On the back of last year’s win for the Nissan Leaf, the Chevrolet Volt and Vauxhall/Opel Ampera has won the 2012 European Car of the Year award, beating out the Citroen DS5, Fiat Panda, Ford Focus, Range Rover Evoque, Toyota Yaris and the Volkswagen Up!
The Volt/Ampera beat out the Volkswagen Up!, with the Focus ranking third. Two jurors from England’s CAR magazine explained their voting patterns (you can read them here and here). Juror Georg Kacher, who voted for the Evoque in first place, summarized his drawbacks for Volt/Ampera twins, stating that it was prevented from getting his first place vote because
it commands a steep asking price, is no performance champ, and consumes too much fuel once the initial battery charge has been used up
I haven’t driven the Up!, but the Evoque and Focus are both fine cars in my opinion and could have easily taken the title. The Volt and Ampera will both be sold in Europe under different dealer channels and branding (Chevrolet being more downmarket and selling rebadged Daewoos relative to Vauxhall/Opel’s slightly more upscale positioning) and seeing the sales breakdown between the two will be a fun exercise once the two are on sale across the continent.