THE only way to review the pure electric Corsa-e was to take it to a city.
My nearest smoke is Sheffield which isn’t exactly known for its landmarks — apart from Meadowhall and Bramall Lane. We-are-Blades.
But ask a local and Pete McKee’s street art is cherished. So I went to his Hobnobs Dog for a quick photo and it got me thinking: Corsas are a lot like Hobnobs.
Hobnobs come in three flavours — oaty original, milk chocolate and dark chocolate — and so does Corsa. Petrol, diesel and electric.
All three look the same except the Corsa-e has no exhaust.
Cast your mind back a few years and Swampy and his fellow eco-soldiers were limited to driving a goofy Nissan Leaf.
Today, we can drive a battery-powered Mini, Peugeot 208 or Corsa and not stand out like an orthopaedic shoe.
Now, let’s crack on and answer the three crucial questions which are: Range, charge time, and price.
According to Vauxhall, the Corsa-e can do 209 miles non-stop and that could well be possible if it spends most of its life not too far from home — shuttling to work, school and the shops.
I clocked up 50 miles buzzing around Sheffield and only used 50 miles of range.
Charge time is 30 minutes at a 100kW public charger, if you can find one, or seven hours and 30 minutes at home, if you have a drive.
But you need to be disciplined. A bit like Adele with the biscuit barrel during lockdown.
Lastly, price. Being a good citizen is not cheap, as the Corsa-e starts at £27,000 including the £3,000 plug-in grant.
Finance from £272 a month. That’s a good chunk more than a standard Corsa but this is the new flavour, remember, and it tastes like the future.
SMART & MODERN
Plus, you’ll save thousands of pounds in fuel, tax and maintenance costs and the Corsa-e is zero-rated for benefit in kind.
Vauxhall will even sweeten the deal with a free wallbox charger worth £800.
So, what’s it like to drive? Ace. It’s got more get up and go than a Corsa GSi and can sprint from 0-31mph in just 2.8 seconds, which is rapid for a supermini.
Note. The forthcoming Corsa VXR will be electric only.
Good body control, direct steering, low centre of gravity, B mode for harsher braking regeneration. This thing is a lot of fun.
Of course, stick the Corsa-e and the e-208 in an X-ray machine and they would be identical — same bones — but
Vauxhall has tweaked the suspension and added tie-rods to sharpen turn-in and make their battery car feel more game.
As for looks, the e-208 wins hands-down. No contest. But I prefer the simplicity of the Corsa cabin.
It’s smart and modern, with easy controls for things like air con, Eco/Normal/Sport and switching off the bloody annoying lane-assist tech.
I’m not a fan of Peugeot’s obsession with small steering wheels. Other tech like touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and cruise control are shared.
So when all is said and done, there’s not much to choose between the two. But both go much farther than the Mini Electric and retro-cool Honda e.
The advertising slogan for the Corsa-e is Glug, Glug, Glug, Glug, Plug.
Which is clever, as we slowly start to wean ourselves off petrol and diesel cars. But I’d also liken it to a Hobnob. A tasty, guilt-free Hobnob.
Power: 136hp 0-60mph: 7.6 secs
Top speed: 93mph
Range: 209 miles
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