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Discussion Starter #1
My impression from a 3 day test drive in an Ampera.
Nice car to drive, it’s smooth and relatively quiet on the inside apart from being able to heat the tire noise which is more noticeable due to the lack of engine and other mechanical noises. The one I had was well equipped with Bose stereo, leather and Sat Nav. I didn’t really get a chance to test everything to the max as time was limited, but in general I’m pretty impressed and there is a fairly good chance of buying one later on. I must say that both myself and son were surprised at the performance, good acceleration and taking into consideration the weight of the batteries, the handling wasn’t too shabby either. I did like the “L” setting with the higher regeneration and I have to admit that I did become a bit fixated with that green ball. I think I should have just ignored it and maybe gave it a bit more welly at times. I did find the many touch sensitive buttons pretty complicated at first, but no doubt in time you would know them of by heart and wouldn’t need to take your eyes of the road. I must admit that the 3 day test was nice, but in reality it only lasted 2 days as the car was delivered on Monday morning around 11.30 and they turned up take it away on Wednesday morning about 10.30. Oh well, at least it was nice to have it as a freebie.
Purely my opinion, but I think that these points, in no particular order, if addressed, would make it even better.
Rear wiper for the tailgate – the view out the back when it’s raining etc is pretty dire.
A bit more soundproofing to reduce the tire noise even more.
Luggage Cover/Parcel shelf depending on your nationality, should be a solid item as other hatchbacks have.
Center armrest for the driver and front passenger could be doing with being 3”-4” longer towards the front, that way you can rest your arm on it in a more natural position.
For the rear wiper, soundproofing and luggage cover, I don’t think that the extra weight involved would make much difference in the battery range. After all, they probably weigh about the same as a couple of gallons of fuel.
So the big question is would I buy one. Pretty well made my mind up as being yes, but seeing as I’ve just made a large contribution to my sons new Toyota GT86 and ended up buying his Toyota Auris from him as his mother would not go to the supermarket in a GT86, I think I need to build up the finances again.

Also posted on the GM-Volt forum
 

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Hi Colin and thanks for giving us your thoughts.

I must say that I agree with most of your suggestions for improvement. Particularly the rear wiper.
 

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Has anyone on this forum bought the luggage compartment liner? On the US forum they say it reduces tyre noise significantly.

You missed the other must-have: there's no grab handle over the front passenger door.
 

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Ampera aka IGOR
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I have to say it was the 3 day test drive that clinched it for me. I had pretty well made up my mind but the quick trip along the road and back to the dealership test drive did not give feel for how it would be in my real world and it was on totally unfamiliar roads. I was a bit luckier as the car was delivered on Friday afternoon and picked up the following Tuesday. I was able to use it a couple of times on my usual commute, though not rush hour, and it gave me a good idea on range on battery power alone. Overall I managed to cover just over 600 miles, charging each night and trying out the sat nav to estimate when to switch back to electricity so that I arrived home on little to no charge left.

Regards the rear wiper, it would be handy to have one but I will pop some Rain-X on the back window and that should help a lot.

I had read on the US forum about the sound deadening, before I take the plunge and get the boot liner I was going to try a bit of thick carpeting/blanket to see if there is any change.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Duncan, I didn't notice any difficulty with not having a passenger side grab handle, but you should have seen the contortions and antics of me trying to get out of the GT86 :lol:
 

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Colin Mclean said:
Duncan, I didn't notice any difficulty with not having a passenger side grab handle, but you should have seen the contortions and antics of me trying to get out of the GT86 :lol:
It's not the getting out, its the passenger wanting something to hang onto when I take advantage of the excellent road holding.
 

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Ampera aka IGOR
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Colin Mclean said:
Duncan, I didn't notice any difficulty with not having a passenger side grab handle, but you should have seen the contortions and antics of me trying to get out of the GT86 :lol:
Colin, try the VX220, you need to develop a knack for sliding left leg over the sill while still trying to keep away from the seat side bolster as it is showing signs of wear and tear then pulling your right leg up and in. Also do not hold onto the windscreen surround as too much force can cause it to crack. It is easier with the roof off but not by much.
 

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Duncan said:
Has anyone on this forum bought the luggage compartment liner? On the US forum they say it reduces tyre noise significantly.

I had the boot liner as a freebe when I bought the car. While I have not driven my car without it I did have a loan car without the liner for 2 days while mine was undergoing a bonnet dent repair. I was not aware of an increase in tyre noise in the loaner.
I would recommend the liner if like me you transport golf clubs and trolleys, as it makes it easy to keep the boot clean.
 

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I thought about getting the boot liner when I bought the car but decided it wold be more practical and cheaper to continue to use the 'old blanket' habit that I've used for years (as mentioned above). I've got a trusty old thick grey army blanket that I've had for about 30 years, it's been keeping mud, dirt and sundry crud off the boot carpet in my cars for a long time now!
 
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