Vauxhall surprised everybody in 2012 when the Ampera hit UK roads. It was actually a Chevrolet Volt rebadged under the Vauxhall name, with only light visual tweaks to tell the American original from its Luton-hailing cousin. It provided a good opportunity for the EV-curious to dip their toes into the land of hybrid power. The Ampera is somewhat forgotten as an important player in the hybrid scene, but its stats still read impressively today.
It could cover 0-62mph in 9.0sec thanks to its 1.4-litre engine and electric motor, producing a combined 148bhp, and its claimed EV range was up to 50 miles, when even today’s Volkswagen Golf GTE tops out at 40 miles before petrol power must cut in.
Altogether, the Ampera claimed an (unrealistic) average of 235.4mpg and it could be plugged in and fully charged in four hours. The official CO2 output was just 27g/km.
It was also well kitted out and available in two trim levels: the Positiv, with a reversing camera, DAB radio and cruise control; and the Electron, which added sat-nav and a premium Bose audio system. Dual screens were the focal point for the driver, with a wraparound dashboard and touch buttons. Leather seats came as standard.
It wasn’t cheap when it was first launched, initially on sale from £32,995. Today, used prices have dwindled to around £7000, like the one-owner 2012 Electron car with 73,000 miles that we found. Plenty of examples have complete service histories, too. Overall, it’s a smart-looking car and, at that price, a solid (and still relevant) entry point to the world of electric vehicles.