Predictable evolution of the range of the sixth generation Corsa, the Opel city car is available in a 100% electric variant ensuring the top of the range. Mandatory passage, in full electrification policy, which results in a successful Corsa E, coherent and for once in the case of an electric, less ruinous that expected …

The Opel Corsa is now the German cousin of the Peugeot 208, which has just won the title of car of the year, and rightly so, we are therefore leaving with a rather favorable a priori for this first takeover of the electrified version of the Corsa. The electric 208 appeared to us as one of the friendliest variants of the range, there is no reason why the Corsa E should not have the same qualities. Namely, very correct performance, provided by the same 136 hp engine, and driving pleasure served by a well calibrated chassis.

No reason to touch the spirit of the car either: where the Peugeot capitalizes on a very strong style, all in angles and edges to the point of depriving itself of customers resistant to originality, the Corsa maintains its discretion. Much more classic, so you don’t get angry with anyone! There is still a point of convergence: just like the e-208, the Corsa E takes great care to hide its electric motor. La Zoé, for example, as a model in its own right, follows the opposite approach.

Thus, apart from the widened tracks (12 m) and the barely extended wheelbase (7 mm, obviously imperceptible) to leave a little room for the battery pack (still 50 kWh of capacity like the e-208), only a few monograms distinguish the Corsa E from its thermal counterparts. Maybe for do not confuse the customers of the latter.

Opel Corsa-E 2020 test

Apart from the logos on the B-pillars and at the rear, no indication of the electrification of the Corsa. The only technical developments are imperceptible to the eye: tracks and wheelbase barely modified, chassis lowered by 10 mm.

Good to know: anticipate the purchase and resale.

It is possible to know the resale or trade-in value of your vehicle thanks to the auto Turbo rating of your Opel Corsa, the alternative to the Argus rating.

Transparent electrification and contained prices

Like its Peugeot technical twin, electrification was therefore carried out as discreetly as possible. Apart from a few details of instrumentation and specific controls (mode B), the interior of a Corsa E is strictly identical to that of a classic thermal Corsa. We find the same rear habitability (correct, nothing more) and the trunk volume remains unchanged (309 l, however, we lose the space under the floor now intended for storage of the charging cable).

The layout and furniture therefore strongly resemble that of a 208 (some elements are strictly identical: gearbox control, storm doors, etc.), more classic and simplified. Not low-cost for all that, but without frills or particular luxury. No 3D display, no stylized effects. The whole is rational, rather well equipped too. Line maintenance, cruise control, emergency braking or reading the signs are automatically present. Here, we are content with optional digital instrumentation a little dated, it’s true (1,400 euros, on our Elegance finish). Not essential, but to be satisfied with a traditional endowment, without digital outbidding or XXL screens makes it possible to contain prices lower than those of the competition. One of the main obstacles to electric, of course, remains the price.

Opel Corsa-E 2020 test

The interior is identical to that of a thermal Corsa. Without fancy but seriously constructed. The equipment goes straight to the point: no techno frenzy! In exchange, the price remains contained.

The Corsa E thus begins at 30,650 euros (i.e. 24,650 euros bonus of 6,000 euros deducted). Far from being cheap, the German is nevertheless competitive against the e-208 (32,300 euros excluding bonus) or the Renault Zoé (32,000 euros in R110, less powerful). Not to mention the DS3 Crossback E-Tense (39,100 euros), which also shares the same engine as the Corsa E. Our superior Elegance version, charged 2,000 euros more, mainly adds LED lighting, the two-tone color , the 7-inch touchscreen media interface.

On the road (but not too long)

Eyes closed (so to speak), it would be difficult to perceive the difference between the two PSA city cars with equivalent engines. Apart from the driving position of course, quite conventional in the Opel and much less convoluted than the cockpit of the 208 which does not please all body types (small steering wheel, high perched counters). From the e-208, we find at the wheel of the Corsa E the same Comfortable and rigorous handling on the road, without excess firmness or unwelcome movements. As with the French, the suspensions have however been strengthened to withstand the overweight of batteries (345 kg all the same!). Comfort hardly suffers, and the very low center of gravity provides great stability.

Opel Corsa-E 2020 test

Despite its high weight (1,530 kg for a city car!), The Corsa E reveals interesting agility and vigorous lap times. Autonomy, banal, disappoints as soon as one ventures on the fast track.

The observation applies in town as well as on the secondary network, where its agile, dynamic behavior just what is needed, reserve a real approval. The times are there, too: 8.1 s from 0 to 100 km / h, and sufficiently energetic revivals to evolve on the fast track. We still have 260 Nm from the start. This force, however, requires the use of Sport mode, the only one to allow exploiting the promised 136 hp. The rest of the time, the intermediate Normal mode restricts the power to 100 hp. Already more than enough to squeeze through the traffic of Berlin and its surroundings, part of our test. There, on the other hand, one of the main (the only?) Real inconvenience of the car manifests itself: the variations of brake pedal consistency, depending on the state of charge and the use of energy recovery during deceleration. We go from a classic bite to a spongy pressure without warning. As with most electrics (or hybrids with a large share of electrification).

Another observation, the range announced at 337 km in WLTP cycle (in principle realistic), is rather around 260 km for use on mixed routes. Amply sufficient for the daily use practiced by the majority of electrical drivers: regular trips of 20 to 30 km … And confined to strictly city driving, in making the most of the recovery in B mode, this Corsa E easily reaches 300 km without touching a socket. Not bad.

Opel Corsa-E 2020 test

100 kW fast charging is supplied as standard… provided you have a nearby terminal. More traditional, the wallbox charge is limited to 11 kW on the Corsa E. It is less than a Zoe, compatible with 22kW.

At the end of our journey in the German capital, we noted an average consumption slightly above 18 kWh / 100 km. Correct, nothing more. Without any eco-driving effort, but we were careful not to linger on the motorway. And even less on Autobahn at free speed, where the gauge drops visibly. Everything therefore confirms, as if it were necessary, that the Corsa E reaches the limits of its versatility in the same way as any electric motor: just as coherent in an urban environment … that it is out of place outside this framework!

Energy management

Uncommon thing, the Corsa E is compatible with fast charging as standard, up to 100 kW, allowing 80% of the battery to be recharged in 30 minutes. Welcome announcement effect, but which ultimately concerns few people here, most drivers reloading at home on wallbox (around 4h30 for a full charge) or simply on the sector. This last solution is even the most popular: unless you are a player, you never wait to go down to the reserve to plug in your car … One night of charging on the garage outlet is often sufficient. And more economical: PSA is not one of the partners of the Ionity network, it invoices the fast charge 0.79 € / kWh. Not given.

Opel Corsa-E 2020 test

Although firmed and stiffened to compensate for the overweight of the batteries, the comfort remains good. In addition, the soundproofing of bearing noise is successful. Only a few air noises remain on the motorway. Not really his vocation …

Technical characteristics Opel Corsa-E (2020)

Model tested: Opel Corsa-E Elegance
Dimensions L x W x H 4.060 / 1.765 / 1.433 m
Wheelbase 2,540 m
Min / max trunk volume 309 / 1,118 l
Unloaded weight 1.530 kg
Engine Electric
Engine power 136 hp
Couple 260 Nm
0 to 100 km / h 8.1 s
Max speed 150 km / h
Drums 50 kWh
Autonomy announced / recorded 337 km / 260 km
2020 bonus € 6,000
Price of the model tested from 30.650 € (Elegance: + 2.000 €)