Volvo XC40 scoops up 2018 European Car of the Year award
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he Volvo XC40 has been awarded the title of 2018 Car of the Year by a pan-European panel of judges, making it one of the most critically-acclaimed cars in recent years.
The small Swedish SUV was received well when it was unveiled in September 2017 and has earned overwhelmingly positive reviews ever since. In January, the XC40 earned the title of What Car? Car of the Year 2018, while its larger sibling the XC60 won the UK Car of the Year (UKCOTY).
“Winning this award with our new XC40 is perfect timing,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Cars.
“Volvo now has three globally available SUVs in its range for the first time. The XC40 will be a strong contributor to further growth, taking us into a new and fast-growing small SUV segment.”
Critics have commended the way it looks, which is undoubtedly a key selling point in this segment, as well as the ride and handling. The 'small SUV' category is among the most competitive and the Volvo's starting price of around £28,000 puts it at the top of the market; it's main rivals include the Audi Q3 and the Land Rover Discovery Sport.
The European Car of the Year award is given to the 'best' car of the year, regardless of segment or market category. Chosen by a jury of 60 journalists from 23 countries across Europe, the 'ECOTY' is one of the most influential car awards in the world.
Close contenders included the brilliant new Seat Ibiza supermini, the BMW 5-Series executive saloon, the brand new Kia Stinger and the Citroen C3 Aircross. The Audi A8 limousine and Alfa Romeo's Stelvio SUV were less popular with judges, though nomination to the shortlist is an accolade in itself.
The 2017 winner was the handsome Peugeot 3008 SUV. The year before was the Vauxhall Astra, which remains one of our favourite hatches, and in 2015 the blandly competent Volkswagen Passat won first place.
Having started in 1964, the European Car of the Year awards represent an intriguing chronicle of automotive development in Europe. To be eligible to win, the car needs to be available in Europe and have projected sales of over 5,000 units. Beyond that, it doesn't matter what sort of car it is – sports cars, saloons, hybrids and superminis have all become European Car of the Year.
This is, however, Volvo's first win. It came third in 1983 with the 760, then third again with in 2013 with the V40, and second in 2016 with the XC90. But the objective of the European Car of the Year is to choose a clear winner, and in 2018, that title goes to the XC40.
Volvo has recently announced plans for an increased number of electric and hybrid cars within its range of models, as well as reaffirming its long-standing reputation for safety.
“We have a clear strategy for growth and we are committed to leading in automotive safety, connectivity services and electrification,” said Samuelsson.
“The XC40 reflects that commitment, and looking at the response from our customers and from the Car of the Year jury here today, we are on the right track.”
- Telegraph UK