Is The Vauxhall Corsa Electric Ultimate Worth The Extra Spend?

By Jeremy Taylor

5 days ago

With an entry price difference of over £10,000, should we splurge on the Corsa Electric over the cheaper petrol version?


Is the new Corsa Electric worth the extra spend over cheaper petrol versions? Jeremy Taylor plugs in.

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Review: Vauxhall Corsa Electric Ultimate

In Brief

  • BATTERY 51kW
  • RANGE Up to 246 miles
  • PRICE £38,585
  • POWER 154hp 0-62mph 8.2 seconds
  • TOP SPEED 93mph
  • STREAMING Vauxhall and I – Morrissey
  • RATING ★★★

The Vauxhall Corsa Electric Ultimate

Vauxhall has been making superminis for 40 years – the original, no-nonsense Nova proved a sales sensation and was a budget favourite with learner drivers too. Today, the new Corsa is still one of Britain’s best-selling cars.

New to the current model line-up is Corsa Electric, a replacement for the Corsa-e and as smart-looking, user-friendly a small EV as anything on the road. Buyers benefit from emission-free motoring, cool styling and generous levels of equipment but does it warrant the hefty price tag?

Remodelled with Vauxhall’s latest ‘Vizor’ face, the Electric doesn’t bamboozle owners with technology and features a battery capable of well in excess of 200 miles. Thanks to a fast-charging system, the battery will power up to 80 per cent in just 30 minutes on a 100kW fast charger, or under eight hours using a 7kW home system.

The Vauxhall may not have the urban chic of a Mini Electric or the funky Honda e but Corsa Electric is still a supremely competent and enjoyable drive. That’s especially true if you make use of the drive mode button – Sport really livens up performance on a twisty A-road road. On the motorway, switch to Eco for maximum miles.

Gearless and silent like all electric cars, the Corsa is effortless motoring. Despite a rather firm ride, on longer journeys it performs well and easily keeps up with traffic. Thanks to an Extended Range battery in the Ultimate model I drove, there’s less worry about finding a charging station too.

Wheel close up

Inside, the Vauxhall’s understated interior is a bit soulless, with too many hard plastic surfaces. At least the top specification Ultimate keeps you warm in the morning with heated seats and steering wheel, while Alcantara trim, LED mood lighting and a black headliner add some sporty finesse. Drivers can also relax on a massaging seat – that’s proper, limo luxury!

Unfortunately, understanding the ten-inch infotainment screen can be time-consuming. The menu system isn’t intuitive, so many owners will likely just link up to their smartphone with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto instead. Otherwise, the Corsa is straightforward enough – thankfully it has simple, physical controls for the heating system which are much easier to use that a touchscreen.

Corsa Electric is equipped with all manner of safety systems, like most modern cars. Side blind-spot alert, lane position alert, forward collision alert – as least the Vauxhall doesn’t bombard the driver with endless audible warnings. However, perhaps there should be a warning about the price.

The entry-level Corsa Electric Design starts at £32,445, while my Ultimate version is a hefty £38,585! That seems expensive, especially as a petrol Corsa is priced from £19,625, rising to £28,385 for the sporty Turbo Ultimate model.

Even with the stylish facelift and lashings of equipment on board, owners need to be passionate about their Corsa to pay that sort of money for an electric supermini.

The interior of the car

DISCOVER

Discover more about the Vauxhall Corsa Electric Ultimate at vauxhall.co.uk