Vauxhall Corsa Electric Review 2023

Written by Andy Brady

heycar ratingGreat introduction to electric motoring
  • 2020
  • Small hatch
  • EV

Quick overview


  • Improved electric range and infotainment from 2023
  • Spacious and well-equipped cabin
  • Doesn't shout about its eco credentials


  • You'll pay a premium for the latest model
  • Not as fashionable as a Fiat 500 Electric
  • Interior feels a little on the drab side

Overall verdict on the Vauxhall Corsa Electric

"The Vauxhall Corsa Electric has been updated for 2023. As well as a few cosmetic upgrades, the new Corsa Electric gets a bigger infotainment system and a new Long Range model with a more powerful electric motor. Should the electric Corsa be on your new car shortlist? Read our full Vauxhall Corsa Electric review to find out."

Vauxhall Corsa Electric Review 2023: rear dynamic

The electric car market is increasingly saturated, yet there still isn't a huge number of small electric cars to choose from. That's largely because it's difficult to make the sums add up - EVs are expensive, and it's much easier for manufacturers to make money from selling big electric SUVs instead.

That's why Ford has boldly pulled out of the small hatchback arena (the petrol Fiesta has now been axed), while most small electric cars (such as the Honda E and Fiat 500 Electric) have quite a strong price tag. The latter's true for the Vauxhall Corsa Electric, too - it now starts from around £32,500, while the most desirable models are nudging £40,000. Ouch.

It's not without its appeal, though. We like the regular Vauxhall Corsa (in petrol form), and the electric model simply builds on that with improved refinement and lower running costs. You get a fairly spacious cabin, while the new infotainment system is very user-friendly. There are now three main trim levels available (Design, GS and Ultimate) - all are well-equipped, while the top-spec model comes with features you wouldn't expect in a car of this size (massage seats, anyone?).

Slightly confusingly, the Vauxhall Corsa Electric is now available with two battery sizes: 50kWh or the Long Range 51kWh model. The difference is quite small: the regular model can cover up to 222 miles between charges, while the Long Range has a range of up to 246 miles. The Vauxhall Corsa Electric Long Range has a slightly more powerful electric motor, too, giving it a small amount of extra poke.

Charging the Vauxhall Corsa Electric is simple enough: a home wallbox will top it up overnight for minimal outlay, while a public rapid charger can top it up to 80% in around half an hour.

The Vauxhall Corsa Electric takes a fuss-free approach to how it drives, too. It's easy in untimidating to steer, while there's technology on hand to keep you safe. While the Corsa Electric is at its best around town, you might be surprised at how comfortable it is on the motorway, too.

Looking for a used car for sale? We've got 100s of Vauxhall Approved Used Cars for Sale for you to choose from, including a wide range of Vauxhall Corsa Electric cars for sale

If you're ready to make the switch to electric but don't want to make a bold statement about doing so, the Vauxhall Corsa Electric is a decent enough choice. It's easy to drive, has a very useable range and won't be a huge shock to the system. There are bigger, more practical alternatives for the money, though, and a petrol Vauxhall Corsa will still make more sense financially for a lot of buyers. 

We usually say "buy the best and newest model you can afford" but, well, this approach doesn't make quite so much sense in the Vauxhall Corsa Electric.

Recent updates are so minor and a new Vauxhall Corsa Electric is so expensive, we'd suggest saving your money and searching for a used Vauxhall Corsa Electric for sale. An early Vauxhall Corsa Electric can be picked up for less than £15,000 - it makes a lot more sense at this price than a brand new car with a price tag closing in at £40,000.

Ford's reluctance to bring an electric Fiesta to market means the Vauxhall Corsa Electric doesn't come up against a huge amount of competition. The Peugeot e-208 is the most obvious rival - it shares its platform with the Corsa Electric, while also managing to look a little more stylish (although not everyone will get on with its tiny steering wheel).

Other than that, there's the trendy MINI Electric and slow-selling Honda e. You'll probably notice the Renault Zoe in the classifieds, too, although that's showing its age a bit now. The newer Fiat 500e is a much better choice, while you could also look at Chinese alternatives like the BYD Dolphin. The MG4 should be on your radar, too - it's bigger than the Corsa but cheaper to buy.

Comfort and design: Vauxhall Corsa Electric interior

"Inside, the Vauxhall Corsa Electric feels just like a petrol Corsa. That's nice in a lot of ways - it doesn't feel weird or wacky - but it's also a little on the dull side."

Vauxhall Corsa Electric Review 2023: dashboard

The driver gets the same generous amount of space for knees and shoulders in the Corsa Electric as you do in other models, while Vauxhall has also found sufficient headroom for taller occupants of the front seats. You can adjust the driver’s seat for height and the steering wheel also alters for depth and angle, so finding a comfortable position is not an issue.

Seeing out across your left shoulder from the driver’s seat is more of problem due to the thick rear pillars. This isn’t an issue unique to the Corsa, but the Vauxhall is one of the worst offenders in our experience.

The flat-bottomed steering wheel frees up a modicum of extra space for the driver’s knees when proceeding in a straight line. It also allows good sighting of the main instruments that stick with a familiar Vauxhall design. The ventilation controls are also just as easy to fathom and use on the move, while the updated infotainment screen is better than before.

The Vauxhall Corsa Electric has the same initial feel of being a well-finished small car thanks to the padded materials used on the upper dash and door surfaces. It all gives a veneer of premium quality and solidity that’s easy on the eye.

However, the Corsa is quickly let down when your eyes and hands explore more of the plastics and other materials inside the cabin. A lot of the plastics are cheap, low-grade and hard, so they are prone to scratching which quickly makes them look old and scruffy.

The biggest change made to the Vauxhall Corsa Electric in 2023 is the new 10.0-inch infotainment system. This looks smart and is easy to use, while you now get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (along with, usefully, wireless phone charging). Earlier models were offered with a smaller seven-inch display which, while easy to operate, looks a bit pathetic in a modern, high-tech car such as the Corsa Electric.

Other tech highlights in the latest Vauxhall Corsa Electric include a revised seven-inch digital instrument display, while 'Hey Vauxhall' voice-recognition software lets you control various functions of the car without taking your hands off the steering wheel. A bit gimmicky, perhaps, but no more so than Amazon's Alexa.

Fitting a battery pack under the front and rear seats of the Vauxhall Corsa Electric could have robbed this version of the hatch of vital space for passengers. It’s to Vauxhall’s credit the EV version of the Corsa does not make this sacrifice. However, it’s no more generous for rear-seat occupants than other versions in the line-up.

That’s a shame as it means adults will find it hard to squeeze into the back of the Corsa without their knees jutting into the rear of the front seats – not comfortable for anyone. Headroom is also dismal and forces even average-sized adults to sit with their heads at an angle to fit in here.

Put children in the back of the Corsa Electric and it’s a better story. A flat bench cushion means you can seat three kids across the Corsa Electric with enough room for their elbows and shoulders. All three get a triple-point belt and headrest, while Isofix mounts are supplied with the two outer seats.

Getting in and out of the rear seats is simple as the Corsa Electric is only available as a five-door, like all of the latest Corsa range. The rear doors open wide and make it easy for parents to lift in a child's seat, though the Isofix mounts are tucked behind slits in the upholstery rather than easier-to-use plastic covers.

Head round to the back of the Corsa Electric and you find a tailgate that opens up high but reveals a load sill that is also high off the ground. It forces a big drop to the boot floor, though the cargo bay itself is well shaped and unhindered by the rear wheel arches or suspension. It’s a pity there are not any storage cubbies on either side of the boot, but at least the Vauxhall Corsa Electric boot space sits at 309 litres – one of the biggest in the class.

The Vauxhall Corsa Electric has dimensions of 4060mm long, 1765mm wide and 1433mm tall. 

Handling and ride quality: What is the Vauxhall Corsa Electric like to drive?

"The Vauxhall Corsa Electric might be significantly heavier than a regular Corsa, but you can't really tell in the way it drives. It feels eager and energetic, while the suspension generally does an excellent job of smoothing out bumpy road surfaces."

Vauxhall Corsa Electric Review 2023: front dynamic

Most people buy Corsas to run around town, and it's in urban areas where the Corsa Electric feels most at home. Its light steering and compact turning circle mean it's easy to dart in and out of traffic, while there's nothing in the least bit intimidating in the way it drives. If you've driven a petrol Corsa for the last 20 years, you'll be perfectly happy driving an electric one.

The Vauxhall Corsa Electric is hardly a one-trick pony, though. It more than holds its own out on the open road, and it even feels surprisingly grown-up at motorway speeds. If you're looking for driving enjoyment, you might want to look at a MINI Electric or MG4 instead, but the Vauxhall Corsa Electric does the job with minimal fuss.

Vauxhall initially offered the Corsa Electric with just one 'engine' option: a 100kW electric motor that generates the equivalent of 136PS. It also pushes out 260Nm of shove from the second you touch the accelerator, so you have the same sort of instant push that is more normally associated with a 2.0-litre turbodiesel motor. As a result, the Vauxhall Corsa Electric feels surprisingly brisk, covering 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds.

When the Vauxhall Corsa Electric was updated in 2023, a new more powerful motor (and slightly bigger battery) was added to the range. Badged the Vauxhall Corsa Electric Long Range (and available in GS or Ultimate trim), this adds an extra 20PS to the power figure, and shaves 0.7 seconds off the 0-62mph acceleration time. It's not exactly an electric hot hatch, but it certainly feels eager enough both in and out of town.

Both models come with the usual selectable drive modes: eco, normal and sport. Each has its own characteristics, allowing you to prioritise rapid acceleration or battery-saving efficiency. We'd leave it in 'normal' most of the time. There's also an extra 'B' button, which ramps up the regenerative braking. With this selected, the Vauxhall Corsa Electric will use the electric motor to slow down when you lift off the accelerator. It's not quite one-pedal driving but, with a bit of practice, this will allow you to use the brakes less than you otherwise would.

The regular Vauxhall Corsa Electric, with its 50kWh battery, can officially travel up to 222 miles between charging (according to WLTP tests). The new Vauxhall Corsa Electric Long Range, with its ever-so-slightly larger 51kWh battery pack, manages up to 246 miles.

We suspect the difference in real-world range will be minimal. For most buyers, either Vauxhall Corsa Electric will have a more-than-adequate range. A heat pump is standard on all models, helping improve the efficiency of the battery in winter - although you might struggle to see close to 200 miles between charges in winter.

With no petrol or diesel engine to quell the noise from outside, the Vauxhall Corsa Electric is already off to a head-start over its sister models. You will hear a faint whirr from the electric motor, especially as the car pulls away from a standing start, but it’s always content to remain a very distant sound and leaves the Vauxhall’s cabin impressively hushed around town.

On faster roads, the main sources of noise are wind and road roar, but here the Vauxhall Corsa Electric continues to keep these dins at arm’s length. There’s very little disturbance kicked up from the tyres that can be heard inside the car, even at motorway speeds. As for wind noise, it’s also happily absent from the interior, which all adds up to a small hatchback that makes light work of higher speed journeys.

What you might notice when passing over larger potholes or speed humps is a little sound of the suspension doing its job. It’s far from intrusive, though, and is only really audible because the Corsa Electric doesn’t have an internal combustion engine to mask the noise.

The Vauxhall Corsa Electric comes with twin front, side and curtain airbags as standard in all models. It also has three-point belts for all occupants and two Isofix child seat mounts on the outer rear seats.

All Corsa Electric models have ESP stability and traction control, ABS anti-lock brakes, though Hill Hold Assist is not included as the Corsa Electric doesn’t need it due to its standard automatic transmission. There’s also traffic speed sign recognition to flash up the appropriate maximum in the dash display as a reminder to the driver.

On top of all that, every Vauxhall Corsa Electric also comes with Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detections to warn the driver of hazards on the road ahead. Should the driver fail to notice, the system will apply the brakes to avoid a collision or lessen the impact of the ensuing crash. 

Vauxhall also fits a lane departure warning and assistance to guide the car back into lane if it strays too close to a white line. A driver fatigue system is another standard feature to let the driver know when to take a break.

Despite all of this equipment, the Vauxhall Corsa only achieved a four-star rating in Euro NCAP crash tests when many of its rivals have recorded five-star scores.

Charging times: How much does it cost to charge the Vauxhall Corsa Electric?

"A 7kW home wallbox will fully charge the Vauxhall Corsa Electric in around seven or eight hours - perfect for an overnight top-up."

Vauxhall Corsa Electric Review 2023: charging port

You can charge the Vauxhall Corsa Electric using a three-pin lead if you must, although this is probably best left for emergencies - doing so takes nearly 22 hours.

However you charge your Corsa Electric, expect to pay around £15 for a full charge at home (depending on your electricity tariff). That equates to around 8.5p per mile, which will make the Vauxhall Corsa Electric pretty cheap to run.

The Vauxhall Corsa Electric can charge at a rate of up to 100kW, which makes for pretty rapid charging when necessary. Vauxhall says such a charge can be completed (from 0-80%) in around half an hour. You'll need to find an appropriate public charger, though, and these are usually expensive - expect to pay as much as 70p per kWh, which means an 80% charge will cost nearly £30.

We've heard of very few common issues with the Vauxhall Corsa Electric. It's a very simple car, with much fewer parts to go wrong compared to a petrol or diesel car. Vauxhall provides a warranty of three years for the Corsa Electric, while the battery is covered for eight years (or 100,000 miles). Most electric car owners find that their battery still has as much as 80 or 90% of its original capacity after 10 years.

This is one area in which you might be stung financially compared to a petrol Vauxhall Corsa. The Vauxhall Corsa Electric has been placed in insurance groups 24 and 25 - that's about the same as other electric hatchbacks, but higher than similar petrol cars.

This isn't unusual - electric vehicles are both quicker and pricier to repair than 'normal' cars, so insurance premiums are often higher. This could create for an unpleasant shock, though, especially for young or inexperienced drivers. We'd recommend searching for insurance quotes before buying a Vauxhall Corsa Electric.

Electric cars are currently exempt from road tax, meaning you could save £180/year compared to a petrol or diesel car. That's set to change from 2025, however, meaning you'll pay the same VED as the driver of a petrol hatch.

How much should you be paying for a used Vauxhall Corsa Electric?

"A start price of around £32,500 for the new Vauxhall Corsa Electric looks punchy compared to Chinese alternatives like the Ora Funky Cat and MG4 EV. It's expensive compared to a petrol Vauxhall Corsa, too - although you will save money on running costs."

Vauxhall Corsa Electric Review 2023: rear dynamic

A mid-spec Vauxhall Corsa Electric GS starts from a little over £34,000, while the new long-range battery is nearly £35,500. The top-of-the-range Vauxhall Corsa Electric Ultimate is more than £38,500.

Of course, Vauxhall points out that most Corsa buyers will be more interested in the monthly payments - and, when you factor in running cost savings, the price difference between a petrol and electric Corsa isn't quite so dramatic.

For true money-saving, though, we recommend looking for a used Vauxhall Corsa Electric. Earlier models (badged the Vauxhall Corsa-e) can be picked up for less than £15,000 - which makes for a very cheap electric car, especially as they aren't that different to the current model. A relatively recent pre-facelift Vauxhall Corsa Electric can be yours for around £22,000.

The current Vauxhall Corsa Electric range is made up of three trim levels: Design, GS and Ultimate.

Standard equipment on the Vauxhall Corsa Electric Design includes LED headlights, high-beam assist, an electronic parking brake, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, speed sign recognition, driver drowsiness alert, forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, cruise control with intelligent speed limiter, six airbags, rear parking distance sensors, seven-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, seven-inch digital colour instrument cluster, electronic climate control, flat-bottomed leather-effect, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, rain-sensitive windscreen wipers, automatic lighting control, electric front and rear windows, emergency tyre inflation kit (in lieu of spare wheel), grey dashboard with high-gloss black insert, black fabric seats, six-way adjustable driver's seat, 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels.

The Vauxhall Corsa Electric GS adds LED front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, side blind spot alert, a 10-inch touchscreen display with navigation and wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a wireless phone charger, electronic climate control, front centre armrest with storage, keyless start, black and white sports seats, sports exterior styling, tinted rear windows, 17-inch alloy wheels.

The Vauxhall Corsa Electric Ultimate adds IntelliLux adaptive LED® Matrix headlights, enhanced automatic emergency braking, lane positioning assistant, adaptive cruise control, extended traffic sign recognition, a heated steering wheel, keyless entry and start, driver's seat with massage function and lumbar support, Alcantara seat inserts, heated front seats, 17-inch black alloy wheels with grey inserts.

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

As of 2023, a new Vauxhall Corsa Electric Design costs £32,445 in the UK. The Corsa Electric GS costs £34,080 (or £35,475 in Long Range form), while the range-topping Vauxhall Corsa Electric Ultimate Long Range is £38,585. You can save cash by buying a used Vauxhall Corsa Electric (also known as the Vauxhall Corsa-e). These start from as little as £13,000 on the used market.
Depending on your electricity tariff, expect to pay around £15 to fully charge a Vauxhall Corsa Electric at home. That will increase when using faster public EV chargers.
The Vauxhall Corsa Electric is a great introduction to electric vehicles. It's just like a regular Vauxhall Corsa - meaning it's easy to drive and cheap to run.

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