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Volvo XC90 Named 2003 SUV of the Year by Northwest Automotive Press Association for Second Year in a Row

Award Winning XC90 Repeats Its 'Best in Class' and 'SUV of the Year' Victories

IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 11 -- Against stiff competition the Volvo XC90 once again walked away with top honors at the annual Northwest Automotive Press Association's (NWAPA) Mudfest. Winning both "Best in Class" for vehicles costing $41,000 - $45,000 and "SUV of the Year" for the second year in a row, the Volvo XC90 beat out intense rivalry from Nissan, Volkswagen, Toyota and Porsche, among others.

The judging panel, comprised of 20 automotive journalists from around the country, cast their votes in 17 categories. The XC90 won five categories in all, including Exterior Design, Ingress/Egress, Interior Comfort, Ride Quality and Personal Preference. Within each category a judge rates the vehicle from 1 to 10. With a cumulative total of 2049 points, the XC90 handily beat the next runner-up in overall points, the Porsche Cayenne, by 48 points.

The annual event, now in its 10th year, was held at the Portland International Raceway in Portland, Oregon. The grueling two-day event involves both on and off-road driving and was hampered by relentless rain that turned the off-road course into a slippery, mucky mess, which only served to highlight the XC90's exceptionally capable electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system.

"Mudfest pits the best of the best against each other in what is truly a unique event," commented Larry Coppola, Treasurer of NWAPA. "The fact that the XC90 not only won its class for the second year in a row, but took the SUV of the Year title by such a wide margin, speaks directly to what a great vehicle it really is."

The award marks the 25th accolade the XC90 has received since being launched at the 2002 Detroit auto show. Among other achievements, the XC90 was named 2003 North American SUV of the Year, the 2003 Motor Trend Sport/Utility of the Year and the 2002 Truck of Texas.

Adhering to Volvo's core brand values of safety, environmental consciousness and value, the XC90 introduced no fewer than five automotive world firsts: Roll Stability Control (RSC), an inflatable side curtain for all three rows of seats, an integrated sliding center booster seat for children, seatbelts with pretensioners in all seating positions and the availability of a Dolby 5.1 Pro Logic II surround sound stereo system featuring a 305-watt Alpine amplifier and 12 premium speakers.

Volvo Cars of North America, LLC is part of the Volvo Car Corporation of Goteborg, Sweden. The company provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to Volvo automobile retailers in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Aside from the XC90, the 2004 Volvo line includes the sporty S60 sedan, the flagship S80 luxury sedan, versatile V70 wagon and rugged Cross Country, and the C70 convertible. Beginning in early 2004, Volvo will introduce the all-new S40 sport sedan followed by the V50 sport wagon later in the year.