It shares the technical basis with the French electrics in the Stellantis group, but has a character based on reason and efficiency, typical of the Teutons. The result: low consumption and significant autonomy. Test with measurements Opel Corsa-e. Photo: Quattroruote
Just 3 years ago, when he was in negotiations with General Motors to acquire the Russelsheim company, Carlos Tavares declared: “The Opel brand must remain German”. Of course, the statement did not only refer to the geographical location, but also to the construction philosophy, which for “made in Germany” cars means quality, rationality and efficiency.
Differences in approach
Three attributes pursued by all car manufacturers, but which in Germany have historical roots and have penetrated the culture of each employee. That is why the roles of the three small hatches in the PSA range (which has now become Stellantis, after the merger with FCA) have been retained. Even if, under the body, they share the same technology, the spirit differs noticeably: the DS 3 Crossback E-Tense is the chic one, with refined lines and finishes, while the Opel Corsa is at the opposite pole – sober and concrete. Among them is the Peugeot e-208, which, with its original and dynamic design, aims to seduce younger customers.
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Does the little German manage to pay for the pregnancy? Beyond aesthetic considerations, purely subjective, the interior Corsa pursues the design philosophy of its older brothers, without stylistic artifices à la 208 and DS 3. All controls are at hand, and even the infotainment system Navi pro stands out for its ease in use and abundance of functions. The digital instrumentation is not as practical, the small screen, 7 inches, can not easily display all the information.
Also related to functionality, the interior is spacious, especially in the front. If you still choose the bench, you get enough space in width and height, but if you are tall, you will touch the chair with your knees. And the trunk is good for a small hatch: 276 l measured by us (29 over the e-208) and a regular shape. As for the quality of the finishes, you can’t complain – the Corsa is carefully assembled on the outside, where it has low and uniform air. Inside, hard plastic, present everywhere, reduces production costs. According to Opel tradition, the lights are high-performance, with LED Matrix headlights available for a fee, a rare feature in the segment.
Once the start button is pressed, the Corsa comes to life without gongs or musical sounds, another sign that we are dealing with an “object” car. The clear goal is to travel safely, comfortably and efficiently. The structure is well calibrated, with the masses concentrated in the lower area and close to the center of the wheelbase, slightly in front, due to the conventional arrangement of technical equipment: motor, inverter, battery charger and air conditioning with heat pump.
The behavior is permanently relaxing and easy to control, on the one hand due to the balanced settings of the suspension (MacPherson on both axles), and on the other hand, to the precise, progressive and much more communicative direction than the Corsica with thermal engine. So even the tightest corners can be approached quietly: the small Opel fits well on the track and has no roller. If you suddenly change direction, the Corsa-e does not deviate excessively and is easy to recover, thanks to the carefully calibrated ESP.
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Also in terms of safety, the brakes do an excellent job, guaranteeing limited stopping distances, regardless of the nature of the road, and without losing their efficiency in heavy use. The behavior of the automatic emergency braking system is equally good.
The comfort is better than the conventional Corsa, maybe due to the heavier weight, maybe thanks to the tires with low resistance. Our measuring instruments have resulted in better cushioning for the driver and right-hand passenger when crossing obstacles. However, at the seat level, the rigid rear axle cannot properly absorb all unevenness. However, given the results of the dynamic tests, Opel engineers obviously put agility in the first place, to the detriment of comfort.
Dynamics and autonomy
In urban mode and on national roads, the quiet engine and good insulation keep the trip relaxing, but on the highway, the noise level is similar to that of the petrol version. However, the greatest satisfactions come from accelerations and autonomy. Nothing spectacular, but the results are respectable: the 45 useful kWh available are well “saved”, each of them being enough to cover 6 km. So all the current ends after almost 300 km of mixed route, a distance that increases to 342 km in the city and decreases to 246 at a constant speed of 110 km / h.
Thus, the Corsa is able to venture boldly beyond the urban area, without the need for an outlet. And when it needs to charge, it can use sources of up to 100 kW, which ensures decent times for a full current.
The left pillar of the windscreen slightly obstructs visibility. The same happens with the small telescope, in reverse maneuvers. The space in front is very good. At the back, both the interior height and the width are adequate. Only the knee space is slightly restrictive.
The trunk has a satisfactory volume and is easy to use. Under the floor is the 1.8 kW household cable, but for charging cables of 3.7 kW and above is charged extra.
Opel Corsa-e: technique, in clear
And technically, the Opel Corsa-e follows a cautious approach. Everything relates to production costs and, implicitly, to the decrease in the selling price. The CMP platform of the PSA group, which is the basis of the 208, DS 3 and Corsa, is designed for both conventional and electric motors. Regardless of the nature of the engine, the interior space remains unchanged, as does the trunk: the usable 45 kWh battery is placed under the floor and “modeled” to make the most of the compartment under the seat.
The 100 kW developing motor, the inverter and the standard 7.4 kW (optionally three-phase 11 kW) battery charger are similar to those of the group colleagues. These common parts allow cost reduction, but do not allow the models to take advantage of all the advantages of electric propulsion, including the optimal ratio between size and interior dimensions, which could be better if using dedicated platforms. The possibility of powering from sources up to 100 kW should also be noted.
An “honest” electric car, with convincing performance in all road scenarios: in Corsa-e you can base even when you have to beat extra-urban routes.
- Exceptional brakes
- Fast loading
- Good autonomy
- Powerful engine
- Excellent top infotainment system
- Tiny on-board instrumentation
- Poor visibility
|Maximum power / speed (hp / rpm)||136 / nc.|
|Maximum torque / speed (Nm / rpm)||260 / nc.|
|L × W × H (mm)||4060 × 1765 × 1435|
|Luggage compartment volume (l)||267/1042|
|Empty mass (kg)||1530|
|Acceleration 0–100 km / h (s)||8.1|
|Top speed (km / h)||150|
|Mixed range (km)||315|
|CO2 emissions (g / km)||0|
|0–60 km / h (s)||3.7|
|0–100 km / h (s)||8.4|
|0–130 km / h (s)||14.4|
|400 m starting from the spot||16.2|
|1 km starting from place (s)||30.7|
|Load load min./max.|
|70–90 km / h (s)||2.7 / 3.1|
|70–120 km / h (s)||7.8 / 8.9|
|Braking from 100 km / h|
|Empty, cold (m) / deceleration (g)||37.2 / 1.06|
|Wet asphalt + ice (m) / deceleration (g)||112.7 / 0.3|
|In the city / national road / highway (l / 100 km)||14.29 / 16.7 / 20.0|
|Test consumption (l / 100 km)||16.7|
|Measured mass (kg)||1597|
|Luggage compartment volume (l)||276|
|at 50 km / h (dBA)||56.8|
|at maximum acceleration (dBA)||68.0|
|Price (euro, with VAT)||31,907|