Irvine, CA - (October 16, 2002) - Volvo's first ever SUV - the XC90 - has scooped the prestigious Motor Trend 2003 Sport/Utility of the Year Award more than a month before the first vehicles arrive in US retailers.
Having already notched up a massive 6,000 pre-orders before even a single customer has got behind the wheel, the Volvo XC90 with its attractive styling, innovative safety features and five automotive world firsts, is already proving a huge hit in this hotly contested market segment.
Says Volvo Cars of North America President and CEO, Vic Doolan: "We set out to produce what would be the first in the next generation of SUVs - a vehicle that breaks new ground. The XC90 reflects Volvo's core values of safety, environmental care, great value - and above all, as Motor Trend has said, 'it's an SUV with a conscience'."
"The Motor Trend 'Golden Caliper' is a world-renowned award that we are thrilled to receive and is a testament to the fact that we really did achieve our design goals with this exciting new vehicle," said Doolan.
Motor Trend's editorial staff selected this year's winner following rigorous testing on 14 eligible vehicles. To qualify for the competition, vehicles had to be SUVs that were new or substantially re-designed for 2003 and are, or will be on sale January 1, 2003. In addition to the Volvo XC90, the contenders were Ford Expedition, Hummer H2, Lexus GX 470, Lincoln Aviator, Lincoln Navigator, Honda Element, Mitsubishi Outlander, Subaru Baja, Subaru Forester, Toyota 4 Runner, Honda Pilot, Isuzu Ascender, and Kia Sorento.
"No other new or substantially upgraded sport/utility vehicle addresses our criteria and testing as effectively as the new Volvo XC90," write the Motor Trend editors, led by Editor-in-Chief Kevin Smith.
"More than any other vehicle in the running this year, the Volvo XC90 moves the standard in its market segment.......It drives comfortably like a sedan, tows like a tough pickup, off-roads like a rugged sport/ute, and moves bulky cargo or as many as seven people like a minivan."
Two all-wheel-drive versions of the Volvo XC90 will be offered initially when the vehicle goes on sale next month: the XC90 AWD and the XC90 AWD T6 starting at a very competitive US$35,100. They will be joined in the first quarter of 2003 by a front-wheel-drive version aggressively priced at US$33,350.
Motor Trend is a PRIMEDIA publication with a circulation of 1.27 million and a total readership of 7.5 million. Internationally recognized as the world's Number One Automotive authority, Motor Trend is one of the leading brands in automotive publishing.
Volvo Cars of North America, LLC provides marketing, service, technology and training to Volvo automobile retailers in the US, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
In addition to the XC90, the 2003 Volvo automobile line includes the rugged Cross Country (XC70), the versatile V70 wagon, the sporty S60, the flagship S80 luxury sedan, the C70 convertible, and the compact S40 and V40 models.
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