Alternatives

Used Vauxhall Ampera 2012-2015 review

(2012 - 2015)
Used Vauxhall Ampera 12-15
Review continues below...

What alternatives should I consider to a used Vauxhall Ampera hatchback?

The only car of reasonable price and availability that offers similar technology is the BMW i3, which comes with the option to be either a fully electric car or a range extender. It can offer a realistic range of around 124 miles in electric-only mode, while the range-extender version has a two-cylinder petrol engine that stops the batteries from running flat. In theory, the range extender will keep going as long as you keep refilling the (tiny) fuel tank – but since it adds only around another 80 miles of range, you'll be making frequent stops at petrol stations. But it handles well, looks great inside and out, and your bills should still be low.

A roughly equivalent, much more conventional car might be something such as the BMW 330e, which is a plug-in hybrid version of the popular compact executive saloon. This comes with some outstanding on-paper fuel consumption claimed figures, but, like a lot of plug-ins, in reality its results are much more ordinary. It can run on electric-only power for a limited range of roughly 25 miles before the conventional 2.0-litre petrol engine joins in.

What alternatives should I consider to a used Vauxhall Ampera hatchback?

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Verdict

The Ampera is a perfectly usable electric car whose range-extender tech frees it from the usual anxieties

  • Short-range fuel efficiency
  • Silent running in electric-only mode
  • Everyday usability
  • Fidgety ride
  • Numb steering
  • Feels heavy