Chevrolet Volt, Vauxhall/Opel Ampera Named 2012 European Car Of The Year

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

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.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • John John on Mar 05, 2012

    Arrgghhhh! That face on the Ampera! Just how far ARE the auto manufacturers going to push this "aggressive front end" styling? I expect some of the 2014 cars will have blood dripping fangs in their grilles.

  • Spike_in_Brisbane Spike_in_Brisbane on Mar 05, 2012

    I have asked this before so I guess the B&B do not know the answer but ...... How many of the Volt/Amperas in inventory are RHD? The UK will need them, we in Oz are waiting for them. Japan, India etc will want them. They are all made in U.S. plants right? No overseas manufacture?

  • Richarbl Richarbl on Mar 06, 2012

    I think its really sad that GM decided to make an already ugly car even more ugly by changing the only part of the Volt that looked good. The front. But what would I know? I am just a dumbarse car nut from the other side of the world. What would I know about the marketing and styling and the advanced technology this car proudly displays? Probably nothing, but i do know that this car is not selling and unless someone does something intellegent the Volt will become one of the all time GM disasters

    • See 4 previous
    • Pch101 Pch101 on Mar 06, 2012

      @mike978 "the Ampera has been available in the EU for quite some time" I wouldn't define one month as being "quite some time." And if I'm not mistaken, I don't think that the Vauxhall RHD version is out yet. "And its not selling any better : in fact somewhat worse than the VOLT is here in the US" According to the link above, there are about 6,000 orders in Europe, although that could be exaggerated.

  • Lokki Lokki on Mar 06, 2012

    Is the Volt et al a better value proposition in Europe because of gasoline prices and driving conditions? Does the EU offer any subsidies to help with the price ?