Vauxhall Corsa Electric Review
The Vauxhall Corsa-e has plenty of electric driving range and it’s good value for money
Strengths & weaknesses
The Vauxhall Corsa-e is a small electric car closely related to the Peugeot e-208. It’s also a rival for the Mini Electric and Renault Zoe, as all of these electric cars have a similar amount of range, practicality and style.
The Corsa-e is also very closely linked to the normal petrol-powered Corsa, which we have reviewed separately. The cars were developed together from the start so that there would be room for the batteries, which means there are no compromises for the electric version like a big lump in the floor or a tiny boot.
The Corsa-e uses the same 136hp electric motor and 50kWh battery pack as the Peugeot e-208. This means it has 222 miles of range, which is less than the Renault Zoe, which can drive 245 miles in one go, but that does have a slightly larger 52kWh battery. The Corsa-e’s figure is good enough for most normal driving, though, as long as you can charge up regularly.
There’s only one battery choice, and this 50kWh unit takes seven hours and 45 minutes to charge up at home using a wallbox charger. At a public rapid charge point, you can take it from 10-80% charge in under half an hour, so even longer trips aren’t too difficult in the Corsa-e.
The Corsa-e has a pleasant interior and it’s quite good to drive, especially around town. The electric motor means it’s much quieter than the petrol models but also faster off the line, so it’s enjoyable at lower speeds. Once you’re on the motorway it can feel like it’s run out of puff, but that’s the case with some of the petrol versions too, and wind and road noise is the same in both versions of the Corsa.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the Vauxhall Corsa-e, or click here to read about the petrol or diesel Corsa models.
Should I get a Vauxhall Corsa-e?
✔ Good to drive
✔ Low running costs
✘ Not as good value as a Renault Zoe
✘ Nowhere to store charging cables
✘ Plain looks
The Vauxhall Corsa-e is perhaps even more appealing than the normal Corsa, as it brings really low running costs and most people rarely drive more than 222 miles in a day, so the range won’t be a huge issue for small car owners. However, it’s also much more expensive to buy in the first place, and even with high fuel prices the petrol model is more affordable unless you are buying for the long term.
The Corsa-e’s main problem is that there are rivals that best it in some key areas. The Renault Zoe has more range and is better value for money, the Peugeot e-208 is more stylish with the same motor, and the Mini Electric is better to drive. If you want a Corsa, though, the electric version is well worth a look.
- Models explained
- Trim levels
- Batteries and range
- Charge time
- Best Corsa-e for
- Boot space
- Should I buy used?
The Vauxhall Corsa-e is an electric version of the normal Corsa supermini. It uses the same setup as the Peugeot e-208 as both cars were developed together. It’s a rival to the Renault Zoe and Mini Electric, too.
The Corsa-e uses a 50kWh battery and a 136hp electric motor and has a driving range of 222 miles. It’s able to charge up from 10-80 per cent in under half an hour at a 100kW public rapid charge point.
The Vauxhall Corsa is the non-electric version and has either a 1.2-litre petrol engine or a 1.5-litre diesel. We’ve got a full buying guide and review on this model, which includes all the information you need to know about this model.
There are three petrol versions, all with the same 1.2-litre engine but with differing power outputs. There are 75hp, 100hp and 130hp models, plus a 102hp diesel that’s 1.5 litres - it’s the most economical version aside from the Corsa-e, which should be really cheap to run.
|Limited stock: There are only two trim levels in the Corsa-e range, and the entry-level version comes with 17-inch alloys, a seven-inch media system with smartphone connectivity, sat-nav, rear parking sensors, climate control and push-button start.
|From £10,699: Before the new trim levels in 2022, the entry point was the SE Nav trim. It came with LED headlights, climate control, ambient lighting, and cruise control.
|Limited stock: The top-spec Ultimate model also gets heated seats, keyless entry, front parking sensors, a wide-angle 180-degree reversing camera, tinted windows and a heated steering wheel as standard.
|Limited stock: Sitting above SE Nav before Vauxhall reshuffled the trim levels, Elite Nav got a digital driver's display, all-round parking sensors with a reversing camera, heated seats in the front, a heated steering wheel, and keyless entry.
The motor is able to produce 136hp so it’s the most powerful Corsa in the current range - even the top-spec petrol has 130hp. This means it’s very nippy and enjoyable to drive, while also being near-silent in traffic and very smooth.
There’s only one battery in the Vauxhall Corsa-e: a 50kWh unit that allows 222 miles of range according to official figures. In colder weather or more heavy usage expect that to drop to around 170 miles in the real world. Early cars had a range of 209 miles but this was revised in 2021 to the current figure of 222.
Charging the Corsa-e at home is best done using a wallbox charger. At 7.4kW, it takes seven hours and 45 minutes to charge to full, although if you buy an upgraded 11kW on-board charger for the Corsa-e this can be made faster. Note that 7kW chargers are more common than higher-powered ones (not counting rapid chargers), and most households can't support an 11kW power supply, so the upgrade isn't worth it for many buyers.
At a public rapid charge point the battery can go from 10-80% charged in under half an hour, which is quick enough for most people and the 100kW charging rate is decent for a small car.
There’s only one motor and battery option in the Corsa-e, and two trim levels, so there really isn’t much choice - and we’d suggest going for a post-December 2021 model because there was a small update that improved the range to 222 miles. Read on to find out our picks for some common buying situations.
|Vauxhall Corsa-e GS Line: The entry-level model comes with all the kit you really need, including sat-nav and climate control, so there’s no need to upgrade to Ultimate trim - GS Line is better value for money.
|Vauxhall Corsa-e Ultimate: Ultimate trim adds heated seats, which are great for frosty school runs in winter, so choose this model if you have a bit more budget and are using the Corsa-e as a family runabout.
|Vauxhall Corsa-e GS Line: There’s no difference between any of the models when it comes to performance - all have 136hp and take around 7.6 seconds to go from 0-60mph.
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Two of the Vauxhall’s main rivals are the Renault Zoe and Mini Electric, which offer a similar amount of range, practicality and performance. The Renault is a bit better value, while the Mini is more expensive but also more upmarket and more fun to drive.
The Peugeot e-208 is another one to think about, as it uses the same battery and motor as the Corsa-e but is perhaps a little more eye-catching inside and out. It’s a good alternative if you don’t love the way the Corsa-e looks but like other things about it.
The Mazda MX-30 and Nissan Leaf might also be worth looking into - they’re not direct rivals for the Vauxhall but you’ll be able to find them at a similar price and they are appealing in different ways. The Mazda is great to drive, while the Leaf is really practical.
Vauxhall Corsa-e practicality: dimensions and boot space
The Vauxhall Corsa-e is identical in size to normal Corsa, so it’s about 4.1m long, 1.8m wide (mirrors excluded) and 1.4m tall. It’s about the same size as the Peugeot e-208 and a little bigger than the Mini Electric. It even looks the same as a normal Corsa - there’s hardly anything to give away the fact there’s no engine aside from there being no exhaust pipe at the back.
There’s a decent amount of headroom in the back of the Corsa but adult passengers won’t want to spend too much time back there. It’s a little dark and there’s not that much legroom. It’s fine for kids, though, and there are five doors so access is easy enough.
The Corsa-e has 267 litres of boot space, which is smaller than the e-208’s 311 litres. It’s also less than in the petrol Corsa, which has 309 litres of space. The Renault Zoe has a bit more room as well, with 338 litres of luggage space.
Fold down the rear seats and the boot space expands to a total of 1,081 litres up to the roof, which again is a little behind the Peugeot e-208’s figure of 1,106 litres. Both models are okay for a supermini but not class-leading.
|Seats up 267 litres
|Seats down 1,081 litres
The Vauxhall Corsa came in 42nd place in the 2022 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, which is a good result. The ranking includes the Corsa-e, which we’d expect to be the most reliable car in that car’s model range because electric cars have fewer moving parts to go wrong than piston-powered cars. However, the electric model is newer than other versions and there’s no long-term data on reliability yet.
The Vauxhall Corsa-e comes with a warranty covering it for three years or 60,000 miles, and the battery is covered for eight years or 100,000 miles. Both of these figures are completely standard - the bare minimum we would expect of any new car. Some brands offer longer warranties, such as Kia with its e-Niro (seven years) but most electric superminis have the same level of cover as the Corsa-e.
The Vauxhall Corsa-e isn’t the best value for money, as you could buy a petrol-powered Corsa - which feels really similar in most ways - and run it for years for the same cost of the electric model. However, if you want an electric car, it can be worth a look - there’s a good amount of range, it charges quickly and performance is good.
Rivals such as the Renault Zoe are more practical, but the Corsa-e is roomy enough for most families and it should be reliable and easy to live with. It’s good to drive, has lots of standard kit, is great for traffic jams and looks smart and modern. The Peugeot e-208 might be even better, though, as it has all the same plus points as well as a more eye-catching design.
There are two trim levels for the Corsa-e. The entry-level GS Line version is the best value, and comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, climate control and sat-nav - it’s equivalent to a mid-spec Peugeot e-208.
If you want heated seats, a heated steering wheel and more parking aides then the Ultimate model could be a good option. It’s not a great deal more expensive than a lower-spec model, but comes with quite a bit more equipment.
*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:
|PCP representative example
|APR rates available
|Cash price £12,000
|Value of loan
|Fixed monthly payment £218.12
|Annual mileage of 8,000pa
|Total cost of credit £2,755.55
|Term 48 months
|Optional final payment £4,285.79
|Loan value £12,000
|Total amount payable £14,755.55
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