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Car of the Year Awards 2022: Family SUV of the Year

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

WINNER: Family SUV of the Year

Volvo XC40 Recharge T4 Plus (Dark Theme)

Car of the Year 2022 - MotorEasy

Parents have to do an awful lot. Whether it’s fixing clothes, running a taxi service or serving up restaurant-quality food (or not), they must be Jacks and Jills of all trades.

The car those parents drive should be just as versatile – and that’s where the Volvo XC40 comes in. It’s a true all-rounder, with an interior that almost matches the Range Rover Evoque’s for quality and some of the best seats you’ll find in any SUV. Those seats offer a wide range of adjustment, and once you’ve found your ideal driving position, you get a great view of the road ahead.

Volvo XC40 2022 interior

The view out of the back isn’t as good, but every version comes with rear parking sensors, and a reversing camera is an inexpensive option. You can fit slightly more into the boot of the rival Hyundai Tucson, but the XC40’s still has plenty of space. It’s a good, square shape, and there’s no lip at the entrance to get in the way when you’re loading up. There shouldn’t be any complaints from passengers about space, either, because no matter which seat they’re in, they’ll have room to stretch out.

Our pick of the engine range is the T4 plug-in hybrid, which mixes a 1.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor. In our test, the XC40 was able to cover 21 miles purely on battery power (versus an official figure of 28 miles); that could be your whole commute. It’s a brisk car, too, covering the 0-60mph sprint in just 7.5sec in our test, and low CO2 emissions make it a solid choice for company car drivers.

Volvo XC40 2022 side

They’ll also enjoy the XC40’s comfortable ride. It manages to take the sting out of the kind of razor-edged potholes you find on urban roads, especially if you opt for our recommended Plus trim, which comes with better-controlled sports suspension. Plus models also come with luxuries such as power-folding door mirrors, ambient interior lighting and seats trimmed with suede and leather. The XC40 upholds Volvo’s first-class safety reputation, too, with a five-star NCAP rating. It proved slightly better than the Evoque at protecting rear passengers from whiplash.

Given all those positives, you might expect our winner to cost a bundle, but it’s actually attractively priced next to comparable SUVs, and its slow depreciation means you’ll get more of your money back when you come to sell than with many rivals.

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