autoevolution

2020 Opel Corsa-e Review

CAR SIZE: sub-compact
BODY TYPE: Hatchback
The Opel Corsa is one of the oldest models on the European auto market. The nameplate was born in 1982, and quickly became so successful that it expanded to a great deal of markets as well, where it was sold as a Vauxhall (UK), Chevrolet (U.S.) or Holden (Australia).
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Since its introduction nearly 40 years ago, there have been only five generations of the nameplate, each an improvement over the previous one. None of them brought such radical changes as the sixth generation though, revealed by Opel in May 2019.

With the new Corsa, the German carmaker is joining the race in the mainstream electric segment. Its weapon of choice is the electric variant of it’s most popular model, one that wears the name Corsa-e.

1Exterior design & features

Overall, the Corsa-e retains the dimensions of the previous generation Corsa, measuring 4,06 meters long, but the car’s center of gravity has been lowered as to provide the better aerodynamic traits needed by the electric powertrain.

Visually, the Corsa-e boasts a reinterpreted version of the previous Corsa coupe-like roofline, but it seems even sportier thanks to the 48 mm shaved from its height.

Opel seems to have dropped the roundish lines on the previous generation in favor of more aggressive ones on the Corsa-e. The front end has been completely redesigned, the shape of the hood shifted from convex to concave and there’s even a new shape for the exterior mirrors.

The funky look of the rear was dropped in favor of design line that brings the car closer to the cues of the Astra or Insignia.

The car will debut in the small car segment the carmaker’s IntelliLux LED matrix light system usually deployed on more top-of-the-range cars. This system uses a high-resolution front camera to adapt the light beam to the prevailing traffic situation and the surroundings.

2Interior design, features
and passenger space

The five-seater Corsa-e shows a radically different interior compared to the outgoing regular Corsa, the main differences dictated by the fact the car is powered by electricity.

The design of the dashboard retains the overall lines used before, but now features a larger touchscreen display, mounted a tad higher than before, a steering wheel with a flat bottom and a brand new gear lever.

The dual instrument gauges located in front of the steering wheel have been replaced by a single digital screen – in fact, the entire cockpit is now fully digitalized.

Interior space has not changed, with the exception of the driver position, which is now 28 mm lower than before. Cargo volume remains the same, namely 286 liters.

Since its not actually a top of the range car, premium materials like leather need to be specified as an option by buyers.

3Gadgets

The Corsa-e, as will all other variants of the new generation, will be the most technologically advanced ever released.

Spearheading the changes is a new infotainment system that comes with one of two available touchscreens: an entry level 7-inch, or a bigger 10-inch one. The former will run Opel’s Multimedia Navi, while the latter the Multimedia Navi Pro. The Opel Connect telematics system is also available.

Regardless of the type of system chosen, the screen will show all the needed info about the car and trip, but will also relay images captured by the front camera. These images are used by the traffic sign recognition system to alert the driver of dos and don’ts.

For the Corsa-e, the specially designed myOpel app allows users to check the state-of-charge for the car.

4Performance

The Corsa-e is powered by a 50 kWh battery that provides a top range of 330 km (205 miles), as measured under the WLTP procedure. The battery can be recharged to 80 percent in half an hour when using a fast charging solution, but the time increases if the car is plugged in a regular socket or in a wall box.

Essentially, the range of the car can be determined by the driver by selecting one of three available modes: Normal, Eco and Sport. The top range can only be achieved in Eco mode.

The electric motor in the car develops a maximum output of 136 hp and 260 Nm of torque, taking the Corsa-e from a standstill to 100 kph in 8.1 seconds.

5Safety

The extensive improvements made to the car’s technology expand to the safety systems as well, as the model is filled with most of the modern driver assistance technologies.

The car’s adaptive cruise control comes with radar detection, for the first time in the range there’s sensor-based flank guard, and side blind-spot assist. A variety of other assistants are deployed to make parking both easier and safer.

The Live Navigation is complemented with real-time traffic information and a direct connection with roadside assistance and emergency call.

6Conclusion

The Corsa is Opel’s most popular model, by their own admission, so there would have been no better choice of bloodline to mark the carmaker’s entrance on the electric vehicle market than this.

With 13.6 million vehicles sold since 1982, an average of over 350,000 units per year, the Corsa is likely to be around for many more years to come, and it might even become a serious contender in the EV segment.

The order books for the Corsa-e open in summer 2019, with deliveries expected to start later in the year. Pricing for the car starts at €29,900 in Germany