In its 100% electric version, the Corsa-e takes over the CMP platform of the PSA group, hosting equipment similar to the Peugeot e-208 or the DS3 Crossback e-Tense. A 100 kW engine, a 50 kWh battery pack and a range announced at 337 km WLTP, these are the three key points of the machine.
But its "clubbing" argument is its price which starts at 30,650 euros in Edition finish, where the lioness is positioned at 32,300 euros in Active finish and the DS at 39,100 euros in So Chic finish. So is this Corsa-e a good alternative? Does it have what it takes to attract French customers? Let's see this.
You have no doubt already heard of Germanic rigor? Or even German sobriety? This Corsa-e is a new example for the manufacturer. If DS aims for Premium with the DS3 Crossback E-Tense and Peugeot dynamism with the e-208, Opel remains true to itself by offering a car that targets the essential with a sobriety and a stature that we know well .
Why do we compare this Corsa-e to the Peugeot or the DS? Well, because all three use the same technical platform that we mentioned above – except that the DS3 plays it rather "small urban SUV". Anyway, failing to surprise or challenge with its design, it goes everywhere and, ultimately, will probably age well over time. Besides, if we are well aware that this is a matter of taste, we find the Corsa-e quite successful.
Focus on driving aids
To stand out, the manufacturer from Rüsselsheim decided, for its first 100% electric city car (under the PSA era, because the Ampera-e was produced in a few copies in Europe before disappearing), to bet on good equipment technological, both on the safety and driving assistance part, and on the multimedia part.
In terms of safety and driving comfort, it starts with the matrix headlights available as an option on the “Edition” and “Business Edition” versions (550 euros). Our test model, an “Elegance” finish, is fitted as standard.
Remember that these headlights have segments, four per headlight in this case for Corsa-e, capable of orienting their light beam, but also of creating shadow zones when the full headlight mode is active so as not to dazzle the other motorists we would come across, while maintaining excellent peripheral brightness.
Please note, on the Corsa-e, these matrix optics are not as advanced as on an Astra or an Insignia which use between 8 and 84 blocks per headlight, but this remains a really welcome technology in this segment as the comfort of these blocks can make a difference on some poorly lit, poorly lit, if not at all lit roads
Other sensors, other technologies: the camera at the top of the windshield and the radar hidden behind its black cover at the bottom of the bumper provide driver assistance functions. We find in particular the reading of panels, emergency braking, obstacle detection, but also an active cruise control and an aid to maintain course.
We don't have much to blame the adaptive regulator. Not even its activation which goes through steering wheel controls very easy to access. No need to gesticulate on your seat to find the controls or go there groped when it is hidden by the steering wheel (this is the case on the Peugeot e-208, precisely): everything is very simple.
The technology is proven and it works well. Once the limitation to be observed indicated by the driver, the vehicle submits to it. It accelerates, brakes and respects the safety distance with the vehicles in front. When a road sign on the side aisle indicates a new limitation, the camera recognizes it and suggests to the driver to validate the new speed to be observed.
Regarding its reactivity, we sometimes, in the flow of a rather busy traffic, to make us cut the road and even if we were ready to react, the Corsa-e managed the situation by itself. The only condition for enjoying the ride: above all, do not use the sport mode (we will come back to this), because the accelerations – and suddenly the braking – become more abrupt. We are too much tossed about while in normal mode (and a fortiori in eco mode), it is on the contrary flexible and pleasant.
Like an (almost) winning combo, Opel adds to the automatic speed management, a heading maintenance technology. Classic, the camera reads the markings on the ground to identify traffic lanes and thus maintain its trajectory. Or in any case assist you in the task, because it is certainly not autonomous driving. The problem is that during our test, this techno left us to say the least … perplexed. Blowing hot and cold, it has sometimes proved surprisingly effective, in traffic jams, as on certain long curves of motorways and, more occasionally, even in cities where trajectory correction was sometimes effective. But conversely also, electronics has sometimes been picking up and at the very least disturbing, even dangerous, as you will discover in our video.
It is therefore imperative to consider that this is assistance that can save you from a disaster in the event of distraction or fatigue, but it should never be considered as a guardian angel that allows you to be voluntarily less attentive. Either way, the charging system reminds us to order as soon as both hands leave flying too long. An audible and visual signal first, then larger beeps and, finally, the assistance is cut off. It must then be reactivated via a button on the center console.
Driving the Opel Corsa-e
You will have noticed, the interior of the Corsa-e once again focuses on sobriety. The assemblies are clean, but the materials are at the tariff standard of the car. For everyday journeys, we appreciate the presence of a USB socket at the front (and two others at the back) to connect your smartphone.
There is also an induction charger, another good point, but the wired link remains the essential solution to take advantage of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. No wireless system here. And if these two universes work well with Corsa, it is important to indicate that the integrated navigation system is also of good quality. The presence of the TomTom traffic information service may dissuade you from using Waze systematically, unless it is more for its danger zone and risk zone alerts. Anyway, we like that TomTom is there, because the historic pioneer of traffic info will sometimes have loopholes which Waze (or Maps, or Plan) will not have thought of.
This Corsa is more timid, therefore, on the deployment of the technological armada than the Peugeot with its 3D i-Cockpit (which is not always unanimous), but Opel still plays the card of all digital on this Elegance finish. The needle counter which equips the entry level is replaced by a 7 inch screen with a customizable display. Different modes are available, including a "navigation" interface that displays the map and instructions in large without neglecting other essential information.
The problem, in our opinion, is that this 7-inch screen is inserted in a fairly basic way in the basic space provided for larger needle instrumentation. Suddenly, on both sides of the slab, two black plastics fill this surplus with an aesthetic result to say the least … questionable. At DS, it is this same 7-inch screen that officiates behind the wheel of the DS3 Crossback E-Tense, except that on each side, a shiny black plastic covering gives the illusion of better integration. We can note the difference with the photos below, between the 7 inch meter of the Opel Corsa-e …
… and that of the DS3 Crossback E-Tense.
It is certainly important to remember that DS is positioning itself in a more premium segment, but we would have liked Opel to offer an appropriate solution to take care of the integration.
Fuel consumption and driving comfort
If it is generally more sober than its cousin Peugeot e-208 in its GT version, for example, the Corsa-e does not have much to envy in terms of temperament. Certainly, Peugeot remains the French brand renowned for the efficiency of its chassis, but Opel is not outdone here. And since the two cars share the same platform … well, the Corsa-e is also very pleasant.
As its name suggests, the sport mode is that which gives access to the “highest” level of performance of the Corsa-e, namely the torque of 260 Nm and the power of 100 kW. It is also in sport mode that 0 to 100 km / h is achieved in 8.1 seconds. The other modes are therefore less punchy. In this case, in normal mode, the engine power drops to 80 kW and the torque to 220 Nm against 60 kW and 220 Nm in eco mode. But make no mistake, the Corsa-e remains fun to drive and, above all, these modes find their full meaning on this car which will make the biggest of its journeys … in town or on secondary roads and for some, blocked in traffic jams.
The eco mode is suitable for city traffic where the speed of 50 km / h is reached without any difficulty. So why spend more energy than necessary? As on many electric cars, the Corsa-e has a B mode (for brake) to force energy recovery. As soon as you take your foot off the accelerator pedal, the engine brake comes into play to inject energy back into the batteries.
Again, due to the shared platform, Opel displays the same deceleration data, namely that it is 0.6 m / s2 in D mode and 1.3 m / s2 in mode B – a deceleration of 1.3m / s. Engine braking which goes from simple to double, which we find however not very incisive.
This is a deliberate choice on the part of the brands of the PSA group who do not wish to rush their customers, since in this calibration the stop lights do not even come on. Being rather fan of driving with a single pedal (which is now found on many models), we regret that it is not the same on the electric Corsa. However, it is possible to maximize the energy recovery phases by always anticipating a little more the behavior to be adopted depending on what is ahead.
Which brings us to the average consumption of this Corsa-e. During our test, we were able to observe that at steady speed, on the highway, instantaneous consumption can quickly be around 20/25 kW / h per 100 km. On our 220 km of mixed roads, intelligently eco and normal modes as well as Brake mode, we managed to obtain an average consumption slightly less than 15 kW / h per 100 km, which, with this weather around 10 degrees , turns out to be on average.
A good point to which is added the charging interface of the Corsa-e. On the most powerful charging networks, the city car will be able to recharge to 80% in around thirty minutes thanks to its Combo CCS socket accepting a maximum power of 100 kW. On the other hand, on a three-phase network or terminal, the Corsa-e is limited to a maximum charging power of 11 kW, compared to 22 kW for the Zoé, for example. Please note, this integrated fast charger is only available as an option on the Corsa-e in the “Business Edition” finish at 900 euros. On the “Edition” and “Elegance” models, the power on a single-phase network will be limited to 7.4 kW, in addition to the CCS 100 kW interface for the terminals that can be found on specific Ionity type infrastructures.
Note that, according to Opel, the full charge on a 1.8 kW household outlet will take a considerable time of 28 hours and 16 hours on a 3.2 kW reinforced household outlet. Those who will opt for the installation of a wallbox 7.4 kW can refuel in 8 hours.
Technical sheet of the Opel Corsa-e
|Dimensions L x W x H (in m)||4.06 x 1.96 x 1.43 m|
|Rear trunk volume||260 liters|
|Unloaded weight||1530 kg|
|Number of places||5|
|Engine||Synchronous permanent magnet electric|
|Power||100 kW, or 136 hp|
|Couple||Up to 260 N.m in sport mode|
|Battery capacity||50 kWh (46 kWh useful)|
|Front suspensions||Nickname McPherson, coil springs, anti-roll bar|
|Rear suspensions||Coil springs|
|0 to 100 km / h||7.1 seconds|
|Maximum speed||150 km / h|
|WLTP autonomy||337 km|
|Charging sockets||CCS Combo 100 kW and type 2|
Opel Corsa-e test, our verdict
As we indicate in our video, if you plan to go on an electric vehicle, rather on a template of a city car, then it would be a shame not to push the doors of an Opel dealership (when the containment measures are lifted , in any case). The Corsa-e is pleasant to drive and to live thanks to an appreciable comfort and very appreciable technologies for the sometimes painful journeys of the daily life. Opel still has some work to do to stabilize its heading maintenance technology, but as we have seen, it has also been surprising … and in a good sense of the word.
We would have liked the 10 inch screen to be better exploited and if the criticism also applies to all brands of the PSA group, compatibility with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay or the presence of TomTom Traffic are all positive points which, again, will be appreciated on a daily basis. Finally, the Corsa-e takes up the other arguments which are very important, such as controlled consumption or the load power of 100 kW which is neither more nor less than the most important in the segment.
In short, you will understand: this small electric Corsa made a small impression on us in this Elegance finish, although a little sad in the cabin, and we recommend that you take an interest in this successful alternative to the Peugeot e-208, the basic rate is an additional 1,650 euros – although it will then take time to compare the long lists of equipment.