Volvo win bucks anti diesel hysteria

Despite the anti-diesel trend, the Volvo XC40 was named Car of the Year for 2018 at the 40th anniversary of the What Car? awards ceremony last night.

Held in association with Warranty Direct at the Grosvenor Hotel, the D4 diesel version of the XC40 beat all the other category winners on the night to take Volvo’s first ever overall What Car? Car of the Year Award.

The XC40 was also named Family SUV of the Year, a new category for 2018 that was added in response to the huge demand for these high-riding machines.

What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said, ‘The SUV segment is incredibly competitive, so it’s testament to the brilliance of the XC40 that it stands out. With its mix of comfort and quality, safety and style, it excels in all the areas that are important to buyers.

‘Of course, we were very aware that some people would still consider the XC40 a controversial choice due to the fact the best engine in the range is a diesel. However, our 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. Our belief is that for many car buyers diesel remains the right economic and environmental choice – and for those that it doesn’t suit, a petrol or electrified alternative is available.

‘The fact is the Volvo XC40 is a stunning achievement and proves to car buyers everywhere that diesels are definitely not dead.’

Jon Wakefield, managing director of Volvo Car UK, said, ‘Winning the overall Car of the Year Award is fantastic – not just for everyone here in the UK, but for Volvo as a global company. The XC40 perfectly showcases the bold new direction Volvo is taking, and brings our class-leading connectivity, semi-autonomous drive technology and innovative storage solutions to the premium family SUV market.

‘We are immensely proud of the XC40, and for the experts at What Car? to award it their ultimate accolade is the perfect start to what will be a hugely significant year for Volvo.’

The XC40 wasn’t the only SUV launched in 2017 to make a big impression on the judges. Seat’s latest offering, the Arona, took the Small SUV of the Year prize, sponsored by cap hpi, while the Peugeot 5008 was named Large SUV of the Year.

Audi also had a successful night, scooping three awards: Executive Car of the Year with the A4, Coupé of the Year with the TT, and Luxury SUV of the Year with the Q7.

Meanwhile, Jaguar’s first electric offering, the I-pace, was named the most exciting new car to be launched in 2018.

Volvo was victorious again in the Safety Award with its XC60, while Tesla was handed the Technology Award.

The full list of winners is available at whatcar.com/awards