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One of the most popular cars on this island is the Corsa and depending where you live it will carry the Opel or Vauxhall badge. There is of course a new Corsa and it hardly came as a surprise that an electric version would join the range- the Corsa-e.

I spent a week with the newcomer and it still is strange for me to be by passing a filling station and going to a local supermarket car park to plug in. Make no mistake, the future of motoring is hurtling in that direction. Again depending where you live there are various trim levels, with Opel offering SC and Elite while under he Vauxhall banner, all of the trim levels have also been renamed for 2021, and now include Premium as part of the new naming structure in recognition of the comprehensive standard equipment. The electric is available in SE Nav Premium, SRi Nav Premium and Elite Nav Premium. My test example was the latter, which broadly compares with the Opel Elite version. The sportier Vauxhall badged SRi Nav Premium trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, sports seats, specific SRi interior with red accents, dark-tinted rear windows and sports pedals. This means customers looking for a sporty version can now choose between the petrol and diesel variants, as well as the all-electric version.

There is no mistake, with electric power the Corsa-e is lively thanks to a 50kWh battery and 100kW (136PS) electric motor, capable of up to 209 miles from a single charge. (Opel state 337km.) Now for a disappointment- I came no where near the range as given by the manufacturer, at best 200km (124 miles), dropping on one occasion to 169km ( 105 miles.) Supporting up to 100kW rapid charging, an 80% charge can be achieved in just 30 minutes. And if that is not enough, the all-electric Corsa recently was honoured as The Sun’s Car of the Year as part of the News UK Motor Awards.

An improved range would be most welcome and better charge point coverage, alas Northern Ireland is right at the bottom of the line when it comes to public charging points; so a home charger seems now to be the answer. So there is a lot of catching up with the rest of the UK and Ireland.

So, could I live with this member of the Corsa family? The answer is a guarded yes, if the two minus points could be improved upon. I still feel at this stage the electric car is primarily for the urban environment and may be not such a good idea for one residing in a rural setting. I have already noted how brisk the Corsa-e is, rest to 100 kph (62mph) comes up in well under ten seconds with sports like acceleration from a standing start, so no complaints in this area, and on to a top speed of 150kph (93mph). Most important CO2 emissions- O and there are three drive modes to suit a variety of driving styles.

Today the buyer of a small car demands just as much in creature comforts as if they were buying a large vehicle and rightly so that all the goodies as onboard. The Corsa now features a more conservative exterior; this little number has style, one which gets a lot of plus points from me. If I were to list the standard equipment on the model tested I would certainly fill up my space, so here are a few highlights to wet the appetite as they say. Infotainment, Multimedia Navi Pro, proving route guidance, aided by a ten inch screen with 2D/3D street mapping, there is a AM, FM, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so whatever mobile phone you have, there is no problem communicating.

There is a sporty flat bottomed steering wheel, heated front seats, automatic lighting control, and remote central locking. Safety is given priority with such items as lane departure warning with lane assist, traffic sign recognition, a useful driver drowsiness system and automatic emergency city braking. Living with the new look Corsa, it handles well and with a modest sized boot can cope with most situations. I have no doubt in its new guise and  with whichever form of power is your choice, it will continue to add to the Corsa success story.

Ian Lynas


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