Vauxhall Corsa-e review
The Vauxhall Corsa-e is a small electric car with a decent range and good amounts of kit, but it’s expensive for a Corsa and the interior could be more exciting
What's not so good
Find out more about the Vauxhall Corsa-e
If you’re keen on getting a small electric car, but don’t particularly feel the need to tell the world how revolutionary you are, then the Vauxhall Corsa-e could be for you.
While alternatives such as the Honda e or Kia Soul EV have distinctive, quirky styling to try and tempt you into joining the all-electric revolution, the Corsa-e looks smart but doesn’t have that same cutting-edge design. So, if this car were at the Oscars, it would be up for a best supporting role; it’s good but the more beautiful contenders would be fighting over the lead actor credits.
However, the Vauxhall Corsa-e isn’t without its star qualities. With a claimed range of up to 209 miles between charges, it will be promptly rolling up at the red carpet, while the likes of the Mini Electric or Honda e are still stuck charging their batteries in make-up. And, like the regular Corsa, it has a neat exterior design, with a bold grille and snazzy LED headlight clusters at the front, as well as some sharp creases along the sides and rear. There are a few ‘e’ badges along the side and at the back that mark this is an electric car.
Inside, the Corsa-e is nice enough. The black plastics are fine (but a bit dull next to the Peugeot e208) and it comes with all the tech you’d want. There’s a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that is pretty sharp; it comes with satnav, or you can use Apple CarPlay and/or Android Auto if you prefer to use your smartphone apps. It isn’t the most intuitive system out there, though – even if you upgrade to the larger 10-inch screen in the higher-spec Elite Nav model.
Space is more of a mixed bag. You won’t have any problems getting comfortable in the front seats and the driver gets loads of seat and steering wheel adjustment. However, nip into the back and you’ll find your knees brushing the backs of the front seats. Headroom is a bit tight too but no worse than in the standard Corsa. On the other hand, the Corsa-e’s boot is the same size as the standard car’s thanks to its clever battery placement. That means it’s not the biggest for a car this size, but not the smallest either.
The Vauxhall Corsa-e shares many bits with the Peugeot e208. So technically, they’re very similar. Although the Peugeot looks a bit cooler and the base model is cheaper, the Corsa-e has a bit more kit as standard.
The Corsa-e has a 136hp electric motor, powerful enough to give it nippy performance. To fully charge the car, expect to pay around £8.25 if you top up at home, though this varies depending on how much you pay for your electricity. It’s still cheaper than a Corsa with a petrol or diesel engine to go the same distance, however.
If you have a 7kW wall charger, it will take you over 7 hours to charge the Corsa-e from empty to full. Oh, and Vauxhall will install a wall charger at your home for free. You’ll only need 30 minutes or so to boost the Corsa-e batteries from flat to 80% fully charged using a public rapid charge point.
When it comes to driving, the Corsa-e is a hoot in town. The instant acceleration you get with electric cars makes it nippy as you spot gaps in traffic or when zipping out of junctions. And, unlike the Renault Zoe, the Corsa-e doesn’t feel out of its depth on the motorway. It’s quiet and comfortable, and adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assistance comes as standard. This keeps you in-lane and at a steady speed, making for less stressful motorway drives.
As with all electric cars, there’s no manual version of the Corsa-e. You can switch between driving modes, though, with a choice between Sport, Normal and Eco. Sport will put the biggest grin on your face, but for most situations the default Normal mode should be fine. If you want to eke out as impressive a range as possible, switch to Eco mode – although it does suck all the fun out driving an EV. It’s the killjoy at the after-show party, numbing the steering and acceleration to preserve power.
There are more stand-out electric cars out there – either with more range or more style – but the Corsa-e is familiar enough to make the switch to EVs pretty straightforward. Sure, it’s expensive for a Corsa, but it’s well-equipped and fun to drive.
If that sounds like your kind of EV, take a look at the latest Vauxhall Corsa-e deals.
The Corsa-e comes well-equipped inside, but it’s just not that exciting to look at.
Vauxhall Corsa-e colours
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.