The new compact SUV is certainly a charmer.

The 2018 European Car of the Year has been announced, and it’s not a car at all. Sort-of anyway; it’s the new Volvo XC40 compact SUV which debuted last September to no small amount of fanfare. That’s because it’s a legitimately good contender among this hotly contested automotive segment. However, it also introduced the world to Care by Volvo – a subscription service that lumps all costs relating to vehicle ownership including insurance and maintenance into a single monthly payment.

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“Winning this award with our new XC40 is perfect timing,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars. “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.”

World Car of the Year finalists announced:

2019 Volvo XC40: First Drive
2019 Volvo XC40: First Drive

The award reflects the XC40’s accolades as a darn good freshman effort for Volvo in this segment. It’s a point on which we agree – our first drive with the XC40 confirmed that this isn’t just a badged up compact runabout. Small SUVs often come across as smaller, cheaper copies to larger siblings and the result is often a product that feels inherently disappointing. The XC40 is the first vehicle built on the company’s new Compact Modular Architecture, which will also underpin future Volvo cars. As such it draws inspiration from the bigger Volvo SUVs while still carving its own place in both the automaker’s lineup, and in the compact SUV segment.

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The public certainly seems to be responding to the XC40’s charm. Volvo says that 20,000 early orders from the U.S. and Europe have been placed, and the crossover will soon be available in China – currently the largest automotive market and a place where small SUVs are extremely popular.

“We have a clear strategy for growth and we are committed to leading in automotive safety, connectivity services and electrification,” said Samuelsson. “The XC40 reflects that commitment, and looking at the response from our customers and from the COTY jury here today, we are on the right track.”

Revisit the Volvo XC40 with our mega gallery of photos below.

Source: Volvo

Gallery: Volvo XC40 European Car of the Year 2018

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New Volvo XC40 is named 2018 European Car of the Year

The new Volvo XC40 small SUV has been named the 2018 European Car of the Year ahead of the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland. It is the first win of this prestigious award for Volvo Cars, the premium car maker.

 

“Winning this award with our new XC40 is perfect timing,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars. “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.”

 

The XC40 win 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.

 

The 2018 European Car of the Year award follows other recent recognition for the XC40, including the Car of the Year award by leading UK automotive publication What Car?

 

The XC40 sets a new standard in its segment in terms of design, connectivity and safety technology. Early orders in excess of 20,000 cars across Europe and the US indicate that this is an appealing combination for customers. The XC40 roll-out will soon extend to China – the world’s biggest car market – where Volvo is expecting similar strong interest.

 

The XC40 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. Co-developed together with Geely, CMA provides the company with the necessary economies of scale for this segment.

 

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. XC40 owners can simply share their car with family and friends without having to hand over a physical key.

 

In another first, the XC40 launched Volvo Cars’ new subscription service, Care by Volvo, which offers car access via a monthly flat-fee subscription rather than ownership. Care by Volvo makes having a car as transparent, easy and hassle free as having a phone.

 

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 COTY jury here today, we are on the right track.”