Vauxhall Corsa-e Elite Nav Review

Vauxhall Corsa-e Elite Nav Review

The Vauxhall Corsa has been a hit with folks who wanted an easy-to-drive car and that is why it has also been the default choice for everyone from first-time drivers to fleet companies because of how good value for money the car was. However, nothing in the car industry can stay the same forever and that applies to the Corsa as well.  It should come as no surprise that the new iteration of the Corsa is an all-electric version and I got to get a feel for the Corsa-e Elite Nav model and here is an account of how it went.

What is the Vauxhall Corsa-e Elite Nav about?

After Vauxhall became a part of Groupe PSA, The main aim for the new owners was to make the entire manufacturing process as flexible and universal as possible and they have introduced a new platform, called CMP. This allows them to manufacture multiple variants of a model on the same assembly line. This also means that the Corsa-e shares this platform with other cars in the PSA Group such as the Peugeot 208 and the DS3 Crossback. However, there is enough going on in this car to give it its own unique feel and it does not feel like a rebadged version of any other car.

Starting with the looks, the Corsa has come a long way since it’s younger days. From the front, it is quite well-proportioned and looks very good actually. All the different elements like the dual grilles, the vents and the headlights complement each other nicely and come together to make the front look attractive without falling into the common pitfall these days of overdoing everything.

From the sides, it is a bit of a hit or a miss. The dual-tone colour scheme of the Corsa-e isn’t as attractive from the sides as it is from the other angles but it is not ugly in any way.

From the rear, the car again looks good thanks to a similar design motif as seen on the front of the car. The subtle e-badging keeps things classy and overall, it retains that familiar look of the Corsa with just enough changes to make it appear in tune with the times while also subtly announcing its electric nature.

Getting under the bonnet gives the first obvious indication that this car is unlike any other Corsa ever. This is a front-wheel-drive electric car. The electric motor produces 136 PS of power and it has a maximum range of 209 miles. It, of course, produces 0 g/km CO2 but it weighs 300kg more than its petrol-powered variants. It has an impressive 0-62 mph time of 7.6 seconds but the top speed is a bit underwhelming at 93 mph.

The car is compatible with a home charger as standard and the Corsa-e Elite Nav supports upto 100kW DC rapid-charging as well. At-home charging the Corsa-e on a 7kw charger you can expect average fully charge times of around  7 hours.

How does it drive?

The biggest draw of the Corsa was the fact that it was one of the most undemanding cars. It did not intimidate drivers who were still learning the ropes or who might not want to be as involved with the driving side of things and most of that easy-going nature is retained here. The driving characteristics are a bit different because of the added weight.

The electric nature of this car also means that it accelerates a bit differently. Pressing the accelerator all the way down can lead to a lot of wheelspin which can make it a bit challenging for an absolute beginner. However, with a little bit of time, people can familiarise themselves with the way this car reacts to throttle response. And of course, this is only in relation to how aggressive you are on the throttle.

Since the added weight sits low down in the form of the battery bank, this car is quite stable but trying to really floor it around corners does make it readily apparent that this is a heavy car especially for its super-mini form factor. It is a bit more reluctant to change directions. I also feel it will understeer a bit earlier than the non-electric Corsa cars.

However, all of these quirks are only apparent when the car is driven in a very spirited manner. Under normal conditions, there is very little to complain about. The suspension has been tweaked to deal with the added weight and for the most part, driving this car in everyday conditions is almost as easy and uncomplicated as the previous generations of this car.

Braking systems on electric cars with energy recovery systems can feel a bit alienating but that is not the case with this car. It felt quite natural to me. Braking performance was also adequate and the tyres offer enough grip as long as you do not push the car really hard.

There are three driving modes to choose from with the eco mode being a great option for everyday conditions where range takes the priority while the sport mode acts like an added bonus that infuses a bit of excitement to the car when you feel the need for it. The normal mode offers a nice middle ground between the two and I had the car in this mode most of the time.

What is it like inside?

The electric version of the Corsa does not feel all that different from the other variations of the Corsa. There is plenty of head and legroom in the front. However, as it is a supermini, the space at the back is a bit restricted especially when it comes to the legroom. It won’t be a bother for short drives but any adult sitting in the back will feel cramped during a long journey.

The Elite Nav version does come with a 10″ touchscreen that is placed well and the interface is easy to use. The interior of this car is good and is a nice place to be in. My only gripe was the instrument console as it has a lot of unused spaced and would have looked and worked better if the instrument console filled the entire space.

The seats are comfortable and the upholstery is quite good to look at without being a slouch when it comes to how it feels. Storage space is also quite adequate for a super-mini.

The driver aid systems like driver drowsiness system, lane keep assist, and emergency braking systems make it a safe car and the panoramic style rear-view camera offers up a useful addition especially if parking in cramped spaces is something you have to do on a regular basis.

The experience

Driving the Vauxhall Corsa-e Elite Nav was a rather pleasant experience. The easy to drive Corsa has become a bit more exciting without sacrificing its driveability which is a good thing. It might not be the most exhilarating electric car out there but it sure is one of the most practical ones.

Vauxhall Corsa-e Elite Nav Cost

The Corsa-e Elite Nav comes in at a price of £33,255 and for this price, you get IntelliLux LED Matrix headlights, 17-inch bi-colour diamond-cut alloy wheels, a panoramic style rear-view camera, and a host of driver aid systems as standard.

Verdict

If you are in the market for an electric car that is easy to drive and isn’t intimidating at all then there are few options out there that are as good as the Vauxhall Corsa-e Elite Nav. It might be priced a bit higher but in my opinion, it offers enough extra goodies to justify that price.

Specification

Vauxhall Corsa-e Elite Nav Specs

  • Price: £33,255
  • Engine: Single motor with a 50kWh battery
  • Power: 136 bhp
  • Torque: 260 Nm
  • Transmission: Single-speed auto
  • 0-62mph:  7.6 seconds
  • Top speed: 93 mph
  • Maximum Range: 209 miles
  • CO2: 0 g/km

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