Vauxhall Ampera hatchback (2012-2014) - Interior & comfort
Electric running is quiet and petrol engine isn't much noisier
One of the most unusual – but welcome – aspects of driving electric cars is how quiet they are. When using only the electric motor, the Ampera glides along with barely a sound. Once the range-extending petrol generator kicks in, it becomes a bit noisier, especially when you increase the speed. But it’s hardly intrusive, even when driving on the motorway. Overall, thanks to the low noise and comfortable interior, the Ampera is a very relaxing drive.
Vauxhall Ampera dashboard
To go with the high-tech mechanical parts and futuristic styling, the Ampera also gets a slick dashboard. The centre console has a high-gloss, colour co-ordinated finish and touch-sensitive buttons, along with not one but two screens. One replaces the instruments usually found behind the steering wheel, while the other acts as a screen for the infotainment, sat nav and reversing camera. However, the buttons on the dash are fiddly to operate, and the pebble-dashing effect of the button layout means finding the right button can be annoyingly tricky.
Vauxhall Ampera equipment
There are two trim levels to choose from with the Ampera: the somewhat cheesily named Positiv and Electron. Complaints about sparse equipment in the car’s earlier days have been resolved, as the cheapest (and most spartan) Earth trim has been removed. The Positiv features kit like a reversing camera, DAB digital radio, cruise control and a premium stereo system. The Electron costs around £1,500 more and has sat nav plus a fancier Bose stereo system.
Both versions have the same alloy wheel design, which is as aerodynamic as possible to help fuel economy, and there’s no spare wheel – just a tyre-inflation kit. Also, because the Ampera is so quiet, it has two different horns: the normal one is found in the usual place on the steering wheel, but the other is located on the end of an instrument stalk and provides a light toot so you can warn pedestrians or cyclists who may not have heard the car coming.
Vauxhall Ampera options
Very few options are available for the Ampera, but the Crystal Red and Lithium White ‘tricoat-metallic’ paint finishes are around £1,000 extra. In fact, all the paint options cost extra, so expect to add around £500 the price tag of your new Ampera no matter what trim level you choose. Front parking sensors are available, too.