Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Should you buy a Vauxhall Ampera?

It works, and works well. The Vauxhall badge lacks the cachet of premium brands, or the instant buyer recognition of hybrid efficiency, so it’s easy to overlook the Ampera.

We gave it four stars in our full review, where it impressed with economy, comfort and refinement. There are few offered for sale, but they’re generally less expensive than a Prius of similar age and mileage.

As one of the first plug-in hybrids, it scores over Toyota’s and many more recent plug-in hybrids even now – eight years after launch – in offering a 50-mile EV range. Claimed economy under the test conditions of the time is an impressive 235mpg and 27g/km of CO2, which is inevitably affected by driving style, availability of charging infrastructure and so forth.

Real-world petrol economy of 45mpg, plus that 25-50 mile EV and more than 300-mile total range, is impressive enough for a car of this size and comfort.

But it’s a Vauxhall!

Yes – hardly a brand that appeals to environmentalists, intellectuals or technology geeks. Here’s the thing, though, this is no Zafira or rental Insignia. There’s more Corvette and Cadillac thinking to be found in the DNA of the Ampera, and it’s a thoroughly well engineered car designed to impress and succeed in a developing market.

If you feel that strongly, you can always fit a Chevrolet badge to it.

Further reading