Black XC60 White XC40

Volvo XC40 and XC60: Wheels Car of the Year Awards

"Another year, another Volvo SUV claiming the top spot"

- 2019 Wheels Car of the Year issue. 

Wheels Car of the Year 2018XC40 Wheels Car of the Year 2019

Wheels Car of the Year award is widely regarded as the most coveted automotive prize in Australia, owing to the magnitude of the testing combined with the scrutiny of the award’s highly experienced – and hard to please – judges.

With the XC60 already awarded the 2018 Wheels Car of the Year, the Volvo XC40 has been crowned the 2019 Wheels Car of the Year. A tremendous feat that continues an outstanding run of success for Volvo.

Speaking on the XC40s continuation of Volvo’s success, Wheels wrote:

“It forensically knocked over all comers when its scores against COTY’s five criteria were calculated…The XC40’s well-deserved win demonstrates that the revitalised Volvo’s story arc still has some intriguing chapters to come.”

- 2019 Wheels Car of the Year issue.



Volvo XC60 XC40
Volvo interior

The Wheels Car of the Year program is conducted over seven days, with cars covering over 10,000 km at an automotive proving ground and on public roads. Coming up against a significant field of cars, both the XC60 and XC40 proved triumphant when accessed against five criteria: Function, Technology, Efficiency, Safety and Value.

The rigorous testing of the cars included judging before they were driven, with a static test that involved judges checking exterior and interior aspects: build quality, seat comfort, ergonomics, practicality, cabin-space efficiency, and generally prodding poking, and pressing to test the quality of materials, switchgear and fit and finish.

“The XC60 immediately impressed with its stunning interior presentation on walk-through day, followed by its dynamics on the ride and handling course.”

- 2018 Wheels Car of the Year issue.

This would have included testing the Sensus touchscreen infotainment system, which operates intuitively like a smartphone and is designed vertically rather than horizontally, eliminating the distraction of constant scrolling with easier-to-view menus, as well as displaying more of the road ahead when you’re using navigation.

The initial proving ground stage comprised a range of dynamic tests. As the company that pioneered autonomous emergency braking a decade ago with its City Safety system, Volvo would have had plenty of faith in its performance in the Wheels’ AEB test.

White Volvo XC40

Similarly, Volvo’s world-first Evasive Manoeuvre Assist, an extension of City Safety, would’ve aided the XC60 and XC40 in the double-lane-change manoeuvre. The technology reacts with your reflexes – adding to your steering input and braking inner wheels to help you avoid the obstacle, before helping to stabilise and straighten the car again. Other challenges included ABS testing on both dirt and wet surfaces, driving on gravel, dirt and bitumen, and a rough road test.

Following in the XC60’s footsteps, the XC40 performed strongly in early testing, this seeing it progress to a group of just five finalists. During this second round, the vigorous testing progressed to a 57km road loop featuring a variety of public roads.

“…it’s hard to fault its [The XC40’s] safety provision.”

-  2019 Wheels Car of the Year issue.

These included freeways – where they could test Volvo’s Adaptive Cruise Control with Pilot Assist driving capabilities – and winding roads, where the Volvo’s finely tuned chassis could come to the fore.

Like the XC60 before it, the Wheels judges were impressed with the strength of the XC40 range, commenting that even the base level XC40 is able to hold its own amongst more expensive competitors equipped with extras.

white XC40

“Judges were impressed by the XC40’s value proposition…this was a car where you could conceivably buy an entry level model with no options and be completely happy with what was delivered.”

– 2019 Wheels Car of the Year issue.

With the XC40 continuing Volvo’s amazing successes, the stage is set for continued dominance by one of the world’s most progressive premium car makers.

Volvo style

2018 & 2019 Wheels Car of the Year

The Volvo XC60 & XC40