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First Drive

Vauxhall Corsa-e Anniversary Edition review: same electric car, new socks

£31,000 when new
Published: 29 Aug 2022

What’s that?

A dandy new pair of socks built to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Vauxhall’s first ever supermini, the Nova.

You’re roadtesting a pair of socks?

Of course not. They merely form a very small part of a wider suite of visual enhancements given to the very accomplished Corsa-e.

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We’re no marketing geniuses but trumpeting a pair of socks – even if they’re in the same tartan as found in the Nova SR from the Eighties – doesn’t exactly scream ‘we want the youth demographic!’

Cool it grandpa, everybody loves socks. What else is new?

This Anniversary Edition is exclusively available in the fetching ‘Record Red’ paint – again inspired by the ‘Carmine Red’ colour available on the Nova – and features a black grille, black ‘Griffin’ badges front and back, black ‘Corsa’ lettering and 17in alloy wheels.

In black?

In black.

Anything other than the tartan inside?

Did we mention the socks? They come in both small and large, and are extremely comfortable, resist heel fade well and have excellent traction underfoot. Can’t comment on range but then-

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Hold up! You’re joking, surely?

… of course.

The car itself remains as per the norm, which is to say a very, very accomplished, very straightforward and very good electric car. The Corsa-e is only available in one state of tune, so the Anniversary car gets the same 50kWh battery and 100kW of power as the regular Corsa-e GS (and of course, the Peugeot e-208 with which this car shares more than a passing friendship). You're looking at over 200 miles of range, which we found to be accurate through a mix of routes.

There are three modes that unlock varying levels of power. Eco kicks it off with the motor capped at 81bhp, Normal hikes that up to 107bhp, while Sport unleashes the car’s full 134bhp.

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That’s it. There’s the option of boosting up the brake regeneration but even in ‘B’ mode it’s never intrusive or aggressive, and in fact the whole car spools along quietly, confidently and with a real spring in its step.

It’s keen to drive if not especially fizzy, turns in and accelerates enthusiastically and resists body roll well. As we’ve mentioned in our wider Vauxhall Corsa-e review, it feels normal to drive, in a good way of course.

There’s little to discourage newer electric car converts and feels like it’s been built to bridge that crossover. A perfectly judged and executed car, in that sense.

Is it worth it?

It’s only around £700 more than the GS line (at £31k) and features a raft of kit including a seven-inch colour touchscreen with sat nav, DAB radio, Bluetooth and Android/Apple CarPlay. There’s lots of driver assistance, another seven-inch instrument cluster in front of the driver and stuff like a 180-degree rear view camera, heated seats/steering wheel and parking sensors.

Yes, the Corsa-e as a whole could do with a little more excitement, but you could say that about any number of combustion-engined superminis too. The Vauxhall’s brief feels different to, say, an e-208 or Mini Electric, for example.

Is that why they’re handing out free socks?

We’re not marketing geniuses, but…

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