Awards season is in full swing with the Oscars and Brits shortlists published in the past week or so.

When it comes to cars, opinions can be just as subjective. What looks gorgeous to one motorist can be considered gross to another and tastes can vary wildly across every single aspect of car models.

Almost every motoring magazine runs its own annual awards, but the What Car? awards are generally the most respected and notable and this year’s winners have just been revealed.

The overall winner this time was the Volvo XC40, which has been named What Car?’s car of the year at the 40th annual awards ceremony.

Volvo XC40 What Car Awards

Volvo’s first ever compact SUV came out top in the family SUV group before proceeding to be considered for the top prize along with 19 other category winners.

This makes Volvo the 19th different car manufacturer to win an overall What Car? car of the year award since the prize first went to the Renault 20 in 1978.

Immensely proud

Jon Wakefield, managing director of Volvo Car UK, said that winning the top prize was fantastic not just for Volvo in the UK, but for Volvo as a global company.

Volvo XC40 front

He commented: “We are immensely proud of the XC40, and for the experts at What Car? to award it their ultimate accolade is the perfect start to what will be a hugely significant year for Volvo.”

Volvo XC40

It feels like a new SUV of some description is revealed every week so with so much competition, it’s particularly impressive that the XC40 has stood out from the crowd, said What Car? editor Steve Huntingford.

“With its mix of comfort and quality, safety and style, the XC40 excels in all the areas that are important to buyers,” he commented.

Volvo XC40 interior

But which other cars were up for the top prize?

What Car? car of the year awards – full list of winners:

City car: Kia Picanto

Small car (supermini): SEAT Ibiza

Family car: Skoda Octavia

Small SUV: SEAT Arona

Family SUV: Volvo XC40

Large SUV: Peugeot 5008

Luxury SUV: Audi Q7

MPV: Volkswagen Touran

Estate car: Skoda Superb Estate

Hot hatch: Honda Civic Type R GT

Convertible: Mazda MX-5

Coupe: Audi TT

Sports and performance car: Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

Electric car: Nissan Leaf

Hybrid: Hyundai Ioniq

Executive car: Audi A4

Luxury car: BMW 5 Series

Super luxury car: Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase

True MPG award: Suzuki Ignis

Reader award: Jaguar I-Pace

Safety award: Volvo XC60

Technology award: Tesla

Car of the year: Volvo XC40

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