Vauxhall Corsa-e SE

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Vauxhall Corsa-e, front static
Vauxhall Corsa-e, front static 2
Vauxhall Corsa-e, front static 3
Vauxhall Corsa-e, side static
Vauxhall Corsa-e, rear static
Vauxhall Corsa-e, rear seats
Vauxhall Corsa-e, front seats
Vauxhall Corsa-e, dashboard
Vauxhall Corsa-e, boot

THERE'S a posh public school in a town just a few miles away and you should see the traffic jams on weekends when the young heirs are collected by mater and pater.

And increasingly, gently nudging along between the Range Rovers and Ferraris, will be cars making no noise at all.

Mostly - you've guessed - that quietness is coming from a battery powered Tesla 3, currently the best selling electric vehicle in the UK despite a starting price north of £40,000.

That might be about to change, if you listen to Vauxhall, which reckons its new Corsa-e might push the swoopy Tesla off top spot in 2021. A bottom line a useful ten grand less than Elon Musk's darling won't do any harm.

Neither will the way it drives, especially if your driving often means town work - perhaps dropping off and picking up the little ones from their (state?) school.

For the electric Corsa shows in spades the winning way a lack of internal combustion engine and a conventional gearbox turns your transport into something approaching a flying carpet at low speeds.

It means a take off from standstill is so seamlessly smooth the chauffeur in Lord Snooty's Roller can only marvel jealously at your car control. Little does he know it comes with the territory of all electric cars...

Another bonus for some buyers of this particular model will be the way it looks pretty much exactly like any other new Corsa. You won't stand out from the crowd at the lights but you're not going to be accused of showing off either. Some of us like that.

Be careful, though, that you don't start darting into traffic at junctions and roundabouts - such is the way this little hatchback reacts to an enthusiastic push of the throttle. That's another characteristic of electrical power.

Use this eagerness too often and you'll notice the distance to empty (battery) readout on the dash will start plunging. Vauxhall official range is 209 miles on a full charge, the test car showed a best of 200 but that was on a cold morning. Yes, temperature taking its toll is another EV live-with feature.

Then, driven even with moderate restraint, themileage predictor went down faster than the actual distance the car was travelling. So you end up leaving a generous margin for range optimism. Just to be on the safe side.

Even so, with perhaps 150 miles of work to be put into the day, you'll not feel the range anxiety that still haunts the drivers of so many electric cars. And most of don't approach that daily distance on a regular basis.

Top up the battery at home every night and your motoring costs will stay low enough to bring a smile. Ditto the zero tax rating if your Corsa-e is on business.

Throw in the non-EV bits of the car that make any new Corsa a decent drive - and a well kitted out cockpit - and here's a car to mix it with the best at the crawl to junior's school.

£27,590 (after government grant)

134bhp electric motor driving front wheels



209 miles on full charge




3yrs/60,000 miles


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