Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: Vauxhall Ampera - 1st Report
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Our Fleet Test Drive: Vauxhall Ampera - 1st Report

Date: 09 January 2014   |   Author:

We're fortunate in this business to be able to sample a broad variety of machinery as part of our long-term tests, including premium-badged cars of various shapes and sizes.

But I've genuinely never looked forward to the arrival of a new long-termer as much as I have with the Vauxhall Ampera.

For the next six months we'll see what the plug-in range-extender is like to live with every day, and crucially, what fuel consumption is achieved. Somewhere between 35 and 50 miles [1] is the battery's range before the 1.4-litre petrol engine takes over, effectively acting as a generator and powering the wheels through the batteries.

We took delivery of the car from my nearest Ampera specialist dealer, Eastbourne Vauxhall, where the excellent Dean Matthews, who specialises in the vehicle, gave me the full guided tour.

He also imparted words of wisdom about getting the best out of it, which we'll be putting into action over the next half-year, and highlighted a few of the car's nice little touches that I'd probably have missed because I'm a bloke and therefore refuse to read the instruction manual. More on those in future reports.

Dean also said a dozen of his early Ampera customers are currently averaging around 145mpg, although we're not quite at that level after three fills of the fuel tank. My commute is 35 miles of mixed town, single-lane A-road and motorway, so the Ampera will, generally, just about make it to or from work without needing any petrol.

At home I can plug it into my garage, while at work we have a shiny new charging point installed by British Gas [2]. On my first full tank I was mainly office-based for a few days so managed 155.3mpg over 493 miles, but a trip to the Midlands for the ACFO conference [3] ruined my consumption on the second tank, 'only' returning 59.3mpg. The average over three tanks is still 107.2mpg, which isn't so shabby.

We'll see how it evolves.

Vauxhall Ampera Electron
P11D price (without options ) £38,940
Price range £34,940-£38,940
Depreciation cost £25,590
Fuel cost £1556
SMR cost £1843
VED £0
National Insurance £0
Insurance £3210
C02 (tax) 27g/km (5%)
BIK?@?20/40% per month £32/£65


  • Battery range, styling, innovation
  • Rear visibility, small boot