Our Cars: Vauxhall Ampera - January

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Vauxhall Ampera
Vauxhall Ampera
Vauxhall Ampera

Week ending January 25
Mileage 13,004
Driven this week: 480


Vauxhall Ampera review

As an Ampera driver, I try not to bang on about the fuel consumption, but it is a big factor in the car's appeal. During the last cold spell, with snow on the road, the range dropped to 31 miles on a full charge - about £1.50 of electricity.

You'd struggle to do the same journey in town on less than three-quarters of a gallon of fuel, even in an efficient hatchback, which would cost a minimum of about £4.50. So, even when conditions are far from ideal, you're still saving £3 per daily commute.

By Ed Keohane
Ed.Keohane@whatcar.com

Week ending January 18
Mileage 12,524
Driven this week: 400


Using a car like the tech-heavy car like our Vauxhall Ampera makes you realise how much work goes into the simple details of a car that you don’t normally notice.

Huge amounts of work have obviously gone into the engine, gearbox and motor. It’s smooth, quiet when cruising and fuel efficient - a massive achievement. But the Ampera also has a touch-sensitive centre console, strewn with buttons you can’t press, that even 10,000 miles later I still haven’t worked my way around.

You soon realise that touch-sensitive doesn’t work very well for buttons you have to press repeatedly, like seat heaters, as you have to actually lift your finger off the button completely between each press, meaning it often ends up on the adjacent one.

By Ed Keohane
Ed.Keohane@whatcar.com

Week ending January 11
Mileage 12,124
Driven this week: 484


I've spent quite a few days out of the Ampera during the past week, commuting in some of my favourite new cars – including the Ford S-Max, Kia Ceed and Range Rover Evoque.

However, I was amazed to find that I get more attention from pedestrians and other drivers when behind the wheel of the Ampera than I do in the others.

There's also the huge unsung benefit of the Ampera's electric drivetrain, namely the smoothness. You literally have to go the top end of the luxury car sector to find anything that competes. I can't help thinking it's a missing part of Vauxhall's message about the car. It's certainly a massive plus point.

Fuel economy is steady at 45mpg, although I only get 26 miles from a full charge, which equates to about 6p per mile.

By Ed Keohane
Ed.Keohane@whatcar.com

Week ending January 4
Mileage 11,640
Driven this week 390 miles


Ten days driving round the country in our Vauxhall Ampera over the last couple of weeks proved to be completely pain-free motoring, with two exceptions.

The lack of a third seat in the rear is a major compromise, and I also found that when you push the accelerator (running in engine-only mode) at around 35mph and 55mph the car slows down before speeding up.

I’m not sure whether it’s just started or whether I’ve never noticed before, but it’s odd and strangely disconcerting.

By Ed Keohane
Ed.Keohane@whatcar.com

Our Cars: Vauxhall Ampera - December

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