Status: 01.12.2023, 19:11 PM
By: Rudolf Bögel
The Opel Corsa is the most popular and best-selling German small car. With the facelift, the electric Corsa is also new – with more range.
For the new Opel boss Florian Huettl, the Corsa is "the heart of the brand": 14 million units have been produced and distributed to the people since 1982. Four out of ten Opel customers opt for a Corsa. It has also been the best-selling small car for two years in a row – in the UK and Germany. And the future prospects could be even brighter: Firstly, the competition is becoming clearer and clearer because, for example, the traditional favourite opponent Ford has completely discontinued its Fiesta. And secondly, because the Opel company is one of the few manufacturers to offer the Corsa Electric, a reasonably affordable and efficient small electric car that can be ordered and delivered. Not to mention the Chinese, who are also represented in this vehicle segment with the MG 4 Electric or the BYD Atto 3.
The new Opel Corsa Electric – facial surgery instead of facelift
In 2017, Opel's heart suffered from severe arrhythmias. Just in the launch phase of the new Corsa model, Opel switched from General Motors (GM) to the then PSA Group (Peugeot-Citroën). As a result, the car, which was almost fully developed, had to be completely redesigned in terms of technology. With hanging and choking, the Corsa then came onto the market in 2019. At that time, it was still with the old look – which is why the facelift is now more of a face transplant after four years. Because now the Corsa also gets the new Vizor design and therefore looks like a completely new car.
Full speed ahead: The new Opel Corsa Electric gets a veritable facial surgery during a facelift. Now also with the new Vizor design. © Opel
This is also ensured by the new matrix luminaires and the complete absence of chrome. The interior has also been finely spruced up: the touchscreen grows to 10 inches (25.4 cm), the steering wheel and gear selector lever (now a rocker switch) are new and are more chic. For the first time, there is already a Bluetooth interface for Apple Car Play and Android Auto in the standard equipment, you can even charge without stripping or via cable to three USB-C ports.
50 kilometres more range costs 3,400 euros
So – but now to the heart of the Rüsselsheim heart boy, the drive. Opel is offering two electric variants after the facelift: the old set-up with 136 hp, 48 kWh battery (net) and a range of 354 kilometers. And now the new and optimized alternative with a 51 kWh battery, an electric motor improved to 156 hp and a range of 405 kilometers. The two models are similar in terms of charging time and power: over three hours with 11 kW (AC) and 30 minutes with 100 kW (DC from 0 to 80 percent).
There is also no difference in torque of 260 Nm. However, the more powerful Corsa manages the sprint to 100 km/h in 8.1 seconds, which is 0.6 seconds faster. In our eyes, these are minor issues – similar to the 50-kilometre increase in range. The question is: Is this difference worth around 3,400 euros to a buyer? The more powerful E-Corsa costs more, while the weaker one remains at the old price of 34,650 euros.
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When it comes to the driving modes, one small detail is annoying
How does the new Corsa Electric drive? On the almost 200 test kilometers, mainly on motorways, but also on country roads in the Taunus, we didn't get bored. At most on the motorway, because the E-Corsa shrinks to a lame duck in terms of performance from 120 km/h. At 150 it's over anyway. But there would have been no need for a lockdown at all, because you give up much earlier due to a lack of proper acceleration. Voluntarily.
Clean and tidy, now also with a ten-inch infotainment display: The cockpit of the new Opel Corsa is fully in line with the zeitgeist. © Opel
On winding roads, however, driving is heartily fun. The Rüsselsheimer steers directly and not too easily. The chassis is a good compromise between comfort and sportiness. Neither hard nor hearty. We were unpleasantly struck by the unclean transition when switching from normal to sport and vice versa. Every time there is an ugly jolt through the car. But that might be fixed with a software update.
Is it all electric or what? No, there are also petrol engines on the Corsa
As far as fuel consumption is concerned, the E-Corsa is one of the more frugal representatives. At launch, we had 99 percent battery charge and a range of 400 kilometers. After exactly 180 kilometers, it was still 52 percent or 180 kilometers. The consumption was exactly 14 kWh per 100 kilometers – and thus in line with the official figures. 14 kWh is a very decent value, especially since the car was only able to recover a small amount of (braking) energy due to the chosen test track over country roads and motorways. It is conceivable that consumption could even be reduced to 12 kWh if more electricity can be recuperated in stop-and-go traffic in the city. Based on the German average price of 46 cents per kilowatt hour (as of summer 2023), you would only pay a little more than five euros for 100 kilometers of driving.
The new Opel Corsa also makes a crisp impression from the side and rear. It is available as an electric car, but also with three different combustion engines. © Opel
You shouldn't be that cheap on the road with the combustion engines: a basic gasoline engine with 75 hp and then two hybrid models with a 1.2-liter turbocharged gasoline engine, starter generator and buffer battery. They produce 100 and 136 hp respectively. The entry-level model in particular should be interesting in terms of price: At 19,800 euros, it lands just below the pain threshold of 20,000 euros. In this day and age, the smallest Corsa is already a bargain.
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Our conclusion on the new Opel Corsa Electric
Did the electric Opel touch our hearts? In any case, because the car looks good, because it is functional and still offers a lot of driving pleasure. The electronic assistants work restrainedly, but well. Some people would like to have a pacemaker in terms of performance, but a Corsa like this is not a racing bag. An absolute plus point is the consumption, which makes the car really cheap on the fly. In this way, you can at least partially recoup the still very high acquisition costs for an electric car. (Rudolf Bögel)
Opel Corsa Electric Long Range GS Emissions
- Motor: energized synchronous machine
- Drivetrain: Front / Automatic
- Peak power: 115 kW (156 hp)
- Torque: 260 Nm
- 0 – 100 km/h: 8.1 s
- V.max: 150 km/h (limited)
- Battery capacity: 51 kWh (net)
- Charging times: 0 – 100 % at 11 kW AC (three-phase) 3 h 10 min
- 0 – 80 % at 100 kW (max) DC 30 min
- Consumption: 14.2 – 14.6 kWh / 100 km
- Range: up to 402 km
- Length / Width / Height: 4.06 / 1.77 / 1.44
- Wheelbase: 3.00 m
- Curb weight / payload: 1,544 / 376 kg
- Boot space: 267 – 1042 l
- Price: 38.045 Euro