The Volvo XC40 has been revealed as the 2018 European Car of the Year in a ceremony ahead of the Geneva Motor Show. The compact SUV edged out runners-up the Seat Ibiza and BMW 5 Series to take the gong with a huge 83-point margin.
Other finalists included the Kia Stinger, Citroen C3 Aircross, Audi A8 and Alfa Romeo Stelvio.
The presentation for ECOTY is made in an Eurovision-style countdown, where all the points from the organisation’s 60 jurors across 23 countries are tallied up. And it soon became clear the Volvo was leading.
Many countries voted the XC40 top or near the top, which is what gave it such a healthy lead. Even in the nations where it wasn’t favourite, it was still well-liked. This means the 2018 European Car of the Year winner is a particularly valid one. The XC40 has won because it’s a good, well-liked car, not through the law of averages.
The award adds to the haul of prizes already secured by Volvo’s newest model, and finally earns it a Car of the Year prize after getting so very close in recent years.
Volvo’s success contrasts with the poor performance of the Audi A8, which trailed in sixth place – one of the few countries to score it highly was, ironically, the home of Volvo: Sweden. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio sat at the bottom of the pile, with a mediocre 163 points.
Because the Volvo scored so highly, there were fewer points left over for the other cars. Even so, BMW will surely be disappointed to be beaten by the Seat Ibiza. Kia, however, will likely be more than chuffed by its 2018 COTY appearance grabbing it fourth place in the line-up, well ahead of the Citroen C3 Aircross.
European Car of the Year 2018: final scores
1: Volvo XC40 – 325 points
2: Seat Ibiza – 242 points
3: BMW 5 Series – 226 points
4: Kia Stinger – 204 points
5: Citroen C3 Aircross – 171 points
6: Audi A8 – 169 points
7: Alfa Romeo Stelvio – 163 points