An electric car with a reduced price
The Vauxhall Corsa has played a very important part in the UK for almost 30 years, offering affordable, practical, and fun driving to the many. Now in its fifth generation, it’s more popular than ever, as the country’s best-selling car.
While it’s still available as a petrol or diesel car, it’s now available as an electric car, in the form of the Corsa-e. With its look as an electric car no different to the standard versions, apart from some subtle special badging, and revised alloy wheels to set it apart.
One other thing to set it apart is that Vauxhall has now cut prices of the Corsa-e, in response to the UK government cutting the plug-in car grant from £2,500 off any electric car up to £35,000, to £1,500 off any electric car up to £32,000 (as of mid-December 2021). As such, Vauxhall has taken £2,000 off the price of the Corsa-e, which is a huge win for those interested in the model, when entry prices of electric cars can be prohibitive.
The Vauxhall Corsa-e did start at £27,805, but has now been reduced to £25,805.
The quickest Corsa-e
With Vauxhall owned by Groupe PSA (and now Stellantis) it shares the same powertrain as other electric Peugeots and Citroens, namely the Peugeot e-208. And as per electric Peugeot powertrains, it combines an electric motor that produces 134bhp and 260Nm of torque to a 50kWh battery, which isn’t bad at all.
Thanks to this zippy motor, the Corsa-e is the quickest version of this hatchback available, taking just 7.4 seconds to get from 0-60mph, and able to reach a top speed of 93mph.
The WLTP range for the Vauxhall Corsa-e is 209 miles, though real-world range is estimated at around 171 miles. All in all that’s quite competitive for a car of this size, if slightly behind the Renault Zoe’s 245-mile range.
Another advantage of the Corsa-e is that it can charge quickly, capable of taking a 100kW rapid charger, meaning the battery can be charged to 80% in half an hour.
Vauxhall is also currently offering a free home charging unit, which means the battery can be charged fully overnight in around 7.5 hours.
Good to drive, but a firm ride
The Vauxhall Corsa-e is mostly very good to drive. In everyday driving it’s quiet, responsive, and even impresses at higher speeds, which means a motorway commute will be no trouble. There’s also a ‘B’ mode in the gearbox that allows for extra regenerative braking, meaning you can drive the Corsa-e largely with just one pedal, and extend the range of the electric vehicle in doing so.
It’s not all perfect though, as simply due to the extra weight of the Vauxhall Corsa-e’s battery, the suspension had to be stiffened to accommodate it. This means the ride can be a little firm, and unsettled over rough surfaces.
Oodles of standard equipment
Vauxhall has stepped up its game on the Corsa-e in terms of interior, which gets a more upmarket finish than its predecessor, along with more in the way of tech, with both a touchscreen and digital dials included. There are some stylish elements added too, like silver trim that runs across the width of the dashboard, and the gear shifter has a fighter jet-like feel, due to its slightly unique curved shape.
The Corsa-e has a boot space of 267 litres (while the standard Corsa is 309 litres). The only real difference is a lack of underfloor storage, and the storage space is still a decent size. Rear seat space isn’t overly generous, but no worse than any of its rivals in the small electric car class.
In regards to trim levels, there’s a good selection to choose from. The SE Nav Premium kicks off the range with standard equipment including a seven-inch touchscreen with sat nav and smartphone mirroring, rear parking sensors, 16-inch alloy wheels, and LED headlights, to name just a few features.
And if you step up to the Griffin trim, it adds heated front seats, a reversing camera, a black roof, and 17-inch bi-colour alloys, to give it a more stylish look. SRi Nav Premium then offers a sportier body kit, LED rear lights, and sports seats.
At the top of the Vauxhall Corsa-e range is the Elite Nav Premium, which includes a large 10-inch touchscreen, keyless entry, and Matrix LED headlights.
That’s a lot of equipment, and even the base model gives you everything you need included as standard.
Not cheap, but good value
The only difficulty the masses will have in choosing the Corsa-e is the cost that’s inherent in choosing an electric car. Even with the reduction in price offered by Vauxhall and the plug-in grant, this EV is still noticeably more expensive than the regular petrol model. However, if you drive 12,000 miles or more a year, then the significantly lower running costs make it worth it overall, as over a number or years you will save money compared to a petrol version, and if you do well over 12,000 miles, then you’ll really start to see the savings add up from switching to electric driving.
As mentioned, prices now start from £25,805. And while the top trim is very desirable, the more basic models offer everything you need, so we would be tempted to just go for one of the more affordable models to get the most value.
The best-selling small electric car
The Vauxhall Corsa-e does everything that the Corsa has earned a reputation for over the years: being easy to drive, easy to live with, well-equipped, and an excellent all-rounder. For those that currently own a petrol or diesel supermini, it will be an easy switch to make, and you’ll enjoy the extra acceleration capability, as well as the upgraded interior and equipment package.
The tricky issue for many will be trying to decide whether to go electric or not. But if you use a home charger with a good tariff for overnight charging, and do an average amount of miles or more, then overall you will save money, and be able to see a big difference in your monthly fuel costs. And if you drive a lot, then it starts to be a no-brainer.
The Vauxhall Corsa-e has already proved to be popular, in fact, it’s Britain’s best-selling small electric car. So it’s already starting to give the conventional Corsa a run for its money. Plus, there are dealer discounts available too, so it’s worth finding out what price you can get a Corsa-e for, as it may be cheaper than you think with other offers or incentives available. And a test drive is always recommended, especially if you’re new to the fun of electric cars.