You can still buy a petrol or diesel version too, but the 100% electric option has been added just as though it was one of those powertrains, although it’s only available on the top two trim levels.
It’s a pretty impressive-looking set up too. It has a 50kWh battery, meaning it has comfortably more range than the new MINI Electric, VW e-UP! and the cheaper version on the Nissan Leaf. It’s also bang up against the class-leading 52kWh of the Renault Zoe.
That’s good enough for an official range of 209 miles, and once the battery is exhausted you can ‘fill up’ faster by using the new upgraded 11kW AC or 100kW DC chargers.
If this specification – or the car itself – looks familiar, that’s because the Corsa is largely identical under the skin to the Peugeot e208. The two brands are now part of the same company, so jointly developed the car. There are some differences to the ways the cars look, drive and are priced so make sure you compare the two closely before you sign an order form.
One difference over the Peugeot is the specification. Whereas the e208 can be had in a ‘base level’ trim without such luxuries as alloy wheels, the Corsa-e is only available as the top two models in the range – SE and Elite. Use the online configurator to spec up the range topping version with an 11kW fast charge option and some pretty paint and the bill tops £35,000. That’s before the government grant is deducted but it still seems to be an eye-widening amount for a Vauxhall Corsa.
Is it worth it? Well we’ve yet to drive the Corsa-e, but the early signs are that it’s a thoroughly competent hatchback packed with sophisticated technology and an impressive ability to drive long distances and then charge quickly. Just make sure you check out the competition as the Corsa’s pricing puts it up against bigger cars such as the Nissan Leaf and Kia Soul EV.