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Used Vauxhall Corsa-e review

The Corsa-e was Vauxhall’s first foray into the pure electric vehicle market. It quickly became the small EV market’s leader - and why not? It’s a popular car that’s made the transition smoothly. With sleek looks, a long range and high-end tech, Vauxhall’s sixth generation Corsa is a real winner.

Design

Under the bonnet, the Corsa-e is as far removed from its predecessors as it’s possible to be. It doesn’t have an engine, after all. On the outside, though? Well, it’s ever-so-slightly more modern looking and crisper in appearance than a Corsa of old.

Perhaps the most noticeable update is that the Corsa-e has a quite obviously longer wheelbase. This is mostly a practical decision - the battery location will have forced the designers’ pencils somewhat.

It’s quite low down to the ground and marginally wider and taller than previous models. By no means is the car big, though. All in all, it’s quite possibly the most visually appealing Corsa that Vauxhall have ever come out with.

All in all, it’s quite possibly the most visually appealing Corsa that Vauxhall have ever come out with.

What's it like to drive?

Vauxhalls aren’t exactly renowned for their class-leading performance or handling. In fact, they don’t try to be. They’re more about safety, security and comfort.

The Corsa-e doesn’t break any of these conventions, so don’t expect to be getting into a hot hatch. That said, the Corsa-e is no slouch - especially in Sport mode. Being electric and lumbered with a giant battery means it’s heavier than the non-electric Corsa. You wouldn’t know it - there’s a real lightness of touch and zip when you put your foot down.

Drivers may pick out a slight lean into corners, a small amount of heaviness in the steering and a firm suspension, but none of those things make the car anything other than a pleasure to drive. Initial acceleration is good, making town driving a cinch (if you’ll pardon the pun). Motorways are a breeze too.

There’s a real lightness of touch and zip when you put your foot down. Initial acceleration is good.

Interior

Anyone familiar with the dimensions, style and overall appearance of the previous Corsa interiors won’t be too surprised by the Corsa-e’s insides. The battery’s position doesn’t affect the cabin room, which is pleasingly generous up front, if a tiny bit cramped in the back. None of the seats offer lumbar support, but they’re all very comfortable nonetheless.

While it’s all change as to how the car moves, there’s not much cutting edge about the looks of the dashboard. It’s pleasant enough, with nice black plastics that don’t look cheap, but nor do they particularly excite. Anyone looking for a dynamic interior will be disappointed. The advantages to chunky buttons as opposed to hidden menu options are obvious - you know where things are when you need them. Altogether, the inside is as straight-laced as they come.

Kit-wise, the infotainment system is simple and ticks all the boxes. We’ve come across more intuitive set-ups, but the 7-inch touchscreen digital display is sharp and easy to use. There’s satnav, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Rear parking sensors come as a neat addition at this level and price point too.

Practicality

The Corsa-e hasn’t made much of an effort to provide enormous amounts of boot space - it is an EV supermini. Only the most pedantic and observant Corsa fans will notice that there’s a slight drop in capacity compared to previous generations.

Most owners won’t bat an eyelid at what’s on offer and will easily fit shopping, luggage, buggies and anything else in the back. When you consider the size of the battery being accommodated, the boot space is actually fairly impressive. If boot room is a big priority for you, perhaps look at the Renault Zoe or the Mini Electric.

As for space and storage elsewhere, there are nice little options but nothing particularly innovative.

Reliability and running costs

Vauxhall claims that to charge a Corsa-e from completely flat to 100% charged at home, it’ll take you 7.5 hours. Depending on your electricity tariff at home, that will cost you anywhere from £5 to £9. Opt to pay a little more - around £15 - and just half an hour’s worth of charge can be yours at a rapid charging point in just 30 minutes.

A hugely popular car from a manufacturer that pays attention to safety and reliability, you won’t be hugely surprised to learn that the Corsa-e - only in production since 2020 - has no commonly reported issues or faults.

What cinch loves

For drivers, the inevitability of pure electric cars can seem intimidating. Cars like the Vauxhall Corsa-e are the answer. Affordable and approachable, the simplicity of this model makes going EV a whole lot less foreboding. Throw into the mix the fact this eco-friendly Corsa is also easy on the eye, jammed full of great tech solutions and able to outdo many of its rivals in terms of battery life and range, and it’s the perfect entry level EV for anyone seriously looking to take the plunge and kiss goodbye to car pollution.

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Verdict

Good

Electric cars used to be a novelty. Soon, they’ll be the norm. While richer motorists interested in EV and the industry have been able to buy Teslas for some time, ‘normal’ drivers have been precluded from joining the revolution because of price. Cars like the Vauxhall Corsa-e bring electric motoring to the masses and do it well. Loaded with kit and capable of serious miles between charges, this is the perfect first EV for anyone making the switch.

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