Vauxhall Ampera vs rivals
We see if the new range-extending Vauxhall Ampera is the future of electric cars
Expectations were high for the Vauxhall Ampera – and it doesn’t disappoint. For most drivers, the novel drivetrain really does deliver the best of both worlds.Provided you can plug it in to charge every night, the Vauxhall is a cheap-to-run and relaxing commuter car, while its efficient petrol generator means it can tackle longer journeys that would leave a normal electric car stranded.
The Audi takes second place and proves there’s life in the traditional diesel engine yet. The A4 is beautifully built, very spacious, good to drive and makes the most sense if you frequently cover long distances.
The Lexus takes the last podium spot. It looks ungainly, but there’s no range anxiety and it hit nearly 50mpg on our test commute.
So the Nissan brings up the rear. If you only use it for short trips, it’s a great choice. But the restricted range really holds it back.
Winner Vauxhall Ampera ★★★★
The Ampera could set the trend for a raft of range-extending models. Its electric motor makes it a cheap choice for daily commuting – especially for company car drivers. Yes, it’s costly, but it is much better kitted out than the A4, and cheaper versions are also available.
2nd Audi A4 ★★★★
The Audi sets a high efficiency standard for diesel-engined saloons. Low CO2 emissions and decent fuel economy mean that private buyers and company users will save. The A4 is also well built and roomy, plus it boasts the best and most entertaining driving dynamics here.
3rd Lexus CT 200h ★★★
While it’s not range-limited like the Leaf, the Lexus struggles to match the all-round talents of the Ampera and A4. Its hybrid drivetrain doesn’t deliver the expected fuel economy returns. But lesser models will be cheaper (prices start at £23,750) and more comfortable than the F Sport.
4th Nissan Leaf ★★★
As a commuting car, the Nissan makes a lot of sense. Low running costs, light controls and a responsive electric motor all work in its favour. The Leaf is also well equipped and features a bright and airy cabin. But there’s no escaping its very limited driving range in this company.
In this review
- 1Introduction - currently readingWe see if the new range-extending Vauxhall Ampera is the future of electric cars
- 21st Vauxhall AmperaNewcomer promises all of the benefits of an electric car, but few of the drawbacks
- 32nd Audi A4 2.0 TDIe SEConventional diesel saloon takes on our hi-tech green trio
- 43rd Lexus CT 200hDoes compact luxury hybrid go far enough to challenge EVs?
- 54th Nissan LeafCan electric car pioneer stand up against varied rivals?
- 6Facts and figuresVauxhall Ampera vs rivals - specifications