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Opel Corsa-e (2020) in the test: What good is the 136 hp small electric car?

A small car for 30,000 euros? With so many thrifty city dwellers, the fur stands on end. But you have to spend so much for an electric car with a reasonable range and decent space. But is it worth it? We tested the new Opel Corsa-e and found out.

The new Corsa-e has been available for order since June 2019, but it has only been available from dealers since March 28, 2020. The basis is the PSA platform CMP (also known as EMP1). The technology is the same as that of the Peugeot e-208, which has been on the market since February. However, there are of course differences.

More about the electric Corsa and electric cars in general:

Forward thrust

The Corsa-e is powered by a 100 kW (136 hp) electric motor that drives the front axle. How does it feel in practice? When starting, the Corsa-e is in normal mode. This operating mode has a good bourgeois effect: You don't feel underpowered, but there is no wow factor. This is the right mode for the city, if you are not looking for a cavalier start.

If you want to experience the dynamic potential of the electric car, you should visit the SportsSwitch mode. Then the little pirate whizzes (what should Corsa otherwise stand) going like a skateboarder with a strong reserve. The torque of 260 Newton meters corresponds almost exactly to that of the diesel (250 Nm), but is available almost from the start.

When sprinting to 100 km / h, the electric Corsa loosely outpaced the 105 hp diesel version - with 8.1 seconds compared to 10.2 seconds. The diesel has the nose in front at the top speed (188 km / h, the Corsa-e is limited to 150 km / h.

The B-mode is activated via the gear selector lever

The Corsa-e is operated like a normal automatic car. The only special feature is the B mode (for brakes or brakes), which can be used like that Retarder in the truck. Before bends or red lights, I simply pull the gear selector lever towards me, which activates stronger recuperation. After that, I just have to remember to exit B-mode by dragging again.

The Corsa-e cannot be driven with the accelerator pedal, even in B mode; the slowdown is not sufficient for this. Like Peugeot, Opel does without the famousOne pedal feelingin order not to make the difference to the normal combustion engine too big. Shame i like that.


According to the WLTP standard, the electric Corsa can travel 337 kilometers on one charge. It should be clear that this is less than the diesel (which can run over 1,000 km), and of course the Corsa Diesel also refueled faster. However, if you are lucky enough to find a 100 kW fast charging station, you will be ready after 30 minutes - if you are satisfied with an 80 percent charge.

Alternating current is used to charge the car overnight in the garage at home. This is standard in single-phase with 7.4 kW. The three-phase 11 kW on-board charger, which is available for an extra charge of 1,190 euros, is a little faster, namely in 5h15. The Corsa cannot be charged with 22 kW like the Renault Zoe.

The CCS charging port for alternating current (above) and direct current (below)

The real range cannot be assessed on the basis of 85 test kilometers. The display in the cockpit is also not very reliable. When I get into the fully charged e-Corsa, the remaining range is 330 km. It is a coincidence that this corresponds almost perfectly with the official range, because the value is simply calculated based on the last consumption. Later, the display jumps from one moment to the next from 300 to 220 km.

landing gear

The chassis sometimes seems a bit hard on the partly badly tarred streets of Munich. What is pleasant, however, is how little the car wobbles in the curve. I notice that when I follow a panda at 60 km / h on a freeway entrance: The Fiat hangs at an angle in the curve, while my Corsa remains completely unimpressed, thanks to the deeply built-in battery. However, the Corsa-e is also around 350 kilos heavier than the diesel model.

Cockpit and rear

The Corsa-e has a 7.0-inch instrument display as standard. The content can be configured, for example a navigation arrow can be displayed or the energy flows or even very minimal data. The display is simple and not confusing, but it is also not as stylish as the display in the Peugeot e-208 with its two levels.

Otherwise, the cockpit is what you would expect from an Opel: simple and functional. In the rear I find enough space as a 1.75 meter large seat, but I hit the ceiling with the back of my head:


The trunk of the electric Corsa fits 267 to 1,042 liters. That is 40 liters less than the conventional versions (309 to 1,081 liters). That wouldn't bother me, but the usability of the trunk is suboptimal. Firstly, there is a threshold that interferes with loading and unloading, and secondly, the loading floor does not even begin to level when it is folded down: a standard weakness of the Peugeot small car since the days of the 206.

With a shelf (such as the one offered by the VW Polo), both the threshold at the trunk entrance and the rear seat threshold could be leveled. The charging cables, which are lying around so untidily in the storage compartment, could then also disappear underneath.

Equipment and price

The basic version of the Corsa-e is called Selection and costs just under 30,000 euros. On board are then an automatic air conditioning, the instrument display and a radio. You can deduct 6,000 euros in funding. Because of the VAT, you end up at 23,330 euros.

In addition, you save the vehicle tax for ten years, which can amount to around 1,000 euros. When refueling, you don't save anything compared to diesel, at least if you pay 30 cents for a kilowatt-hour of household electricity. 100 kilometers with the Corsa-e then cost around five euros. The diesel version drives the same distance (with the current very low fuel prices averaging 1.04 euros per liter) for 4.16 euros.

Overall, you shouldn't expect that the electric Corsa will save you money compared to the diesel, which is available in the base for less than 20,000 euros.

Conclusion: 8/10

You don't buy a small electric car like the Opel Corsa-e to drive long stretches of the autobahn. For the occasional weekend trip from Munich to the mountains, however, the car has a range of around 330 km. You don't buy an electric car to save money either, that should only work in rare cases. The main reason for buying should be the ecological conscience. The fact that the Opel Corsa-e looks more than passable and driving it is fun is a pleasant side effect for the buyer.

Photo gallery: Opel Corsa-e (2020) in the test

Opel Corsa-e

Max. Torque 260 Nm at 300-3,673 rpm
Transmission type Automatic with fixed ratio
Acceleration 0-100 km / h 8.1 sec
Top speed 150 km / h
Consumption 16.8 kWh / 100 km (WLTP)
Electric range337 km (WLTP)
BatteryLithium-ion battery, 50 kWh, 345 kg, glycol-water cooling
CCS connection, on-board charger with 7.4 kW AC (optional 11 kW), up to 100 kW DC
Charging time 5h15 with 11 kW AC, 30 min with 100 kW DC (0-80%)
Width 1,765 mm (with folded mirrors)
Boot space 267–1,042 liters
Market launch28. April 2020