AC charger or an 11 kW on-board AC charger.
What’s the difference? At home, either a 7.4 kW or 11 kW on-board charger will have the same affect. Your maximum charging rate will be 7.4 kW due to the limitations of your single-phase supply.
However, if you charge your car on a 3-phase AC electricity supply – the kind you might find at work – then an 11 kW on-board charger will allow you to charge at a faster 11 kW.
Choosing the 11 kW charger adds £850 to the price.
SE NAV TRIM
The SE Nav trim comes with all of the following as standard:
- Multimedia Navi, including:
- Satellite navigation
- 7-inch touchscreen (colour)
- Street-level maps (2D and 3D) including Europe
- Digital radio, with AM and FM, too
- Bluetooth audio streaming & mobile phone portal
- Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
- USB audio connecter
- 6 speaker audio system
- Vauxhall Connect
- Climate control
- Leather steering wheel
- Auto windscreen wipers
- Cruise control with speed limiter
- Trip computer
- Adjustable steering column
- Steering wheel control buttons
- Height adjustment (driver’s seat)
- 60/40 split-folding rear seats
- LED headlights
- High beam assist
- 16-inch alloy wheels (bi-colour)
- Electric front & rear windows
- Electric, heated door mirrors
- Rear parking sensors
- Keyless start-up
- Lane departure warning & lane assist
- Speed sign recognition
- Hill start assist
- Automatic emergency braking (city)
- ISOFIX fixings on outer rear seats
SE Nav Optional Extras
As you go through the online configurator, you can also select the following:
- Exterior colour: The standard colour is a metallic Navy Blue (no extra charge). Or you can have:
- Summit White (brilliant): £340
- Quartz Grey (metallic): £565
- Moonstone Grey (metallic): £565
- Voltaic Blue (metallic): £565
- Diamond Black (metallic): £565
- Hot Red (premium): £650
- Power Orange (premium): £650
- Dash Cam: You can add one of the following three dash cams:
- Road Angel Dash Cam > Halo Go: £160
- Road Angel Dash Cam > Halo Drive: £200
- Road Angel Dash Cam > Halo Pro: £260
ELITE NAV TRIM
If you go from SE Nav to Elite Nav trim, you pay £2,645 extra and benefit from the following (in addition to everything above in SE trim):
- Multimedia Navi Pro, with the following upgrades over SE trim:
- 10-inch touchscreen (colour)
- 7-inch digital instrument cluster
- Heated front seats & steering wheel
- Height adjustment (driver’s and front passenger’s seat)
- Centre armrest including storage
- Fabric / premium leather-effect seat trim
- LED Matrix headlights
- High beam assist with anti-glare function
- 17-inch, diamond-cut, alloy wheels (bi-colour)
- Panoramic rear-view camera
- Foldable, electric, heated door mirrors
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Keyless entry & start-up
- LED front fog lights
- Tinted rear windows
- Blind spot alert
- Traffic & speed sign recognition
Regarding optional extras for the Elite Nav trim, they are identical to the SE nav trim: you can choose from all the exterior colours mentioned above, as well as the Road Angel dash cams.
Is the Corsa-e for you?
The Corsa-e is a compact, 5-seat electric car, offering excellent value for money.
As with other small EVs, the Corsa-e is very handy around town. It’s easy to manoeuvre in built-up areas and can fit into tight spots. It also has very good acceleration: 0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds.
Being ‘zero emissions‘, you won’t fall foul of present and future restrictions on city-centre travel. Increasingly, diesel cars especially are being banned, or penalised heavily, from entering towns and cities.
The Corsa – going back years – has always appealed to young drivers. It’s often your first car. The electric Corsa is no different. The latest design looks fantastic on the outside. Certain exterior colours will really turn heads.
On the inside, it’s a bit more conventional, despite having all the modern tech that often comes with EVs. It has more of a solid Germanic feel than a flamboyant Latin one.
Boot space is pretty standard for this segment at 309 litres. With the back seats down, the cargo space is 1,118 litres.
There are also three driving modes: Sport, Normal, and ECO.
Sport mode gives you full access to the electric motor, providing fastest acceleration and top speed of 93 mph.
In ECO mode, the car automatically prioritises range over performance. It makes the car more boring to drive, but it helps maximise your range on a single charge.
Normal mode is probably your default position. A good compromise between power and range.
The Vauxhall Corsa-e has a smartphone app, as well, called MyVauxhall. It allows you to:
- Schedule when your battery is charged and check on charging progress.
- Turn on the heating remotely – perfect for cold mornings 🙂
- Interrogate consumption data for your trips.
To summarise: The Vauxhall Corsa-e is a really well thought out, small, 5-seat electric car. It’s also fine for long trips due to its rapid 100 kW charging port. It comes with an 8-year battery warranty, backed up by a big brand.
If this brief introduction to the Vauxhall Corsa-e has got you in the mood to discover more, the next steps are: