Vauxhall Ampera hatchback (2012-2014) - Practicality & boot space
Vauxhall Ampera charging isn't a worry, but there's only room for four passengers
Vauxhall hasn’t entirely cracked this area yet. The Ampera is technically a four seater, but that low roofline means rear passengers may have less headroom than they might have expected.
The interior has a couple of seven-inch HD screens – one to show the instruments and the other on the centre console to operate the infotainment system. Both are easy to use and provide loads of information on the car's performance, from how much battery charge is left to your current fuel economy.
Another plus point is that while the battery takes less than four hours to fully charge, having a petrol generator as backup means you don’t have to hang around and wait for a full charge if you need to go somewhere in a hurry.
Vauxhall Ampera interior space and storage
The Ampera has a fairly spacious interior and provides a nice environment for front-seat passengers. The back is where it all falls apart, as the Ampera is technically a 2+2 and not suitable for five passengers at all, due to the large tunnel running through the rear seats.
The space usually left for a middle seat is taken up by the car’s battery pack, however you do get a pair of large cup-holders in its place. There’s also a gap between the seats, which Vauxhall has tried to hide with a detachable cover, but it feels and looks cheap.
The low roof takes away a considerable chunk of headroom, and legroom isn’t the best, either. Nor is overall visibility, due to the large windscreen pillars and huge windowless areas in the rear.
Vauxhall Ampera boot space
The boot is on the small side, too, offering just 300 litres with the rear seats in place. That’s 30 litres less than the all-electric Nissan Leaf and almost 150 litres less than the hybrid Toyota Prius. Folding the standard split-folding rear seats flat expands luggage space to an acceptable 1,000 litres, but that's hardly class-leading.