THE FIRST thing that hits you is that this is a BIG Volvo estate, but it's also a sleek-looking estate car that has instant appeal.

It also shows that you can go big with PHEVs and still save on tax, but that said the test car T6 version had a 250 bhp turbocharged two-litre petrol engine driving the front wheels plus an 87hp electric motor driving the rear wheels, so it doesn't work out to be that frugal – unless you make the most of the 35-mile range as an all-electric.

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So, for longer journeys you can discount the claimed 'up to' 134mpg, especially as you will be tempted to make the most of the 0-62mph claimed performance of under six seconds. It's more like a 50mpg average that you can count on for long journeys, but then again that's not bad for a two-tonne Tessie.

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But, refined is the name of the game and for short journeys you can select ‘Pure’ mode – one of four different modes – for electric power on its own, provided it's up to full charge. Even at that, it will get you to the speed limit easily enough.

Inside you get the real benefit of being a Volvo owner. No-nonsense fascia and some top notch finishing of (on this model) perforated and ventilated luxurious nappa leather seats. Plus there are all sorts of adjustments that can be made to get the driving position just right.

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I liked the eight-speed auto transmission, operated by a pretty nifty glass-topped shift knob, which is just about as smooth as you can get and the other big like is the pretty easy to use touch-screen. This is about as big as you can get and once you learn how to navigate around it, it'll tell you everything you need to know about the workings of the vehicle and even where to get your next fuel fix (of any kind).

When it comes to quality, the V90’s interior in on par with rivals Audi and Mercedes, with superb materials used throughout to give it a truly premium feel.

But, as a farmer favourite, it does all the things that you would buy and estate car for, with its 560 litres of cargo room with the seats up – which is almost van like.

All V90s come equipped with standard fare like LED headlights, keyless start and that luxury leather upholstery.

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The T6 AWD cost, when tested about £61,140 with all of its extras and premium Inscription spec', but the range starts at about £40k for a diesel engined version. All things considered, though, the PHEV versions appear to be holding their second hand value pretty solidly and that's something to consider.