The Volvo S40 1.6D DRIVe featuring the new Start/Stop technology has scooped the top honour and been named Green Car of the Year at the prestigious 2009 What Car? Green Car Awards.

The Volvo S40 DRIVe beat the BMW 118d and the Renault Megane to the top spot in the Small Family category and then stormed ahead to achieve victory over all the other category winners, including the Audi A8 and MINI Cooper S, to be awarded the prestigious overall What Car? Green Car of the Year title.

Offering exceptionally low CO2 emissions of just 104g/km and returning up to 72.4 mpg on the combined cycle, What Car?'s judges praised the S40 DRIVe's unique combination of low emissions, practicality, safety and driver enjoyment as key reasons for the win.

The overall What Car? Green Car of the Year title was handed to Stuart Kerr, Regional President of Europe, Volvo Car Corporation by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and Steve Fowler, editor of What Car? The category win for the What Car? Green Small Family Car of the Year was presented to Volvo Car UK's Managing Director, Peter Rask.

Steve Fowler, What Car's editor, heaped praise on the car. He said: "Volvo's S40 DRIVe is one seriously appealing eco-friendly car. Its low emissions don't come at the expense of quality, safety or driver enjoyment and it's great value, too. It's everything we look for in a Green Car of the Year."

Upon receiving the award, Stuart Kerr said: "Volvo has a strong commitment to its environmental activities and we have worked hard to reduce the carbon footprint on all our cars by focusing on health, resource utilisation and the ecological consequences right through from production, use to disposal.

"The recent launch of the DRIVe range enables Volvo to offer mid-sized cars with the same fuel consumption and CO2 emissions as competitor's small cars. For customers, this means that they don't have to compromise on anything when they choose a Volvo. This highly important award is recognition of Volvo's desire to build the most fuel efficient cars possible," he concluded.

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Volvo S40 DRIVe

With dynamic design, high quality, first class safety and low CO2 emissions, the Volvo S40 DRIVe saloon appeals to customers who are environmentally conscious but still demand a car that combines the practicality of a four-door saloon with the style, comfort and refinement afforded by a premium marque. The generously equipped Volvo S40 DRIVe in the entry level S specification features ECC (Electronic Climate Control), power windows, plenty of boot space and all the safety systems that people have come to expect from Volvo, including DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control), SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) and Dual Stage Driver and Passenger Airbags. Prices for the Volvo S40 DRIVe 1.6D with Start/Stop range start at £17,495 for the entry level S specification.

The Volvo S40 DRIVe with Start/Stop is also kind on the budget with an annual tax disc cost of just £35, an insurance group 9 and a frugal diesel engine which gives a range of up to 800 miles between visits to the fuel station.

Currently, drivers who are taking advantage of the Government scrappage scheme can trade in a car over ten years old and save a generous £4,377 on a brand new Volvo S40 DRIVe 1.6D S with Start/Stop, reducing its On The Road price to just £13,118.

Volvo's S40 DRIVe also works well as a company car with a 22% tax payer paying less than £40 month in tax for the S model and a 40% tax payer just £75 per month.

Start/Stop in detail In order to reduce CO2 emissions to 104 g/km, the new S40 DRIVe has been equipped with a Start/Stop function that allows the engine to switch off when the car is at a standstill.

When the driver puts the gear lever into neutral and releases the clutch while at a standstill, the engine switches off. The next time the driver presses the clutch, the engine starts up again. Volvo's Start/Stop system also continuously monitors the comfort levels in the cabin and automatically reactivates the air conditioning if, for instance, the temperature increases in the passenger compartment.

This innovative monitoring system has been made possible due to an additional small battery which supports the larger battery by providing extra power. Thanks to this extra battery, Volvo's DRIVe models also feature particularly quick and smooth start-up. The audio system also remains unaffected when the starter motor is activated. This distinguishes Volvo Car's solution from other systems offered by the competition. The standard larger battery has also been upgraded to handle up to 175,000 Start/Stop cycles. The Start/Stop technology is also available in the Volvo C30 SportsCoupe and V50 Sportswagon DRIVe models.