Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: Vauxhall Ampera - 5th Report
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Our Fleet Test Drive: Vauxhall Ampera - 5th Report

Date: 29 January 2014   |   Author: Tristan Young

Drive a range extender and discovering public charge points, like at this Best Western, can make your day
Mileage: 7629
P11D price: £38,940
Our average consumption: 125.5mpg
Official combined consumption: 235.4mpg
Forecast CPM: 64.7p

I wasn't really sure what to expect before I swapped long-term test cars with editor Barker so that I had 'his' Vauxhall Ampera and he had 'my' Mazda 6 for a month.

So many questions were rolling round my head. Would it charge properly from a regular socket in my house? Would the electric mode get me far enough? Would I really get more than 200mpg?

For the record, the Ampera did just plug into a regular wall-socket. I even plugged the car-end in when it was raining and I'm still alive.

The controls are at first view complex and poorly laid out, but you can ignore most of them and just use 'drive'. Almost all of my journeys didn't require the on-board petrol generator and I really did get 216.5mpg over a month of motoring (plus electricity at about 4p a mile).

However, while the technology is brilliant, the car is flawed. Small things like the slope of the c-pillar meant a child seat didn't fit properly, the boot is hopelessly small, and the suspension engineers forgot to come to work that day, leaving ESP guys to fix the issue.

Range-extenders are the future, but the Ampera isn't yet at the overall standard of today's conventional cars.


  • Excellent technology and MPG
  • Compromised versus traditional diesels