The Vauxhall Ampera is a brilliant solution to eco-friendly motoring. It’s amazingly efficient, it eliminates range anxiety, and it’s comfortable and relaxing to drive.
It’s far from cheap to buy, and there’s huge uncertainty over its residual values. The cabin plastics aren’t particularly appealing and rear visibility is rubbish.
On the road
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The 148bhp electric motor gives a stonking 273lb ft of torque, all of which is available immediately. As a result, the pickup feels instantaneous, brisk and linear – everything you want, really. The Ampera doesn’t feel as fast as a Nissan Leaf, but 0-60mph takes around nine seconds.
Ride & Handling
The Ampera has a comfortable ride most of the time. Things can feel a little jittery at low speeds, but it soaks up bigger bumps well and feels settled on the motorway. There’s some body lean to be felt in bends and the steering could do with more weight and feel, but the plentiful grip means the car always feels secure.
Efficiency aside, this is the Ampera’s biggest strength. The drivetrain is silent most of the time, and even when the petrol engine is called into action, it stays impressively hushed. The switch between the two modes is almost imperceptible. Road- and wind noise is well contained, so the Ampera is an extremely quiet, relaxed way to travel.