Motor Trend magazine has announced the selection of the Volvo XC90 as Motor Trend's 2003 Sport/Utility of the Year. The award-winning Volvo was unveiled at the opening of the 2003 California International Auto Show (CIAS) in Anaheim. The Caliper award was presented to Vic Doolan, President and CEO of Volvo Cars, North America.
Motor Trend's editorial staff selected this year's winner from a field of 14 vehicles, after comprehensive testing and evaluation. Eligible vehicles were all sport/utilities that are new or substantially redesigned for 2003, and that will be on sale by January 1, 2003. Contenders included: the Ford Expedition, Honda Element, Honda Pilot, Hummer H2, Isuzu Ascender, Kia Sorento, Lexus GX 470, Lincoln Aviator, Lincoln Navigator, Mitsubishi Outlander, Subaru Baja, Subaru Forester, Toyota 4Runner, and Volvo XC90.
"No other new sport/utility vehicle addresses our criteria as effectively as the new Volvo XC90," says Editor-in-Chief, Kevin Smith. According to the Motor Trend editors, "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."
Accepting the award, Vic Doolan, President and CEO of Volvo Cars of North America said, "We set out to produce what would be the first in the next generation of SUV's - a vehicle that reflected Volvo's core values of safety, environmental care, great value - and above all, the XC90 is 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," he added.
The complete report on the 2003 Sport/Utility of the Year will be published in the December issue of Motor Trend (on sale November 5). Multimedia coverage of the testing and selection process will appear on Motor Trend Television, hosted by feature editor John Matthius and aired on the Speed Channel in November, and heard on Motor Trend's syndicated weekend radio show (consult your local listing).