Vauxhall Corsa 115kW GS 51kWh 5dr Auto

  • Automatic
  • Electric
  • 5 door hatchback
  • 8.2 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 156 bhp Engine power
  • 246 mi Combined range
  • 51 kWh Battery capacity
  • 8 yrs Battery warranty

Ten Second Review

Vauxhall's Corsa Electric is our market's best selling small EV. But it needed a bit more technology and a more fashionable vibe. Both of which the Griffin brand claims to have brought us with this mid-term update, which gives a sharper feel inside and out, plus an extra longer-range powertrain option.

Background

Supermini-sized full-electric cars haven't generally been very credible to date, with one or two notable exceptions. But times are changing. Pretty soon, most volume brand manufacturers are going to be offering little EVs with the kind of driving range you once had to pay luxury money for. Vauxhall has found itself in the vanguard of this change, courtesy of Peugeot e-208-derived borrowed Stellantis Group technology. That was what first brought us an electric Corsa back in 2020, then badged the Corsa-e. Vauxhall changed the name to 'Corsa Electric' in 2022 and improved the driving range. Then in mid-2023, brought us the much improved facelifted design we're looking at here, which gets a sharper design, a smarter, more digitalised interior, plus an extra powertrain option. Let's take a closer look.

Driving Experience

In its original form, this electric Corsa offered a 50kWh battery powering a 136PS electric motor - and that powertrain combination continues in this updated model, offering 221 miles of range. But Corsa Electric customers can also now choose a more sophisticated 51kWh battery paired with a more powerful 156PS motor, this set-up boosting EV range to 248 miles. Either way, expect moderately rapid performance, with 62mph dispatched in under 9 seconds. There's the usual single-speed auto transmission you get with EVs. And like all electric vehicles, this one develops all its torque at once and simply hurls itself away from rest (the 30mph mark is reached in just 2.1s and 60mph is crested in only 7.6s), disguising the fact that (also like all EVs) this Zero Emissions variant has a bit of a weight problem - that drivetrain adds over 300kgs of bulk. That extra weight arguably helps the Corsa Electric though, when it comes to ride quality; you'll feel things like speed humps keenly but at speed on the open road, it handles tarmac tears a little better than its combustion cousins. Of course, you certainly won't achieve anything like the range figures we've quoted if you get anywhere near this EV's quoted 93mph top speed. Or if you habitually drive your Corsa Electric in the 'Sport' setting that'll be necessary to release to full 136PS power output just mentioned. Remember too that the quoted range figures require engagement of a somewhat restrictive 'Eco' mode that with the 136PS version drops power output right down to 83PS.

Design and Build

Visually, this electric Corsa is virtually identical to the combustion-engined version. Which means that like the petrol variant, this updated Corsa Electric now gets the brand's distinctive 'Vizor'-style front grille, a single solid black panel with a restyled Grifin badge. That panel's flanked by slightly more squared-off slimline LED headlights which on top variants can feature the brand's 'IntelliLux matrix pixel tech. As before, it all sits on Peugeot 208 underpinnings, which means the Stellantis Group's 'CMP' 'Common Modular Platform' and body panels fashioned from a range of high-strength steels. Inside with this updated model, the infotainment system has been upgraded to a 10-inch screen that runs a more sophisticated user interface powered by Qualcomm's 'Snapdragon Cockpit' platform. Wireless 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto' smartphone-mirroring is now included, as is 'Connected 3D' navigation, over-the-air software updates and "Hey Vauxhall" voice control. The 7-inch digital instrument screen has also been improved, with sharper graphics: and a wireless charging mat is being offered for the first time. Other cabin changes include fresh upholstery choices, a redesign for the steering wheel and gear selector - and a revised high-resolution wide-view rear camera. As before, space is at a bit of a premium for those in the rear seat, but the curvature of the front seat backs is designed to improve knee room, there's a notably low centre transmission tunnel and there's lots of room to poke your feet beneath those front chairs. The boot is the same capacity as it is in the petrol model, 309-litres in size. It's quite a usable, squarically-sized space, with 885mm of length and 867mm of width. Folding the straightforward 60:40-split rear bench reveals 1,118-litres of capacity when you load to the roof.

Market and Model

For this Corsa Electric, as with the combustion model, there are four mainstream trim levels - 'YES', 'Design', 'GS' or 'Ultimate' - and you'll be paying in the £27,000 to £38,500 bracket. With 'Design' trim, you can only have the old 136PS powertrain; with the two top trim levels, there's the option of finding around £1,400 more for the new 156PS 'Long Range' powertrain. It's worth referencing the fact that these days Vauxhall can also sell you a Hybrid-powered Corsa, which in town at least, can run much of the time on electrical energy; and that variant's much cheaper. The e-DCT6 Hybrid model in question (which is auto-only) starts from around £23,000 in 100PS form and sells across the same three trim levels. Both the Corsa Electric and its cousin the Peugeot E-208 make more sense as EVs than another key Zero Emissions small car rival at this price point, the MINI Electric. That MINI's priced at about the same level as this Vauxhall, but has a much lower operating range in base 40.7kWh form, a three-door-only body style and a tiny boot - plus it would probably cost around £3,000 more when equipped to a similar standard. There aren't really any other direct all-electric small hatch options. A battery-powered family hatch like a Kia Niro EV or a Hyundai Kona Electric would cost from around £35,000, but both of those are slightly larger cars. Standard kit across the range is generous. Mid-range 'GS Line' gives you LED headlights, a 10-inch Multimedia Navi infotainment screen with built-in navigation and 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto' smartphone-mirroring. Plus there's a 7-inch digital instrument cluster, electronic climate control, sports alloy-effect pedals and 17-inch black alloy wheels. Top 'Ultimate'-spec gets you a 10-inch centre screen and a contrast-coloured black roof, plus 'IntelliLux' adaptive LED Matrix headlights. Along with keyless entry, heat for the front seats and steering wheel, part-alcantara upholstery, a centre front armrest that includes storage, a wireless 'phone charger, plus a driver's seat with massaging and lumbar support.

Cost of Ownership

If you're a Corsa Electric owner, you'll need to know that getting anywhere near the quoted WLTP-rated range readings will necessitate staying in the powertrain's provided 'Eco' mode - activating its 'Sport' setting will reduce your range by around 10%. We gave you the range figures in our 'Driving' section - 221 miles for the 50kWh model and 248 miles for the 51kWh version. What about charging times? Well, all the latest Corsa Electric models come as standard with an 11kW on-board charger, allowing for a 0-100% AC three-phase charge to be completed in 5hrs and 15 minutes - or three hours and 20 minutes from 15-80%. The same full charge using a more typical 7kW home wallbox is estimated to take 7hrs and 30 minutes. Supporting 100kW rapid charging, a typical 0%-80% DC public charge will take just 30 minutes. At the other extreme, it'd be a yawning 21 hours and 45 minutes from a domestic plug. All the charge times remain the same, regardless of battery choice. And you can of course set charging using the 'MyVauxhall' app - or the appropriate section of the centre screen. Finally, you'll also need to know about warranties. In a class where Hyundai and Toyota offer standard five year warranties (and Kia offers a 7 year package), Vauxhall, like most of its other rivals, persists with the usual three-year, 60,000 mile package - which can be extended up to five years and 100,000 miles at extra cost. What else might you need to know here? Well as expected with an EV, a Corsa Electric driver will (theoretically) enjoy lower maintenance costs than would be needed for a combustion model - obviously no oil changes are required and regenerative braking means that the brake pads are designed to last the life of the car. Insurance is group 27 or 28. And as usual with any EV, until 2025, you'll be free of VED car tax payments, you'll pay Benefit-in-Kind tax at a low 2% and you'll be free of Congestion and ULEZ charges in London.

Summary

We're still at the stage at which you have to be pretty sold on the EV concept to choose a car like this. Vauxhall says its goal is to reach a stage where the overall full-life cost of a Corsa Electric (taking into account purchase price or leasing costs, plus charging fees) is approximately the same as what you'd pay to run a well-specified petrol automatic variant. Well we're some way off that at present but it'll happen sooner or later. For the time being, this Corsa Electric is pretty much state of the art in terms of full-electric small cars, especially in this improved form. Yes, you can get the same technology in a Peugeot e-208 or a DS 3 E-TENSE. And yes, other compact EVs will take you a little further on a single charge. But this Vauxhall will reach a wider audience than any of the models just mentioned. It will continue to play a key part in democratising the idea of a supermini EV. And that makes it a very important car indeed.

  • Breakdown call (b-call)
  • Wireless charger
  • AM/FM stereo radio
  • Bluetooth A2DP audio streaming
  • DAB Digital radio
  • Multimedia Navi with 10-inch touchscreen
  • Rear USB port
  • Six speakers
  • Steering wheel audio, phone and cruise controls
  • USB type C port
  • Black DLO
  • Black Griffin logo and vizor frame
  • Black lower side window mouldings
  • Body colour door handles
  • Body colour front and rear bumpers
  • Bonnet/headlight/wiper structure
  • Corsa lettering in tailgate
  • High gloss black finish B pillar
  • Rear side wing doors
  • Shark fin aerial
  • Sports front and rear body styling for upper and lower bumper design
  • 12V power sockets
  • 3 spoke flat bottomed leather effect steering wheel with satin chrome effect bezel
  • Alloy effect sport pedals
  • Banda cloth upholstery
  • Black headliner
  • Front cupholder
  • Illuminated glovebox with lid
  • Internal chrome door handles
  • Polyurethane gear knob/lever
  • Reach and rake adjustable steering column
  • Rear cupholder
  • Right hand drive (RHD)
  • Two litre open door pockets
  • 3 rear 3 point seatbelts
  • Deactivation switch for front passenger's airbag
  • Driver and front passenger airbags, front seat side impact airbags, full size curtain airbags
  • Driver drowsiness alert system
  • Electrical child lock system in rear door latch
  • Forward collision alert
  • Front seatbelt unfastened audible warning and warning light
  • ISOFIX child seat mountings incorporating top tether anchor points located on second row rear seats
  • Seatbelt pretensioners
  • Single tone horn
  • Tyre deflation detection system
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • 2 keys one folding with integral remote
  • Electronically protected audio equipment
  • Engine deadlock and immobiliser
  • Freewheeling door locks
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Locking wheel nuts
  • Remote control central locking
  • Remote control security alarm system
  • Steering column lock
  • Visible vehicle identification number
  • Battery Capacity % guaranteed under warranty: 70
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 51
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Charge Time (Mins): 1305
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Power Supply - kW: 2.3
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Charge Time (Mins): 450
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Power Supply - kW: 7
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Charge Time (Mins): 315
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Power Supply - kW: 11
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Charge Time (Mins): 30
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Percentage Change: 0-80
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Power Supply - kW: 100
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • Charging Port Location: Left Side Rear
  • Coupler/Connector Type: CCS Type 2
  • Maximum Charging Rate - kW: 100
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 8
  • Usable Battery Capacity: 48
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - City: 10.6
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb: 14.5
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb - TEH: 14.5
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb - TEL: 14.4
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - City: 5.9
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb: 4.3
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb - TEH: 4.3
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb - TEL: 4.3
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - City: 544
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - City - TEH: 516
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - City - TEL: 574
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb: 396
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb - TEH: 374
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb - TEL: 416
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - High: 399
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - City: 338
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - City - TEH: 320.8
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - City - TEL: 356.5
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb: 246
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb - TEH: 232.4
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb - TEL: 258.5
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - High: 248
  • CO: N
  • CO2 (g/km): 0
  • HC: N
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Noise Level dB(A): 64
  • NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: N
  • Camshaft: N
  • Catalytic Convertor: N
  • CC: 1
  • Compression Ratio: N
  • Cylinder Layout: N
  • Cylinders: N
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): N
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): N
  • Engine Code: MELZLE
  • Engine Layout: N
  • Fuel Delivery: N
  • Gears: 1 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: N
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • EC Combined (mpg): N
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: N
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Urban (mpg): N
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 0.0
  • Badge Power: 156
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: N
  • Coin Series: GS
  • Generation Mark: 6
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 28E
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 6
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 4
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 24
  • Service Interval Mileage: 16000
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 8.2
  • Engine Power - BHP: 156
  • Engine Power - KW: 115
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 4060
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 192
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 26.5
  • Engine Torque - NM: 260
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 500
  • Top Speed: 93
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: N/A
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 205/45 R17
  • Tyre Size Rear: 205/45 R17
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: N
  • Wheel Type: 17" ALLOY
  • Height: 1433
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4055
  • Wheelbase: 2540
  • Width: 1745
  • Width (including mirrors): 1960
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): N
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1920
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1081
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 267
  • Max. Loading Weight: 376
  • Max. Roof Load: 70
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1544
  • No. of Seats: 5