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Car of the Year Awards 2021: Family SUV of the Year

Cars in this class must obviously provide sufficient space for families. However, the best also offer a comfortable ride, tidy handling and blend performance with wallet-friendly costs...

WINNER: Family SUV of the Year

Volvo XC40 T3 R-Design auto

What Car? Car of the Year 2021 logo with sponsor

Volvo’s XC40 family SUV is just as classy inside as the Range Rover Evoque, yet it’s more reliable. It’s as spacious as the Skoda Karoq, yet it’s better to drive. And while it’s not as bargain-orientated as the Dacia Duster, it’s competitively priced next to its key rivals, whether you buy outright or on a PCP finance deal.

Were we to leave our deliberations there, the XC40 might sneak the class win by bringing together the best attributes of our other contenders into one package. But when you also factor in its exceptional standard safety kit, which includes traffic sign recognition and a system that can intervene if you turn into the path of oncoming traffic, it pulls out a clear lead.

Volvo XC40 2020 RHD dashboard

Our favourite 1.5-litre petrol engine has plenty of poke for most buyers’ needs, while sporty R-Design trim, with leather trim, privacy glass and even ambient interior lighting, won’t leave you wanting for kit. The biggest boon, however, is that R-Design cars get sports suspension that makes for a supremely comfortable ride and more composed handling than other XC40s. As a family SUV, it has a level of versatility that would make the Swiss Army proud.

We like

> Stylish and high-quality interior
> Comfortable ride
> Comprehensive safety kit

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Read about more Car of the Year 2021 winners >>