Volvo, Tesla win Gadget of the Year awards

XC90 crossover named Car of the Year; new Model X voted Design of the Year

Published: December 5, 2015, 12:30 PM
Updated: November 23, 2021, 2:41 PM

2015 Volvo XC90

The Volvo XC90 has won an interesting award. It has won a Gadget of the Year award, as named by Stuff magazine.

The Swedish crossover has taken the UK’s best-selling gadget magazine’s award for Car of the Year, beating out the likes of the Ariel Nomad, Audi RS3, Range Rover Sport SVR, Tesla Model S P85D, Toyota Mirai and Volkswagen Golf R.

“To have the XC90 T8 Twin Engine’s technology honoured by such an influential gadgetry title is a tremendous result,” said Nick Connor, Managing Director of Volvo Car UK. “The XC90 T8 is the most technologically advanced car Volvo has ever built. It is also full of electronic equipment designed to make your life easier, so while cars are getting more sophisticated, the XC90 T8 is proof that they don’t have to be more complicated.”

The annual awards recognize technological excellence in products from audio components to mobile devices, from toys and games to marketing campaigns, and from cameras to home environment equipment. It also recognizes excellence in technological advancements for items such as vehicles, this year also bestowing the Design of the Year award as voted by readers on the Tesla Model X.

The XC90 T8 Twin Engine Hybrid took the top Car award on the strength of its technological features, including its range of sophisticated driving aids.

“Safe, stylish and a dream to drive, the new XC90 is a tech-toting titan that’s both swift and economical, with smarts to make a genius jealous and genuinely useful on-the-road driver aids,” said website deputy editor Tom Parsons.

Beyond the powerful and efficient hybrid gasoline/electric powertrain, Stuff also liked the XC90’s standard infotainment system controlled via a 9-inch tablet-style touchscreen with pinch/zoom and swipe functionality, and hosting a range of available web apps (such as Rdio, Stitcher, TuneIn and Yelp, to name a few) through Sensus Connect for internet connectivity. And there’s also voice control over many entertainment and convenience features.

Also standard is a hands-free hatchgate open/close feature (by waving a foot under the bumper when the remote is somewhere on the person) and the Smartphone Volvo On Call app that can locate the vehicle on a map, alert emergency services in a crash, and allow the user to remotely lock the doors, roll up windows and access trip computer information.

Among the safety aids are automatic emergency braking, pedestrian and cyclist detection, and run-off road protection that serves to protect occupants if the vehicle leaves the road.

The Tesla Model X was voted Design of the Year ahead of heavyweights such as the new Apple Macbook, Microsoft’s Surface Book laptop/tablet, the Nanoleaf Bloom multi-face LED bulb, and Samsung’s Gear S2 Smartwatch.

Readers apparently agreed with the editors, who liked the Model X for its “250 mile range, 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds, gullwing doors, a grille-free frontage and Beemer-like bulbs,”adding that “you've never seen a family car like this before.”