The Volvo XC40 has been announced as the European Car of the Year for 2018.
The Swedish manufacturerâ€™s compact SUV beat six other cars from brands including Citroen, Kia and Seat by some distance to be selected
The judging panel praised the Volvoâ€™s quality, looks, ruggedness, safety agility and performance.
The Volvo won the voting with 325 points and 24 individual top votes after a rather lonely race in front of the Seat Ibiza, which received 242 points. The BMW 5 series (226 points) took the third position among the seven finalists.
Announcing the winner, the organisers commented: â€œThe XC40 undeniably follows the tracks of its valued bigger brothers, but with a younger focus. Not only it is noticeably smaller than XC60, its fresher style outside and inside seems to aim a different customer too.
“The new Volvo inspires some more dynamic approach than its siblings, and its attitude on tarmac, sitting in a shorter wheelbase and pulling a lower weight, confirms that. The XC40 combines a generous ground clearance with a rather agile handling and the lively performance of its powerful launch versions, especially the 247-hp 2.0 T5.”
â€œWinning this award with our new XC40 is perfect timing,â€ said HÃ¥kan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars. â€œVolvo 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.â€
The XC40 win means that the complete line-up of new Volvo SUVs have each been named Car of the Year in either Europe or North America. Both the large XC90 and mid-size XC60 were awarded the North American Truck/Utility of the Year title in the past two years.
The jury for the Car of the Year 2018 consists of 60 members, representing 23 European countries. They whittled down the original long list of 37 candidates to the final seven, which also included the Kia Stinger, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Audi A8 and Citroen C3 Aircross.
The original long list of 37 candidates was whittled down to seven finalists through a series of tests on road and track. One the shortlist was announced the manufacturers were given the chance to argue their carâ€™s case before the judges.