Vauxhall Corsa-e (2020) Review
Vauxhall Corsa-e (2020) At A Glance
Rather than launch an all-new brand for its battery-electric cars, Vauxhall has added this technology to its latest generation Corsa. The Corsa-e that has almost all of the benefits of the petrol-powered range with zero tailpipe emissions. An electric motor drives the front wheels, while the battery doesn’t impinge on boot space and offers up to a 209-mile range between charges. A fast charger will see the Corsa-e back up to 80 per cent of full power in 45 minutes. For those who don’t want to wear their environmental credentials on their sleeve, the Corsa-e is a good choice.
Vauxhall offers its electric version of the Corsa right alongside the big-selling petrol and diesel models. This shows Vauxhall has clear ambitions for the Corsa-e to be just as normal a choice as those with internal combustion engines and for its EV version to sell in the same sort of numbers.
Rather than luring in the early adopters and more style-conscious buyers who may well choose the Corsa-e’s rivals, Vauxhall is aiming squarely at those who might not otherwise look at an EV. They are the drivers who like the idea of zero tailpipe emissions but don’t want to wear their eco-friendliness as a badge every time they pop to the shops.
The Corsa is a good place to start for those buyers as it has all of the same positives in EV form, as well as some of the negatives. For starters, it’s a thoroughly modern supermini with plenty of safety kit included, as well as a good level of comfort and luxury equipment including a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen in the centre of the dash.
The front cabin of the Corsa-e is much the same as its siblings, so there’s a fine driving position and plenty of space for those up front. It’s much less generous in the back, which is a problem common to all Corsas of this generation rather than being a specifically EV issue.
However, there are some key differences between the Corsa-e and its fossil-fuelled sister models. For starters, the rear wheels are positioned very slightly further back to accommodate the battery pack that sits under the front and rear seats. The wheels are also spaced a little wider, while Vauxhall has also worked hard to keep the weight low in the body to aid handling.
Speaking of weight, the Corsa-e’s batteries contribute to an all-up weight that is 345kg more than a petrol-powered Corsa. That’s a lot of heft to be lugging about, but thankfully the retuned suspension does a better job of dealing with it than in the petrol- or diesel-powered models. So, the Corsa-e rides noticeably better than the standard models, though it does feel all of those additional kilos when changing direction in faster corners.
That won’t bother too many Corsa-e drivers as they will be more interested in the efficiency of the car. It has a claimed range of up to 209 miles on a single charge, depending on which of the three driving modes the car offers is used. This also depends on weather conditions and how many of the car’s electrical systems you use, such as lights, radio, air conditioning and wipers.
Charging the Corsa-e is much the same as for its main rivals, so you can be back up to 80 per cent of a full charge in 45 minutes using a 50kW public charger. At home, a 7.4kW wallbox will take around seven and a half hours to fully charge the Vauxhall.
That’s all standard stuff nowadays for EVs and this is where the Vauxhall Corsa-e makes its play. It’s a version of one of the best-selling small hatches that just happens to use electric power.