The Volvo XC40 has been named the European Car of the Year for 2018.
The new compact SUV, which is yet to arrive on UK roads, is the first Volvo model to take the prestigious award, traditionally presented on the eve of the Geneva motor show. And it won in impressive fashion – scoring 325 votes, significantly in front of the runner-up SEAT Ibiza with 242 votes and the third-placed BMW 5 Series with 226.
The XC40 launches Volvo’s new compact modular vehicle architecture (CMA), co-developed with the brand’s Chinese owner Geely and which will form the basis of all upcoming cars in the 40 series. These will include fully electrified vehicles, Volvo having committed to offering electrified versions across its model range by 2020.
The car will also debut the brand’s new three-cylinder Drive-E powertrain – the first three-cylinder engine in Volvo 91-year history. The all-new 1.5-litre direct-injection petrol unit uses the same modular design as Volvo’s four-cylinder Drive-E engines that have propelled the brand’s downsizing efficiency drive.
The three-cylinder unit will also be incorporated into Twin Engine plug-in hybrid versions of the XC40, which will launch later along with a fully electric model.
Commenting on the award, Volvo Cars president and CEO Håkan Samuelsson said that winning it with the new XC40 is perfect timing. “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.”
First UK deliveries of the XC40 are expected imminently at prices starting from £27,905.