The big automotive news in Europe in March was the announcement of this year’s European Car of the Year at the Geneva Motor Show Seven cars made the shortlist, and after a series of tests in February, the winner was revealed as the Volvo XC40, taking the crown from the Peugeot 308.
Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Citroen, Kia, Seat, and Volvo battled each other for the 2018th edition. Selected from a long list of 37 new vehicles, all of which were launched in 2017 in five or more European markets, the finalists proved themselves in various tests.
However, they were further evaluated by the 60 members of the jury, from 23 countries responsible for picking one winner, announced on the eve of the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, March 5th. The XC40 obtained a first Car of the Year award for Volvo. The appealing SUV was voted ahead of the Seat Ibiza with the BMW 5-series in third position amongst the seven finalists.
Volvo’s smallest SUV yet, which slots under the XC60 and XC90, is called the XC40. It sports a familiar design, inspired by its two larger siblings, and it’s underpinned by the company’s new modular vehicle architecture, CMA, which was co-developed with Geely.
“Winning this award with our new XC40 is perfect timing,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Cars, after receiving the trophy. “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 fifth-generation Seat Ibiza has a Leon-inspired styling and the MQB A0 architecture, a combo that should allow it to become a strong challenger against the likes of the Renault Clio, Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, Ford Fiesta, and Peugeot 208. It was presented for the first time at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, and in its range-topping form, it has plenty of features, including a range of driver assistance systems.
Underpinned by the CLAR platform, and with looks that could fly under the radar, the new generation BMW 5-Series proved itself worthy in various reviews. It’s lighter. yet comes with a larger footprint than its predecessor, while adding new engines, and even an autonomous driving tech that allows drivers to relax behind the wheel, into the mix.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio
Presented at the 2016 LA Auto Show, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio represents the brand’s first SUV. It comes with a familiar design, and in its range-topping form it shares the 2.9-liter twinturbo V6 engine with the Giulia QV, which is rated at 505hp and 600Nm (443lb-ft) of torque.
Audi’s flagship saloon, the A8, has been taken into its fourth generation, and despite having an evolutionary styling, inspired by the Prologue Concept, the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class rival is all-new, both on the outside, in the cabin, and beneath the skin. It’s also the first car on the road to get Level 3 autonomous driving.
Citroen C3 Aircross
The French company’s answer to the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur, Opel/ Vauxhall Mokka, Ford EcoSport, and others. I t has a funky crossoverish design, unlike its MPV predecessor, and can be had with various personalisation options, a feature that should help it attract a young audience.
With sexy styling and a rear-wheel drive platform, the Kia Stinger wants a piece of
the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe, and Audi A5 Sportback. In addition, the Korean GT undercuts the four-door A5 by more than $US10,000, and is $US11,200 more affordable than the 4-Series GC.