Think of an electric motor, and you’d be forgiven for picturing a compact SMART car-like road warrior that lacks a beefy exterior, a decent engine and a tech-laden dashboard.
Vauxhall Ampera: Tech
As the demand for high-tech dashboards grows, car manufacturers are increasingly hitting a brick wall when it comes to packing their motors with kit.
The Ampera, as impressive as it is, is a victim of over manufacturing. There are too many buttons, too many options, so much so that it all blends into one messy carnival of kit that, quite frankly, is confusing to operate.
But it’s not all bad news though: the speaker system is extremely clear – you have the option of using the integrated CD player, or to connect your MP3 device to the infotainment system via USB.
Also on board are two 7-inch LCD displays, one in the centre, the other above the steering wheel which displays the essentials, such as the petrol and electric engine status.
There’s also a Drive Mode button to switch between Normal, Sport, Hold and Mountain, a nifty feature that can make the car toggle between electric and petrol power when conditions require it.
Vauxhall Amerpa: Specs
- USB connectivity
Vauxhall Ampera: Performance
The Ampera’s electric motor can be charged using a domestic socket, through which a full charge takes around six hours.
Vauxhall Ampera: Verdict
The Ampera has done what most electric cars have failed to do: house a fuel-efficient engine into a crust that’s beautiful, functional and extremely comfortable.
It performs beautifully on the road, and its capability of switching between an electric and petrol engine is nothing short of evolutionary. The amount of space available, both in the boot and the back seats, is a massive bonus, making it ideal for long-haul journeys.
Now don’t get us wrong: the Ampera is an amazing car, but the messy dashboard makes the overall usability of the in-car functions a tad confusing and tricky to operate - especially while driving.
The tech is impressive though – Vauxhall clearly put a lot of effort into the innards. It’s just that on this occasion, they tried a bit too hard.
Vauxhall Ampera availability: Out now
Vauxhall Ampera review: Hands-on
Vauxhall Ampera review: Hands-onT3
The Vauxhall Ampera is a solid and evolutionary electric car but with the boon of a petrol engine back-up - it's just a shame it’s so confusing to use
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