Currently reading: Volvo XC40 wins Car of the Year prize
XC40, Volvo's small SUV, tops pan-European vote to give the Swedish manufacturer its first COTY win

The Volvo XC40 has been named the 2018 winner of the prestigious European Car of the Year Award.

The small SUV took a commanding victory in voting for the award, The result was announced on the eve of this year’s Geneva motor show. The XC40 received 325 votes, placing it well ahead of the runner-up Seat Ibiza (242 votes). The BMW 5 Series was third, with 226 votes.

Autocar's Volvo XC40 road test

The XC40’s victory marks the first time a Volvo has won the prize. Company boss Håkan Samuelsson said: “This is the right car to win. I’m glad we got votes from each of the countries that took part in the judging: it shows this car really is a success.

“This car represents the future of Volvo. With an all-new platform developed with [parent firm] Geely, it goes into new markets for us.”

Geneva motor show 2018: latest news and updates

The XC40 is no stranger to trophies, having also won the 2018 What Car? Car of the Year prize

The Car of the Year award is run by seven European automotive publications, including Autocar. The award is voted on by a jury comprising 60 journalists from 23 countries, which include Autocar’s Matt Prior and Andrew Frankel.

Matt Prior: It wasn't my winner, but I'm happy the XC40 topped COTY 2018

The award was established in 1964, with the Rover 2000 claiming the inaugural victory. The other finalists for this year’s award were the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Audi A8, Citroën C3 Aircross and Kia Stinger.

Read more

Autocar's Volvo XC40 road test

Matt Prior: why I'm being brave with my Car of the Year vote

Geneva motor show 2018: latest news and updates


Read our review

Car review

Volvo’s XC40 arrives in the crowded premium compact SUV segment and hits the right note with design, practicality and driving style

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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thesecretdriver 5 March 2018

Along with all the latest Volvos

Avoid if you want a decent satnav. It is terrible.

Marc 5 March 2018

Well done Volvo, but the

Well done Volvo, but the Stelvio should've won.
martin_66 5 March 2018

Ultimately......who cares?

I mean, seriously, who cares about the European car of the year?  Just look at some of the recent winners: Peugeot 3008, Opel Astra, Volkswagen Passat, Peugeot 308, Volkswagen Polo, Opel Insignia, Toyota Prius.

Granted, there were a couple of interesting cars in there - Fiat 500, Nissan Leaf, Opel Ampera, but by and large it a snooze fest of boring, tedious cars that very few people who actually care about cars would actually aspire to owning, let alone driving.