If you weren’t in the Vauxhall Corsa owners crew with all of your friends, you’ve certainly been a passenger in one on a random midnight drive to your local 24-hour McDonalds. Since launching to the UK in 1993, the Vauxhall Corsa has become a staple of UK roads, with 2 million examples of the hatch sold since its debut.
The Corsa’s predecessor, the Nova, was one of Britain’s most popular hatches throughout the 1980’s. However, by the end of it’s run, the Nova – sold as the Opel Corsa in Europe – was starting to look decidedly dated against rivals such as the Ford Fiesta. Fortunately, a replacement was in the pipeline.
Now in its sixth generation, the Corsa has morphed into something a little different from that drive-thru icon. As is the case with those models, petrol & diesel engines are offered, as well as a fully-electric version. This version is the first Corsa to be developed since Vauxhall was acquired by the PSA Group, and, as such, much of its design is shared with the latest Peugeot 208 & DS 3 Crossback.
While a big proportion of its underpinnings are shared, Vauxhall has specifically calibrated the steering & slightly altered the suspension to make the Corsa unique. And, dimensions aside, It bears virtually no visual resemblance to the 208. But as is the case with those models, petrol & diesel engines are offered, as well as a fully-electric version.
Hatchback: If you go for the straight-up ICE version of the Corsa, there are 3 engines available: 2 petrols & one diesel. The Corsa now looks more modern & features a lot more equipment than before, qualities it badly needed to compete in a fight against the latest Fiesta.
E Electric Hatchback: This fully-electric version of the Corsa has a pretty similar styling to the rest of the range. The only styling differences to point out is the name that comes with a little ‘e’ badge. If you’re looking for an electric Corsa that doesn’t look like a spaceship, this one is a good choice. Its fully electric range is 205 miles & it offers a 0-62mph time of 8.1 seconds.
The Vauxhall Corsa supermini remains one of Britain's best-selling cars - a favourite of small families, learner drivers & those in need of an affordable set of wheels. It's a key rival to the ever-popular Ford Fiesta & Volkswagen Polo, along with a host of similarly accomplished cars from virtually every manufacturer.
The new Corsa is a significant improvement on the older car as it’s much more refined, better to drive & more efficient too. However, the supermini class is full of talented cars, & the Corsa struggles to match the practicality of the SEAT Ibiza, the fun of the Ford Fiesta or the value-for-money of the Renault Clio.
As for the fully electric version of the hatchback, it will go up against the likes of the Mini Electric with a 209-mile official range & 100kW charging. With the arrival of this new electric version, Vauxhall & its new French owner will no doubt be hoping to spur the Corsa on to even greater heights.
The Corsa-e is far from the most charismatic electric supermini; the Honda E & Mini Electric have it sumped in that regard. But while you get the sense those cars will appeal to those who have already come around to the idea of electric car ownership, the Corsa-e’s ease of use & the relative familiarity of its driving experience are no less significant.
“Stunning design. Brand new engines. Exciting tech. Corsa’s back – & it’s now available. Oh, & did we mention it’s gone electric too?”