The Opel (Vauxhall) Corsa-e in a Test-Run!

Technology blogger Paul Belcl puts the new Opel (Vauxhall) Corsa-e to the test!

Technology blogger Paul Belcl tested the Opel Corsa-e for two days. Here he shares his experiences with us.

The little Opel (Vauxhall) came on to my radar for the first time at the Rock den Ring event, as it was the exact design I was looking for. For this reason, I performed a test to see how far the Corsa-e can serve as a potential “successor” for my old diesel. What I discovered was quite surprising.

First Impression

The Opel (Vauxhall) Corsa-e basically looks like a normal Corsa. The electric version is not built on a separate platform. I like the look of the car because there are clear lines, no round elements. The flat design in combination with the black roof guide gives the car a sporty look. The headlights and taillights also match and give the Opel (Vauxhall) a harmonious look. The interior makes an excellent impression, and everything seems to be in the right place. There are enough shelves for everything you have lying around in the car and a glove compartment that has earned the impressive name “hall”. Here you can plumb the depths! Unfortunately, there is no space in the engine compartment for a front boot, which I think is a shame, as transporting the most important charging cables separately from your holiday luggage makes a lot of sense in an electric car.

Technology

The technical equipment of my test vehicle (Elegance from 02/2020) is good. There is a multifunction steering wheel, a reversing camera, LED light, emergency Breaking assistant, lane changes, distance control, lane keeping and many other elements that you expect from a car today. The 136HP front engine has 260Nm torque and the sports suspension gives a good and safe driving experience. The little one accelerates to 100km/h in 8.1 seconds and it is over at 150km/h (93mi/h). The WTLP range is given as 330km (205mi), which seems realistic with the 50kWh battery and 1530kg total weight. You can charge the Opel with a maximum of 100kW on the CCS pillar or up to 7.4kW single-phase on alternating current. A 3-phase on-board charger with 11kW is now available as an option.

At 267/1042 liters, the trunk is large enough for a small car with a length of 4.06m. On request, there is even a trailer offering a 55kg vertical load. Enough for a bike rack and 2 e-bikes, I particularly like that, because that is an essential purchase criterion for me.

Start and Cockpit                             

When I get in, I immediately notice that this is not about lifestyle, but about well-thought-out functions! I can find my way around immediately and I like what I see. The central display is embedded in the dashboard and exudes an understated elegance. The controls are mainly situated in buttons and keys. You can also operate the air conditioning via the display if you want. The display menu makes a tidy and well-thought-out impression. No unnecessary trimmings, but everything you need is there.

In the lower part there is a QI charging station for the mobile phone, which my Samsung Phone can also charge through the thick case. I like that a lot! You can also put the phone down so that you can see the display in case you want to navigate with your mobile phone. The built-in navigation system from Opel makes a somewhat old-fashioned impression because there is no QWERTY keyboard. The navigation works well, but unfortunately it CANNOT include charging breaks during longer distances, which I think is a shame.

Once you have connected your cell phone via Bluetooth and controlled all access, you can use the car’s voice control to call people from the address book, which works quite well after several attempts even with more complex names!

The navigation system can also be operated or stopped in this way, really well thought out and surprisingly reliable.

The selector lever for the drive programs makes a high-end impression. You could almost imagine it was taken from a Benz. Return to the front and drive to the rear takes a bit of getting used to at first. If you push the drive back a second time, the “B” mode is activated for stronger recuperation, ideal for the city. When driving back, you not only see the rear camera in the display, but also a calculated top view of the vehicle – good!

Test Drive

I pick up my test car in Vienna-Liesing, as it is currently available at that location. I want to do a test drive, so I do not choose ECO, but instead normal mode and drive back home via the S1. Later I have an appointment at the other end of town. In total, I drive about 60km (37mi) in normal mode today and need a little more than 1/4 of the battery. Mathematically, this allows an actual range of approx. 220km (137mi). At these temperatures, seat heating, heating in the car are good. I make a little detour to Huma Simmering where there are type 2 loaders that cannot be used with every car. The Corsa can charge there without any problems. On the first day consumption of 17.8kWh per 100km.

The next day I go on another trip. This time I mainly use the “Sport” mode and will be a little faster than yesterday. When I drive off it is -6 degrees. First, a tour around Vienna (approx. 55km) and then an excursion towards Wiener Neustadt and back (+ 121km). On the way back on the Motorway it is dry and sunny, so sometimes it is almost full throttle, of course only what is legally allowed. Today it’s 19.2kWh per 100km that I use.

The driving settings ECO, Normal and Sport are very well coordinated and influence the entire power output. In “Eco” this is 82HP, in “Normal” mode 109HP and only in “Sport” mode are all 136 horses harnessed. That means you can drive the car even more economically than I wanted in my test. I suspect that at normal outside temperatures in ECO mode with a moderate driving style you can get close to the WTLP value.

The driving comfort is very good, a sporty driving style is certainly possible, but today with snow and ice, I stuck to standard driving. When the road is slippery or wet, the Corsa cannot always optimally bring the 136HP onto the road. The ESP only intervenes when the wheels are already spinning. The steering is precise and smooth but gives little feedback.

The flattened steering wheel is very practical for me being 195cm tall, to protect my knees when steering. The steering wheel can be adjusted both in height and in depth, which is also a good sitting position for taller people. There is in my case little support due to my long legs. That is understandable given the low seating position in the Corsa-e. Here the front upholstery could be provided with an additional height adjustment.

The built-in assistance systems are easy to use and work reliably. When driving on the motorway, however, the adaptive cruise control refused to function halfway. A short function check revealed a completely snowed covered front sensor. After a swift clean, everything was OK again! I should add that there are many little things in this car that are well thought out. For example, the QI charging plate in the cockpit, which charged excellently despite my thick smartphone case, or the cleaning system for the rear window, which sprays the water precisely onto the wiper, which then distributes it directly on the window, I have already had that in more expensive vehicles that didn’t perform so well.

If you have activated the drive mode “B” for the strong recuperation, then you can get by in the city almost without a brake pedal. The Corsa does NOT brake to a complete standstill, which is a shame. However, this function can be implemented with the adaptive cruise control, if it is activated when driving in a procession, then the vehicle brakes to a standstill.

Charging

On the way back, I choose the fast charger at the Favoriten distribution circle and arrive there with around 20% SOC. The fast charger can do more than 100kW, so I can test what the Corsa can charge at maximum. With the fast charger, I can charge 17kWh in 17 minutes, which corresponds to a charging power of 60kW. The maximum charging power that I can see at -8 degrees is 68kW, but I wasn’t at all cold in the car.

Another short drive through the city to a Vienna Electricity charger that is near my next destination. I save the parking ticket and connect the car for 1 hour to charge, it is cheaper than parking tickets despite the single-phase charging power.

In any case, I would buy the 11kW on-board charger for the Corsa, which costs around 1,200 euros. This is not only extremely relaxing when charging at AC charging stations in the city, but also uses full power, as the Wien Energie tariff still takes the charging time and no kWh billing.

I think it is a bit of a shame that I could not find a way in the on-board computer to limit charging to a certain SOC. You do not need it often, but sometimes it makes sense to not always charge the battery to 100% when you don’t need it at all.

Conclusion

The little Opel (Vauxhall) impressed me in several ways. It is big enough for 2 people and holiday luggage and small enough to get around town easily. The battery with 50kWh ensures a usable range and with the 100kW fast charging option, the car is quickly full again at the appropriate charging station. The Corsa-e can therefore also be used for longer distances if you plan your breaks.

The workmanship and functionality make a very well-thought-out impression. I did not notice anything that I would have liked better, except for the thigh support on the driver’s seat. All functions are logical, well thought out and well executed. There are hardly any gimmicks or special functions, but everything a car should have in 2021 is there.

During my entire test, the Corsa-e never consumed more than 20kWh per 100km and that despite a very brisk driving style, mostly in “Sport” mode, with the heating switched on (21 degrees) at outside temperatures down to -8 degrees and on the highway. This gives you a range of around 200km even in these conditions, which is good!

Our INSTADRIVER was able to test the very similar Peugeot e-208 and shares his opinion and experiences with When I get in, I immediately notice that this is not about lifestyle, but about well-thought-out functions! I can find my way around immediately and I like what I see. The central display is embedded in the dashboard and exudes an inconspicuous elegance. The controls are mainly housed in buttons and keys. You can also operate the air conditioning via the display if you want. The display menu makes a tidy and well-thought-out impression. No unnecessary players, but everything you need is there.

In the lower part there is a QI charging station for the mobile phone, which my Samsung Phone can also charge through the thick case, I like that very much! You can also put the phone down so that you can see the display in case you want to navigate with your mobile phone. The built-in navigation system from Opel makes a somewhat old-fashioned impression because there is no QWERTY keyboard. The navigation works well, but unfortunately it CANNOT include charging breaks in longer distances, which I think is a shame.

Once you have connected your cell phone via Bluetooth and controlled all access, you can use the car’s voice control to call people from the address book, which works quite well after several attempts even with more complex names!

The navigation system can also be operated or stopped in this way, well thought out and surprisingly reliable. the vehicle in his Video. If you are interested in the Opel Corsa-e  or one of our other electric cars, such as the Tesla Model Y, VW ID.3, Kia e-Niro or the Renault Zoe we look forward to your visit to our homepage: www.insta-drive.com.

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