The Volvo XC90 was voted car of the year by a UK weekly motoring magazine, while the Nissan X-Trail was selected as the best recreational vehicle for the second consecutive year.

The Volvo XC90 was voted car of the year by a UK weekly motoring magazine, while the Nissan X-Trail was selected as the best recreational vehicle for the second consecutive year.

The XC90 was also named best 4x4 off-roader. "This car impressed us with its rugged build quality, driving refinement and innovative interior. Big, beautiful and packed with ideas that make motoring far more enjoyable, cars as special as this are very rare. Well done, Volvo," said editor David Johns, when naming the winners.

Volkswagen's compact MPV Touran claimed the title of best MPV, and the New Beetle cabriolet was named best convertible.

Honda's Jazz received the supermini award for the second successive year while the Accord saloon won the family car category and the Accord Tourer took the estate car title.

Johns also praised the X-Trail. “The X-Trail blends a trend-setting exterior with twinkle-toed handling and swift performance. Add in the innovative interior and the diesel's six-speed manual gearbox, and the X-Trail makes a strong case for retaining its crown in 2003,” he said.

Roel de Vries, general manager of marketing at Nissan South Africa said: “we are obviously pleased with the X-Trail receiving another award. Although we do not have these type of awards in South Africa, our sales figures show that South African customers are as impressed as the journalists overseas.”