It's hard to kick the winning habit – as the XC90 proves. Back in 2003 the first-generation model scooped top honours in our annual awards, and 12 years on its replacement has repeated the feat. It’s not hard to see why.
If Car of the Year was based on looks, the Volvo would have romped to victory. Thanks to its blend of imposing proportions and exquisite detailing, the handsome SUV has huge presence without being overly brash or aggressive.
However, it’s inside where the XC90 really impresses. With its clean, crisp, minimalist design, top-notch materials and flawless quality, its cabin feels as luxurious as models costing twice as much. And it’s packed with stunning hi-tech features.
There’s also plenty of room, plus the advantage of a seven-seat layout. Of course, there’s more to this award winner than a pretty face and practical cabin. It’s good to drive, too, in a relaxing and unflustered way. Volvo delivers the best in comfort and refinement, and it benefits from well weighted steering, composed handling and impressive safety kit.
The sense of serenity is enhanced by impressively refined four-cylinder engines. The most remarkable is the flagship T8, which incorporates plug-in technology and a 2.0-litre petrol to deliver 401bhp, 134.5mpg and 49g/km. Cutting-edge tech, head-turning style, cosseting luxury, seven-seater practicality and great value for money – our 2015 Car of the Year has it all.
For complete, in-depth coverage of the New Car Awards 2015, buy your collector's edition copy of the Auto Express magazine now...