A very proud moment for Volvo today, as their new XC90 is named the 2016 WesBank / SAGMJ Car of the Year (COTY).

The XC90 joins the S40 as the 2nd Volvo to ever claim this prestigious award. The S40 won the coveted award back in 2005.

The WesBank / SAGMJ COTY Award has been around for 31 years now, and there is no better time for Volvo to walk away with the award, as the brand is currently going a complete overhaul, which of course started with the XC90.

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The XC90 also represents the company’s drive towards an autonomous future, which begins with the Drive Me initiative in 2017, during which 100 fully-autonomous XC90’s will be driving their owners in and around Sweden.

This latest local motoring accolade joins the new XC90’s long list of international awards, the total of which now exceeds 60. Other significant awards include the Women’s World Car of the Year, North American Truck of the Year, European Car of the Year, Best SUV (Scottish Car of the Year) and Icelandic Car of the Year awards.

“We are absolutely delighted with our victory,” comments Volvo Car South Africa Managing Director, Greg Maruszewski. “With the all-new XC90 we are not only re-writing the rules of a post-modern luxury driving experience but reinventing our brand as well. Our ethos, ‘Made by Sweden’, expresses our intrinsic Scandinavian roots, love for people, heritage and attitude to building some of the world’s most desirable – and safest – luxury vehicles.”

Powered by the new-generation of 2.0-litre turbocharged Drive-E petrol- and diesel engines, which are mated to an 8-speed Geartronic automatic gearbox, the XC90 mixes Swedish luxury and classy, minimalistic design with supreme road manners and efficient driving dynamics.

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Other feature that helped the car to victory include Volvo’s all-new Sensus Connect infotainment system, which is presented as a 9” tablet-like touch screen interface.

Keeping in line with Volvo’s top priority, the XC90 scored top marks from Euro NCAP for safety in 2015, and was also awarded Best In Class Safety (Large Off-road and Overall) earlier this year. This is thanks to its highly-advanced safety systems, which include pedestrian and cyclist detection with forward collision warning and full auto brake, run-off-road protection and other driving assistance features like adaptive cruise control and active lane-keeping assistance.

This relentless drive on safety forms part of Volvo’s Vision 2020 programme which seeks to ensure that nobody is seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo by 2020.