It may look like a ‘regular’ Corsa, but that’s the point. Motoring editor Jeremy Taylor and sustainable fashion expert Jessica Saunders drive Vauxhall’s no-nonsense EV: the Vauxhall Corsa Electric.
The Green Lane: Vauxhall Corsa Electric – Review
JS – I can’t see much difference between this new Electric model and the rest of the Corsa range. I thought we smug EV drivers like to shout about our environmental credentials?
JT – Yes, as well as the joy of parking in the supermarket’s electric vehicle spaces. The Corsa Electric doesn’t look as funky as some supermini EVs, like the Honda e or the Mini Electric – but not everybody wants to stand out in a crowd.
Well, you’re certainly not going to do that in this Corsa! Perhaps that’s unfair, because it’s actually quite cute. The interior is really smart.
It is straightforward – even a newcomer to the world of electric cars will find the Vauxhall reassuringly familiar. The Corsa is based on the same platform as the funkier Peugeot e-208 which we have already driven, minus the frilly bits.
Indeed. In fact, the most obvious indication that this is an electric vehicle is the green EV number plate. There are a couple of ‘E’ badges, but otherwise that’s it.
The Corsa will appeal to many people, because it is already one of the UK’s most popular cars. Adding a battery hasn’t changed much of that appeal.
So, what about rival superminis, like the VW Polo or Ford Fiesta?
The final Fiestas will be made this year, because Ford is killing off its popular supermini and replacing it with an all-electric version of the Puma – we drove the hybrid Puma last week. There isn’t an electric Polo yet either, so the Vauxhall is currently in a good place to do well.
I may be getting old, but I like the simple design of the Corsa Electric. It’s neat and simple, with a bold grille that isn’t too offensive, like some electric cars. The black roof section is especially classy.
Yes, and unlike the Mini and Honda-e, the Corsa has a decent range of around 222 miles. There are three drive modes; Sport unleashes the Corsa’s full 134bhp and makes it quite zippy in town. For a small car, the Vauxhall sits comfortably at motorway speeds too.
There are three trim levels starting at around £29,500, while the top specification, Ultimate, is more like £36,000. That might sound a lot for an electric supermini, but it stands up well compared to most of the competition.
The Ultimate specification adds upgraded LED headlights, a larger infotainment touchscreen and Alcantara seats. The interior is straightforward but the quality is there. It’s not on a par with a Mini, but still impressive enough.
Indeed, with cup holders that are actually big enough to use, storage under the centre armrest and decent-sized door bins – although the glove box is tiny. Adjusting the seats is a bit tricky, too, because there isn’t much room by the handle.
We like the Corsa Electric, then?
We do! It’s not a statement car, but a proper all-rounder – definitely worth a look.
Explore the Vauxhall Corsa Electric at vauxhall.co.uk
Jessica Saunders is Director of Programmes at London College of Fashion, studying for a PhD in sustainable e-textile design.