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Hi all. Been lurking and reading as much as I can for a while and am reaching the conclusion that an ampera might be what is looking for.
A couple of months ago I saw an advert for the outlander PHEV and after a couple of drives I decided to put my name on one. It was an unusual choice for me having had a couple of big engined Alfa coupes and more recently a Mercedes CLS. I promptly sold the CLS and waited for delivery.
My driving pattern is often less than 30 miles a day and a lot of stop start short hops, however occasionally I need to drive to the other end of the country. I can plug in at home and should easily be able to plug in at work too.
I've been interested in the recent electric car developments and think a plug in vehicle is ideal for me.
However for whatever reason I decided that the outlander was not right for me, partly because I think it looks quite boring and it seems that mitsubishi think the same as it looks like it is being updated already.
Having seen the advertised deals available for new amperaa (looking at new because I can write it off against tax in year 1 with a subsequent 40% saving in tax as I'm self employed) I started to think this would work for me.
Decided to make the purchase when I dropped off the demonstrator only to be told that the only remaining lithium white (preferred colour) electron had been sold. So now I'm wondering if I look at a White positiv as the sat nav seems to get a slating anyway. Anyone have any thoughts on the standard stereo? I'm not really worried about the HDD or DVD player.
Other than that they have a nice silver topaz electron they'll sell to me for £27k. I still think that there are other dealers around that will sell for less though.
The thing that strikes me on here is that there are some niggles but in the main the the cars seem to be reliable, would that be accurate?
If anyone has thoughts or advice I'd welcome it I'd love to see and ride in the ampera with 19" wheels too.
 

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Welcome to the forum!

Ampera niggles... yes, quite a few but no real showstoppers for most people. Generally reliable yes, a few have had a bearing/seal (can't remember which) go in the gearbox but apart from that no major issues that I can think of.

I had an Ampera for 2 years. No issues. I have sold it now as I wanted an SUV. I looked at the Outlander and came to similar conclusions as you and so we went for a new Qashqai instead although we haven't given up EVs because we also have a Nissan Leaf as our daily run-around.

I would say that if it suits your driving pattern (and it sounds like it is perfect for you) then I would recommend the Ampera.
 

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I went for the Positiv rather than the Electron as the extra stereo bits and sat nav just didn't se worth the additional £2000.
I would highly recommend it!
Where abouts in the country are you ?
Pentagon (Sheffield) are still fairly keen with their prices and Scottish Vauxhall seem to be leading the way with the lowest prices in the country !
 

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Hi and welcome David…..

The Ampera is a great car (I own a Volt same car different dress) and have not had one single issue reliability problem with it. There have been a few recalls, mine has just had the day time running light update and is waiting for the charge flap to be fixed, as Paul says definatly not show stoppers.

After the cars you have driven previously the Ampara would probably suit your more more sporty style over the Outlander as long as you don't need 5 seats.

There have been several reports on the forum of much cheaper cars than the price you have been quoted so I would check around before you place an order. I am sure I remember seeing figures around £22k for electrons.

The sat nav for me is not bad, my BMW 118d had a much more anoying one, that also did not have complete post code entry. The BOSE sound system is very good but I am not sure I would pay the extra as the normal unit is still good, if you want a spacific colour and it is available in a Positiv if it was me I would go for it.

Be warned driving EV is addictive, once you get used to it driving ICE feels so out of date:D
 

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I would second the Positiv rather than the Electron also. I had an Electron but felt that the SatNav and sound system really was not worth the extra £2000. The basic sound would have been fine for me and you can get a much better SatNav from say, TomTom or Garmin, for a fraction of the price.
 

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Welcome! I echo the above - I got a brand new Positiv for £22500 from Drive Vauxhall in Leicester, matching Pentagon's offer of the same. No point in having a built-in Satnav when you can use your phone for Google navigation or Waze for free, with instant traffic updates and re-routing too. Standard sound system is pretty decent to be honest. Talk to Chris Lovell at Drive Leamington and mention me :)
 
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Have you thought about a Golf GTE or Audi E-Tron hybrid? Similar range to the Outlander PHEV but much better to drive. The GTE is pencilled in for November sale and March delivery at around £28k.
The Ampera is stopping production. I think Arnold Clarke were doing one new for £22k a few weeks ago, but I can't see it now.
 

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True but the range is about 3/4 that of the Ampera (around 30 miles compared to 40) and the Ampera's £6k cheaper! Yes, the Ampera's now in the end of this lifecycle but Vauxhall are bringing new EVs in from 2015, so it's hardly the end of everything. I think the Ampera's the bargain of the century at the moment, frankly.
 

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I'd rather choose my own satnav anyway so I'm in control of features, updates etc. Mine sits very nicely in the top dash storage lid and pops away very easily.

Some of the niggles I had read about eg dim headlights turned out not to bother me at all (they seem fine to me!), the boot space is fine for me too, especially with the easy-fold down back seats, and the cloth cover for the load space instead of a rear shelf although initially seemed cheap works perfectly adequately and if you need to carry something big is much easier to store somewhere than a solid shelf.

The one killer I would say is if you need 3 back seat positions but I assume you know that already.

The biggest (only?) real irritation for me is the heating system but once you realise that heat/air con output is a function of both temperature AND fan speed it's not so bad (eg there are situations in summer where you get no air con but then you turn the fan speed up without changing the temperature and the air con comes on, and similarly with heat in winter). But still maddening as hell on the odd occasion in winter when you get in the car and want the air con on to clear the windscreen but find the car has decided it is not needed!

I soon forgive it though when I realise I've done 9k miles over the last year and only visited a petrol station half a dozen times :)

Unexpected plus points for me were the keyless entry (I know some other cars have this but it's the first one I have had), pre-warming in winter, always having a "full tank" in the morning, and the lovely fussless acceleration - it's no eco-slouch and there's no drama with revving engines, red lines or missed gears! :):):)
 

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I am another of the recent Ampera purchasers. I bought mine from Pentagon in Sheffield in March this year when they were advertising them at £22,995 plus paint (only black at that price). Since then Drive in Leicester have matched the Pentagon price and Pentagon have dropped it further to £22,600. http://www.pentagon-group.co.uk/off...zj3w1KGxClsHb3ZUnvxVWJ5asaLl7wDjM9xoCkd7w_wcB

Drive advertise at £23,450 but @Richard Gledhill negotiated his for £22,500: http://www.drivevauxhall.co.uk/new/vauxhall-cars/ampera/#.VCPyofldUhM

Scottish Vauxhall were advertising a Positiv for £20,999 but now seem to be up to £21,995 See here: http://www.scottishvauxhall.co.uk/new-car-offers/ampera-21995/

Bristol Street are at £23,999 http://www.bristolstreet.co.uk/new-car-deals/vauxhall/ampera/

York Ward & Rowlatt are at £22,995 http://www.yorkwardandrowlatt.co.uk/new-cars/vauxhall/ampera

Word of warning, the lowest prices quoted are based on Vauxhall Partners discount for which you need to qualify (my sister was in the teachers union which worked for me).

To the car itself I have to say I love it. It has been in to the dealer once for the engine management light coming on. Turned out to be a faulty heater part, which was replaced under warranty, I also have condensation in one of the tail lights which I need to get fixed at some point. Otherwise 9000 miles in 6 months without a problem and I have saved around £1400 in fuel costs.

I briefly worried about the 4 seats thing then remembered I had used the middle seat on my last car twice in a year so it really wasn't an issue.

Driving a "normal" car after my Ampera it just feels so "crude" if you know what I mean. They gave me a diesel Chevy Cruze when my Ampera was in and I was amazed at just how much vibration there is in a normal car. I notice it in my wife's Quashqai as well although being petrol it is not as noticeable as the diesel Cruze.

My lifetime MPG is sitting around the 230 mark.

Have to say I would thoroughly recommend the Ampera and I really don't say that lightly.

Hope all of the above will help you in your decision.

Derek
 

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Not much to add because I agree with what has been said. Fantastic car. Standard stereo is VERY good IMHO.

The Outlander just didn't give me that 'away from the lights' EV grin. It's a lot of metal to shift along!

Also agree that driving an ICE afterwards feels out-dated.
 
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Agree with all the other Ampera owners above.. I've never regretted getting the Positiv rather than the Electron, the standard audio system is very good IMO, and I don't need a satnav. Very reliable for me so far...
 
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If you got to Pentagon Sheffield and mention me, I'll get £50 (wow!!!!) and I'll split it with you. ;)

With regards to Partners discount; if you REALLY don't know anyone in a union or civil service, you can just join a union yourself for about £20.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the replys and advice, much appreciated.

I got on the phone today to speak to a number of the above mentioned dealers and some called me back, others im still waiting. Their loss because the best people to call me back and come up with the car I wanted (Lithium White) was York Ward & Rowlatt and since they are not too far from me the logistics were easy too. I think I got a reasonable deal at £24,500ish on the road but since Pentagon, Drive and the local guys in Oxfordshire have not come back to me and this car is already on the way to the dealership (arriving next week rather than waiting till end Oct or Nov) I did the deal over the phone and will be going to do the paperwork over the weekend.
Woohoo new car coming soon!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Oh, I forgot to say I'm self employed so joining a union wont be an option (I assume) and I couldn't think of any of my family that would be relevant as they are either retired or self-employed.

How do I add my location and avatars? do I nee to make a certain number of posts before I have access to that facility?
 

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Congratulations David; that price is ok if it's a non-standard colour, especially if it's an Electron. Am sure you'll love it. Just hover your mouse over your name top right and all the options should become available to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I've gone for the Lithium White which is a TriCoat colour at additional £995. It is 'only' the positiv model and the first time I've not had the top spec in any car I've bought for a long time, but it feels good to have saved the money for a spec I didn't need, especially compared to the £37k I was going to pay for the Outlander. In my wifes terms I should be looking to see what I can buy with the money I've saved!
Let me see, saving £12,500 at around £1.25 per charge to travel 40 miles.......... 400,000 miles!!! that cant be right can it!
 

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I've gone for the Lithium White which is a TriCoat colour at additional £995. It is 'only' the positiv model and the first time I've not had the top spec in any car I've bought for a long time, but it feels good to have saved the money for a spec I didn't need, especially compared to the £37k I was going to pay for the Outlander. In my wifes terms I should be looking to see what I can buy with the money I've saved!
Let me see, saving £12,500 at around £1.25 per charge to travel 40 miles.......... 400,000 miles!!! that cant be right can it!
Congratulations and I'm sure you will look forward to picking it up and may it give you years of service.

Your calculation on the saving is correct (on purely electric driving only of course). £1.25 for 40 miles equates to 3.125p per mile. That would pay for 400,000 miles. However there are of course other running costs, principally depreciation, to take into account but that's a huge saving over the Outlander which would naturally have depreciated as well.

I think your deal sounds good as I assume you've accepted you don't qualify for the partners discount and then had to pay the extra for your colour choice. I personally didn't feel the extra £700 (over £295 for my Summit White) for Lithium was worth it for me, but colour is such a personal thing. I really liked the Lithium White but not enough to warrant the extra money. Much the same as how I viewed the extra for an Electron. The additional spec was all "nice to have" but by no means essential.

But then I am a miserable Scot (ooh.....stereotype!! :p)

Enjoy :D

Derek
 
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Thanks for all the replys and advice, much appreciated.

I got on the phone today to speak to a number of the above mentioned dealers and some called me back, others im still waiting. Their loss because the best people to call me back and come up with the car I wanted (Lithium White) was York Ward & Rowlatt and since they are not too far from me the logistics were easy too. I think I got a reasonable deal at £24,500ish on the road but since Pentagon, Drive and the local guys in Oxfordshire have not come back to me and this car is already on the way to the dealership (arriving next week rather than waiting till end Oct or Nov) I did the deal over the phone and will be going to do the paperwork over the weekend.
Woohoo new car coming soon!!!!
Congratulations! I am sure you will love it :D
 

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Congratulations @DavidEJM, I also am an Ampera Newbie and loving it.
Only two coats of paint on mine so hopefully it is lighter ;)
You may find that like myself, you still have "range anxiety" by stretching the miles as far as possible without wishing the engine to start. It is nice though that you have the fall back.

Only problem I have found is the wire pulling out of the centre of the EVSE charge cable controller.
Not fit for purpose as it hangs on the plug if the socket is off the ground. I have yet to be informed that this is covered by the second hand 1 year warranty I have.
Will sort it myself if it isn't and hope the plastic case will pop open easily.

I have a wall EVSE at home anyway and if you don't have one you should checkout one of the companies installing them under a free government sponsored initiative.
 
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