Volvo XC40 wins 2019 Wheels Car of the Year
If lightning doesn’t strike twice, Volvo’s luxury SUVs certainly do.
The Volvo XC40 compact luxury SUV has been awarded the prestigious 2019 Wheels Car of the Year, resulting in unprecedented back-to-back wins after the bigger XC60’s victory in 2018.
No other luxury car brand has achieved successive victories in what is the world’s longest continuously running Car of the Year award, having been formed in 1963.
The XC40 had to endure the same, famously gruelling Wheels Car of the Year testing process as the XC60 in 2018.
Facing the intense scrutiny of seven highly experienced motoring judges across seven days and 10,000km on proving grounds and public roads, the XC40 prevailed over 23 vehicles that included contenders from Audi, Bentley, Jaguar, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.
Wheels’ experts were convincingly persuaded by the XC40’s award-winning safety, connectivity and infotainment technologies, combined with its very distinctive, fun design, and radical new approach to interior storage.
“You won’t find a more spacious premium SUV in this particular category,” wrote Wheels in its Car of the Year coverage. “Sit in [its direct competition] and they feel claustrophobic by comparison.
There’s room for one six-footer to easily sit behind another, there’s stacks of interior storage, a decent 460-litre boot with an underfloor spare, and a long list of thoughtful features like flip-down headrests on the rear bench, high-quality touch points, and 97 per cent recycled carpeting.
The judges were also impressed by the XC40’s value proposition.
[The XC40 is] a car where you could conceivably buy an entry-level model with no options and be completely happy with what was delivered. That’s rare these days, and acts as a point of differentiation to the Volvo’s European rivals, most of whom need a big additional outlay to really shine."
Above: “You won’t find a more spacious premium SUV in this [compact luxury SUV] category,” said Wheels magazine.
“Has there ever been a more successful company turnaround than Volvo’s recent form?” asked Wheels editor Alex Inwood.
In summary the magazine said: “The XC40’s well deserved win demonstrates that revitalised Volvo’s story arc still has some intriguing chapters to come.”
Nick Connor, Volvo Car Australia’s managing director, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have won the Wheels Car of The Year two years in a row, firstly with the XC60 in 2018 and now in 2019 with the XC40. When we launched the XC40 we knew its styling, quality and performance was second to none.
To have it confirmed by Wheels’ team of expert judges is a fantastic honour and one that we at Volvo Cars are extremely proud of.
2018 has been one of our most successful years in our long history as a brand in Australia. We have achieved double-digit sales growth led by the popularity of the XC40 and the XC60.
We have also bucked the trend in the overall car market, which was down 1.3%, and in the premium end of the market we have increased our market share whereas most of our competitors have gone backwards.
Winning the 2019 Wheels Car of the Year is a fitting end to an incredible 12 months for Volvo and is testament to the evolution and growth of our brand in Australia, which is possibly the most competitive car market in the world."
This is the Volvo XC40’s second Car of the Year award in Australia after prominent motoring website carsales declared it the best vehicle of 2018.