Not so long ago, the motoring world was a much less mixed-up place. There were small cars, medium-sized cars, large cars and, if you were posh, there was the Volvo estate.

The coming of the super-successful crossover vehicle blurred those uncomplicated divisions by blending a high-riding driving position with family-friendly space and versatility, to the point that upmarket estate cars started to seem just a little old-fashioned.

And while the focus at Volvo in recent times has justifiably been on its sensational XC90 sports utility vehicle, those canny Swedes have clearly not forgotten their roots.

For the new Volvo V90 estate car is as stunningly elegant inside as it is strikingly desirable outside. Combine that understated luxury with the latest safety and connectivity technology and you have simply the best Volvo estate ever.

All versions of the V90 are luxuriously equipped with a clean, simple, yet sophisticated cabin, designed to make driving as easy and uncomplicated as possible.

As standard, the entry-level Momentum comes with leather upholstery, LED headlights with active high beam, two-zone climate control, keyless engine starting, powered tailgate and heated front seats.

Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system is also standard, with a nine-inch touch screen, satellite navigation, voice-control system, and access to the Internet.

Quiet and relaxed, the V90 is at its happiest munching motorway miles, which is where it is likely to spend much of its time.

The standard Pilot Assist system automatically keeps you at a set speed or distance from the vehicle in front, braking and accelerating with the flow of traffic, while giving gentle nudges on the steering to keep the car within lane markings.

Also fitted is an automatic emergency braking system that can detect not only pedestrians and cyclists, but also large animals, helping to avoid, or limit, the severity of collisions with animals such as deer both at night and during the day.

The Volvo On Call app allows you to control a range of functions from a mobile device, including the ability to remotely heat or cool the cabin before you get in. The car can also be turned into a WiFi hotspot.

Like the XC90 before it, the V90 features the new face of Volvo, including the distinctive T-shaped LED headlights.

Priced from about £35,000, the car comes in front-wheel-drive with a tax-efficient 2.0-litre D4 four-cylinder diesel engine or, like the test car, a punchier 235 horsepower D5 engine which has a neat bit of technology called PowerPulse to boost responsiveness. This uses compressed air, stored in a tank in the engine bay, to spin up the turbo at low revs to help overcome turbo lag, which is the short delay in the power delivery you experience in traditional turbocharged engines.

To harness the engine’s power, the D5 comes with all-wheel drive and a standard eight-speed automatic gearbox and despite its impressive size, the test model comfortably delivered real-world fuel consumption around the 50mpg mark.

Voted Best Estate in the UK Car of the Year Awards 2017 and Best Estate in TopGear Magazine’s Best Cars in the World awards, the V90 just made estate cars fashionable again.


Auto facts

Model: Volvo V90 D5 Momentum AWD Auto

Price: £41,995

Insurance group: 33E (1-50)

Fuel consumption (combined): 57.6mpg

Top speed: 145mph

Length: 493.6cm/194.3in

Width: 189.5cm/74.6in

Luggage capacity: 19.7cu ft

Fuel tank capacity: 13.2 gallons/60 litres

CO2 emissions: 129g/km

Warranty: 3 years/ 100,000 miles