Due to the ongoing pandemic, our focus on the all-new Vauxhall Corsa-e comes not from Harrogate, as was initially intended via the UK launch this week, but from the sofa in my living room.
Unfortunately, as I haven’t had chance to drive the car yet, I can’t give you all the details. But I can certainly tell you what you need to know.
The New Corsa vs The Old Corsa
Immediately, it’s clear to see that Vauxhall has taken a bold step with the new Corsa. One of the biggest differences is its mature looks and styling.
Only available in five-door, the new Vauxhall Corsa seems to have moved with the times. It’s no longer a pointy-nosed aggressor. And there’s evidence of similar changes across the rest of the car.
Sharper creases in the bodywork and a much-improved front grille give it the feel of a more expensive model. The same can be said on the inside, too, with a much-refreshed, modern trim.
And while there’s still sporty looks and personality in its design, the Corsa is now readymade for every driver.
There are still touches which attribute themselves to Corsas gone by, however. Angry headlights, a sloped rear spoiler and the black roof – although, it must be said, including black front pillars to split the car’s colour scheme in half produces a much nicer finish compared to its predecessor.
But, as was Vauxhall’s plan, the new Corsa doesn’t hold on to much from its past. Particularly so when you consider there’s now an electric version, too.
And that’s where our focus is going to lie. Yes, there are two petrol and a diesel option available – two of which are turbocharged and available with a brand-new eight-speed automatic gearbox. But, as it’s the most daring, the electric-powered hatchback will be our focus.
The Vauxhall Corsa-e
Between the Vauxhall Corsa-e and its fossil-fuelled counterparts, there are only a handful of aesthetic tweaks.
There’s a couple of different alloy wheel options and a bit of ‘e’ badging dotted about, but that’s about it.
Both come with 16-inch alloy wheels and a touchscreen infotainment system which houses Sat Nav, Apple CarPlay, Andriod Auto, Bluetooth, DAB radio and audio streaming capabilities.
They also both have cruise control, automotive emergency city braking, lane departure warning assist and can be paired to your smartphone through Vauxhall’s app; Vauxhall Connect.
This gives you live navigation updates, vehicle status updates, and, for a yearly subscription, road safety alerts.
But if you’re looking to really take your electric driving experience to the next level, you may be interested in the Vauxhall Corsa-e Elite Nav.
Vauxhall Corsa-e Elite Nav
This is the top-spec Corsa-e. And it’s fair to say you get your money’s worth.
Over and above the already jam-packed SE Nav, the Elite Nav comes with a wider 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, IntelliLux LED Matrix Headlights – which adapt to your surroundings – heated front seats and steering wheel, a panoramic rear-view camera, the already mentioned black roof, and tinted rear glass.
They both come with the same electric powertrain, which, for a car of this size and considering it’s Vauxhall’s first stab at electrification, is incredibly impressive.
The battery-powered Vauxhall Corsa-e will cover 209 miles on one full charge – one of the highest in its class. There’s little waiting around for charge, either, as it takes just 30 minutes to get up to 80% using a 100kw charging point.
As with all electric cars, it’s no slouch. You’ll go from 0-62 in just over 7.5 seconds – making it more than two seconds quicker than the turbocharged petrol version.
A full charge overnight through one of Vauxhall’s home charging boxes will take around seven-and-a-half hours. And, of course, by going electric, you’re making financial savings all the time.
Although there’s the cost of electricity to run the new Vauxhall Corsa-e, it’s nothing compared to its fuel-burning alternatives.
According to Vauxhall, with the help of its 10% lighter chassis, the Corsa-e will cost you just three pence a mile, compared to 13 pence in the old car. Over the course of a full charge, that’s more than a £20 saving each time you run.
Over a year while driving 10,000 miles, it’s a saving of £1,000.
On top of that, you also escape paying road tax and often parking – with a lot more free electric car parking spots popping up across the UK as time goes on.
The Vauxhall Corsa-e: The Verdict
I’ve got to be honest, when I first saw the new Corsa I was a bit sad. I thought it was trying to be something it’s not. But at that point, I didn’t understand what Vauxhall was trying to achieve.
Its refined looks and business class interior didn’t seem right. Yet, today, there’s nothing about it out of place.
And as for the electrification, again, I was worried. I love the old Corsa and didn’t know whether it was the right time. But the numbers stack up immensely well.
It gives the everyday driver more than enough range for commuting as well as everything else, and its charging time is faster than almost anything else on the market.
Really then, Vauxhall hasn’t taken away the old, charismatic, sporty car I fell in love with, they’ve just brought it into 2020.
They’ve made the Corsa into a car which is perfect for its time.