Diesel Volvo XC40 crowned What Car? Car of the Year 2018
Volvo recently completed its global line-up with the reveal of the new XC40 - and now it’s been named as the What Car? Car of the Year for 2018.
The D4 Diesel version of Volvo XC40 R-Design beat 20 other category winners to be named as the overall Car of the Year. It also picked up the Safety Award.
Editor Steve Huntingford said some people would consider it a “controversial choice” but explained that independent true MPG tests prove that this latest engine “emits less NOx than plenty of petrols, while offering the low CO2 that made diesels so popular in the first place”.
“Our judging panel refused to be swayed by the anti-diesel hysteria coming from politicians and some of the mainstream press and instead made their decision based purely on the merits of the cars.”
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The arrival of the XC40 means that for the first time in its history, Volvo has three new, globally available SUVs, paving the way for further growth in terms of sales and profitability.
The new XC40 is the first model on Volvo’s new modular vehicle architecture, which will underpin all other upcoming cars in the 40 Series including fully electrified vehicles. This reiterates Volvo’s commitment that every model launching from 2019 will have an electric motor
“The XC40 is our first entry in the small SUV segment, broadening the appeal of the Volvo brand and moving it in a new direction,” said Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive.
“It represents a fresh, creative and distinctive new member of the Volvo line-up. So it only feels natural to reveal the XC40 here in Milan, a buzzing European hotspot for fashion, art, design and lifestyle.”
As with the DS3 and upcoming Volkswagen T-Roc, personalisation appears to be the name of the game. On the outside, a broad selection of possible colour combinations range from a solid, monochromatic theme to dual compositions in vivid colours that lends themselves to self-expression, while the interior options deliver a truly youthful and premium feel.
“We wanted the XC40 to be a fresh, creative and distinctive member of the Volvo line-up, allowing its drivers to put their personality in their driveway.” commented Thomas Ingenlath, chief design officer at Volvo Cars.
At the same time as it introduced the XC40, Volvo Cars also announced a reinvention of the traditional model of car ownership with its new Care by Volvo subscription service, which makes having a car as transparent, easy and hassle free as having a phone.
XC40 drivers will also be the first Volvo customers who can share their car with friends and family via Volvo on Call with a new digital key technology. Car sharing comes as standard for Care by Volvo customers.
In terms of technology, the XC40 brings the award-winning safety, connectivity and infotainment technologies known from the new 90- and 60 Series cars to the small SUV segment. Like its larger siblings, the XC40 highlights the transformational effect of these new, in-house developed technologies on brand and profitability.
These technologies make the XC40 one of the best-equipped small premium SUVs on the market. Leading the way with safety and driver assistance features, 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 a radically new approach to storage inside the car. Ingenious interior design provides XC40 drivers with, among other things, more functional storage space in the doors and under the seats, a special space for phones including inductive charging, a fold-out hook for small bags and a removable waste bin in the tunnel console.
From start of production, the XC40 will be available with a D4 diesel or a T5 petrol four-cylinder Drive-E powertrain. Further powertrain options, including a hybridised as well as a pure electric version, will be added later. The XC40 will also be the first Volvo model to be available with Volvo Cars’ new three-cylinder engine.
Production of the new XC40 starts in Volvo Cars’ plant in Ghent, Belgium in November.
Volvo claims the XC40 will follow in the footsteps of its larger stablemates with competition-beating residual values. The Volvo XC40 D3 Momentum in manual guise is estimated to be worth 43% of its cost new price after three years and 60,000 miles, according to Cap Hpi,
Graeme Oswald, remarketing and total cost of ownership manager, Volvo Car UK, said: “Our larger 90 series cars, as well as the new XC60, have paved the way for these strong residual values, and it’s a fantastic achievement that our new compact SUV has been so well received by the industry.
“Strong residual values mean lower monthly contract hire and personal leasing rates, which make a car more competitive with fleet and retail customers alike.”