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Apart from the drive, the Opel Corsa e hardly differs from its siblings with a combustion engine. curse or blessing?

Visually, the Opel Corsa e can hardly be distinguished from the variants with combustion engines.

The message that Opel wants to send with the new Corsa e is clear: The Corsa e should be a completely normal small car, just with an electric drive.

Not a futuristic spaceship with high-tech frills, but a car for everyday use.

Consequently, there are no optical experiments at all – both outside and inside. The Corsa e looks just like its siblings with combustion engines, even the radiator grille remains completely untouched. Only the missing tailpipe at the rear indicates the current version. The Strom-Corsa is also conservative in the interior. Some graphics on the touchscreen and the speedometer display have been adjusted, otherwise the simple objectivity prevails here, as you would expect in a small car. And that’s a good thing at first.

Get in, press the start button, set the automatic gear selector to “D” and roll away silently. Just as normal as any small car with an automatic transmission – just quieter and smoother.

Pleasantly unobtrusive

This inconspicuousness continues in the most pleasant form while driving. The electric drive is powerful and spontaneous, which allows the Corsa to roam lightly through the city. The 136 hp are sufficient for the motorway, especially since the Corsa scores here with good suspension comfort.

However, you have to put up with noticeable pitching movements, especially when braking harder, where the relatively high weight due to the batteries becomes noticeable. Otherwise, the small car does not owe much. The space is sufficient, the seating position fits, even if taller people want a little more adjustment options. Overall, however, the Opel is an almost perfect car for city driving: manoeuvrable, comfortable and efficient. Especially on short journeys, where a petrol or diesel engine does not even get up to operating temperature. But what does it look like if you occasionally want to take a long distance under the wheels?

Persistent but unhelpful

Opel specifies a range of 330 kilometers for the Corsa e according to WLTP. A good value that the Stromer achieves thanks to its 50 kW/h battery, which weighs around 345 kg, and its low consumption. In the test, it was finally 14.5 kWh/100 km, with the Stromer being driven mixed on motorways and in city traffic. So almost 300 kilometers are easily possible; when driving purely on the motorway it is more like 250 kilometers, over country and in the city you can also surpass the factory specification. This is quite suitable for everyday use – and overcomes the notorious “range anxiety”. If that’s not enough, the battery can be recharged to 80 percent in 30 minutes at a 100 kW DC fast charging station. This makes the Corsa e quite suitable for travel – with a small “but”.

When it comes to navigation, the Corsa e can hardly be distinguished from its combustion engine brothers. If you want to find a suitable charging station, you have to click through the submenus – or locate the charging station using a smartphone app. That must be easier in a modern electric car. After all, the Corsa e shouldn’t be a car for fans and technical inventors, but an electric car for everyone. Once the car is connected to the charging station, the driver naturally wants to know when the battery is full. Unfortunately, this is only shown small in the speedometer display; if the driver’s door is open, the loading time is covered by a corresponding message. In addition, the Corsa e takes a while to calculate the correct remaining charging time based on the available charging current.

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There are hardly any differences in operation either. This is a curse and a blessing at the same time.

While this essential information is immediately shown in large format on the central screen in other e-cars, you have to look for it explicitly in the Opel – or consult the smartphone app. This doesn’t make it impossible to get through everyday life with the little Stromer, but they are small, unnecessary stumbling blocks; a little more independence for the E model would have been worthwhile here. A little more would also be desirable for the on-board charger. This is used when the battery is charged at a wall box, whether at home or at a public station, rather than at a fast charging station that can charge the battery directly with direct current. A common charging station with an output of 22 kW could give the Corsa a range of 100 to 150 kilometers in one hour. However, the charger in the car does not charge via three phases, but only via one. This means that the car only travels around 50 kilometers per hour. However, those who can charge at home or at work will hardly have to worry about this – and drive the Stromer at least as relaxed as with a combustion engine.

Opel Corsa e

Engine: Synchronous electric motor

Power: 136 hp/260 Nm

Drive: Front, 1-speed aut.

L×W×H: 4060×1765×1435mm

trunk volume: 267-1042L

Weight: 1530kg

0-100km/h: 8.1 sec.

Vmax: 150km/h

Range factory/test: 330/310km

Price: from 34,990 francs

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