Volvo’s new XC40 small SUV has been named the 2018 European Car of the Year ahead of the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland. This win is the first acknowledgement Volvo has received from this award, suggesting this is an exceptional mode from the company!
The XC40 win also means that the complete line-up of new global 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. What’s more, early orders for the model were in excess of 20,000 cars across Europe and the US! Clearly, it’s a popular make, and they’re expecting similar success from their roll-out in China.
So what has gotten everyone so excited? In short, the XC40 sets a new standard in its segment in terms of design, connectivity and safety technology. It is the first model on Volvo Cars’ new compact modular vehicle architecture (CMA), which will underpin all upcoming cars in the 40 series, including fully electrified vehicles.
The XC40 is also the first Volvo to come with a car-sharing feature, enabled via Volvo’s digital key technology and its connected services platform, Volvo On Call. (Not available in the UK) This technology means that XC40 owners can simply share their car with family and friends without having to hand over a physical key. Yet another first is the XC40’s introduction of Volvo Cars’ new subscription service, Care by Volvo, which offers car access via a monthly flat-fee subscription rather than ownership.
Safety and driver-assistance features on the XC40 include Volvo Cars’ Pilot Assist system, City Safety, Run-off Road Protection and Mitigation, Cross Traffic Alert with brake support, and the 360° camera that helps drivers manoeuvre their car into tight parking spaces.
The XC40 also offers ingenious interior design and storage ideas, with more functional storage space in the doors and under the seats, a special space for phones (including inductive charging), a foldout hook for small bags, plus a removable waste bin in the tunnel console.
In 2017, the company announced its commitment to electrify all Volvo Cars launched from 2019. In line with this leadership position in electrification, a hybridised as well as a pure electric powertrain option for the XC40 will be added later.
“We have a clear strategy for growth and we are committed to leading in automotive safety, connectivity services and electrification,” said Håkan 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.”
“Winning this award with our 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.”
With such high praise, enthusiastic reception and so many initiatives in play the XC40 not only seems like a great toy to get your hands on, but also suggests an exciting future both in this line and other offerings from Volvo in the future.