Vauxhall Corsa Electric Review & Prices

The Vauxhall Corsa Electric is a small EV car with a decent range and good amounts of kit, but it’s expensive for a Corsa and the interior could be more exciting

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Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Up-to-222-mile range
  • Generous amount of kit
  • Smart design

What's not so good

  • Similar Peugeot e-208 is more striking
  • Space in the back isn’t great
  • Interior could look more exciting

Find out more about the Vauxhall Corsa Electric

Is the Vauxhall Corsa Electric a good car?

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 Electric 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 Electric 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 Electric isn’t without its star qualities. With a claimed range of up to 222 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.

EV Range Test: Honda e v Mini Electric v Peugeot e-208 v Renault Zoe v Vauxhall Corsa Electric v VW e-Up

Inside, the Corsa Electric is nice enough. The black plastics are fine (but a bit dull next to the Peugeot e-208) and it comes with all the tech you’d want. There’s a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system; it comes with sat nav, 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 10.0-inch screen in the higher-spec Ultimate 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 pretty average in the back but no worse than in the standard Corsa. On the other hand, good news is that the Corsa Electric’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 too small either.

The Corsa Electric has a 136hp electric motor, powerful enough to give it nippy performance. If you have a 7kW wall charger, it will take you over 7 hours to charge the Corsa Electric from completely empty to full. You’ll only need 30 minutes or so to boost the batteries from flat to 80% fully charged using a public rapid charge point.

The Vauxhall Corsa Electric shares many bits with the Peugeot e-208, which looks a bit cooler and costs a bit less, but then the Vauxhall has more kit

When it comes to driving, the Corsa Electric 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 Vauxhall 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 Electric. 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 Electric 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.

Fancy one? Why not take a look through the latest Vauxhall Corsa Electric deals or browse used stock. If you need to sell your current car first, you can do that through carwow, too.

How much is the Vauxhall Corsa Electric?

Monthly payments start at £220. The price of a used Vauxhall Corsa Electric on Carwow starts at £9,602.

One look at this area of the market and there are a few EV options, but the Corsa Electric is competitively priced, coming in at just under the base model Honda e and cheaper than the Mini Electric. In fact, the Mini’s starting price of around £31,000 is close to the top end Vauxhall EV.

There are three trim levels for the Corsa Electric: GS Line; Anniversary and Ultimate. The jump to the Corsa Anniversary trim from the GS Line is around £2,000, while the Ultimate is just a little bit more. The extra money at the top end goes on Alcantara seats, upgraded LED lights and a larger touchscreen.

Performance and drive comfort

The Corsa Electric has a decent turning circle for navigating around town and city centres, but the unsettled ride quality lets it down at times

In town

If you’re going to be spending much of your time in town, the Corsa Electric is the best option from all of the models in the range. The main advantages are the silent operation and automatic gearbox.

However, while the suspension is relatively soft, it does get a bit unsettled at times, which can be a bit annoying when trying to navigate relatively smooth roads, let alone those with potholes or other sizeable bumps. For a smoother or more sophisticated drive, other options such as the petrol-powered Volkswagen Polo should probably be considered.

However, where the Vauxhall does impress over the Volkswagen is in its turning circle, which is 10.8m. That makes a big difference when trying to negotiate tight turns in town or mini roundabouts. In addition, the steering is very light, which, again, helps when parking either on the road or in car parks. The visibility out of the back window is pretty good, but it is hampered a little bit by the wide rear pillar. Thankfully, the car’s reversing camera and sensors help here and provide some much-needed extra assistance and peace of mind. 

There’s no option for one-pedal driving with the Corsa Electric, so if you engage the regenerative braking mode – by selecting the ‘B’ mode on the gear lever – it will slow you down, but not bring the car to a complete stop.

On the motorway

Faster roads might not be the natural environment for the Corsa Electric, but it performs admirably on motorways. There is plenty of acceleration from mid-range speeds and when travelling at a consistent speed things are relatively quiet in the cabin, That is, apart from a bit of wind noise coming in from around the front pillar between the windscreen and the door. 

Cruising on the motorway will eat into your available miles but, for such a small car, the Vauxhall offers a decent driving range to begin with, so it’s not as big an issue than for some other models, such as the Honda-e.

On a twisty road

The light steering of the Corsa Electric might be great in town but, head out onto the open and faster B roads and it doesn't feel good. Thankfully, putting the car into Sport mode means that extra weight is added in here to give a feel that is more suited to driving faster. 

The car goes around corners well and there’s plenty of grip, which inspires confidence. But the car’s steering – the extra weight adding in an artificial feel – does let it down a bit. 

Acceleration is good though and the instant availability of the power is a big plus. There is an eco mode, but this takes the element of fun out of the driving experience, which is never a good thing.

Space and practicality

For a small car, there is quite a bit of room in the front and the driving position is very comfortable, although rear passengers will feel a bit cramped

One of the pleasing attributes of the electric Corsa is the driving position, which is well set up. Drivers have the option of sitting quite low to the floor for a more sporty feel in the car, too. Headroom is not an issue for the driver and the front passenger area on the whole is pretty spacious.

There is plenty of adjustment on the seat and steering wheel in all directions and it is easy to operate, despite all of the movement being manually controlled. Watch out when adjusting the seat back though – there isn't a lot of room between the side-mounted dial and the frame of the car, which can mean your hand might get a bit squashed.

Storage-wise, there are a couple of cupholders in the centre console and also a larger square storage tray below the dash and behind the gear lever. Also in the centre of the car is some additional storage under the armrest and there are big door bins that accommodate small and medium-sized bottles with ease.  

The glovebox isn’t great due to the fuse box being incorporated within it. That halves the size of the available space, which is slightly frustrating.  

Space in the back seats

Moving to the rear of the Vauxhall EV, headroom is not too bad – the majority of people travelling in the back won’t be hitting their head on the roof, unlike in some comparable models. 

The knee room is not so generous, which could mean your passengers feel a little cramped. If that’s a deal-breaker, you might want to check out the Skoda Fabia instead because that offers ample leg and head room for all rear passengers.

Rear middle passengers will have to contend with a ridge in the floor. It’s not the most spacious seat anyway, but the extra restriction might be something to watch out for if you are going to try and travel five-up.  

A lot of EVs have batteries in the floor, which means less leg room because the level is raised. This isn’t the case in the Corsa Electric, because it was designed first and foremost as a car with a conventional engine. Therefore, the footwells are pretty spacious and you get to stretch your legs out – a bit.

The ISOFIX points for baby and child seats are hidden away behind a zipped pocket. Looks neat, but is a pain from a practicality and functionality point of view. Fitting those seats is reasonably straightforward – you might have to raise the rear headrest, but installation should be possible without having to move the front passenger seat. 

Storage-wise, there are good sized door bins and also some seat-back pockets for books, magazines or tablets/small laptops. 

Boot space

On the conventional petrol version of the Corsa, the storage space in the boot is just over 300 litres, which is pretty average for a small hatchback. However, choose the electric version, and the batteries take up some of that boot space, so it drops to 267 litres. It’s still OK – certainly enough for a suitcase or two – but something to bear in mind for big travellers, especially considering it's smaller than the 338 litres in the Renault Zoe and the 311 litres in the Peugeot e-208.

There’s also quite a big lip in the boot, which makes loading and unloading items a bit more of a struggle if it’s a heavy load you’re lugging. A false floor would have helped here, but that’s not an option.

Fold down the rear seats and it creates a ridge between them and the boot. As a result, it is harder to push items all the way back into the car, to just behind the driver.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

The layout of the controls works well with everything in the right place, but it’s all a bit safe – mediocre, if you like – inside 

Like the conventional Corsa, the interior of the electrified version of the car is understated, rather than something that is trying to make a statement. It’s a good, functional design but isn't in the same league as a Peugeot 208 – a slight disappointment because they are effectively the same car, both being from the Stellantis stable.

The quality is acceptable, but nothing to shout about. The materials are good enough and there are some leatherette areas on the doors, but it’s all a bit safe. The seats are decent and overall the quality levels are high with all of the major elements in the front of the car feeling pretty robust.  

There’s a 7.0-inch infotainment screen in the centre of the dash, which can be linked with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. The screen isn’t the most impressive, one of the reasons being the quality of the image isn't that great. The menus are a little confusing and might take a bit of getting used to – by which time you could have decided to revert to your own smartphone. 

In a similar way, the digital drivers display behind the steering wheel might do its job well enough, but the graphics aren’t as sharp as you might like or expect and it doesn’t offer a huge amount of information.

However, almost everything in the Corsa Electric has been laid out logically with physical buttons for a number of items including the heating controls and also the lane departure warning system. As some drivers aren’t keen on this feature, it makes disabling it much easier than hunting through one of the infotainment menus.

Electric range, charging and tax

Vauxhall’s small electric hatchback has a 45kWh battery pack, which provides a theoretical range of up to 220 miles. The car can be charged at a DC fast charger at speeds of up to 100kW, but there is also the option of 11kW onboard charging, via a wallbox at home or at public charging sites. Using the 11kW option, the battery can be fully charged from empty in around five hours, which is better than some models that can take a lot longer.

During a real-world test, we managed to get 174 miles from the Corsa Electric, which is a respectable 83% of its claimed range.

Performance-wise the little Vauxhall will hit 60mph from a standstill in 7.6 seconds, which is pretty good, although not lightning quick. Not that performance from a standing start is the most important factor in an EV, of course…

Safety and security

The electric version of the Corsa hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP, but the standard car achieved a four-star rating in 2019. Adult and child occupant protection were rated 84% and 86% respectively, with vulnerable road user safety scoring 66% and safety assist 69%.

There’s an adequate selection of airbags, with side head and chest airbags all-round. Other safety systems available include autonomous emergency braking for pedestrians; the same offering from cyclists is offered as part of a Corsa safety pack.

The Corsa Electric offers keyless start and, for peace of mind, is fitted with an immobiliser and a security alarm system.

Reliability and problems

The Corsa EV comes with an industry standard three-year/60,000-mile warranty, although drivers looking for a bit more should probably check out the Renault Zoe, which comes with five years of cover up to 100,000 miles. The battery in the ‘e’ is subject to an eight-year warranty or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

The EV hasn’t yet been rated in any reliability surveys, although the standard internal combustion engine car has impressed in a number of assessments over the past few years.

Buy or lease the Vauxhall Corsa Electric at a price you’ll love
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