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Full-fat estate that's big on comfort

Full-fat estate that's big on comfort

Steve Orme, 2017-04-19

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IFyou want my opinion, and you probably don't, there are too many brown cars creeping into the spectrum.

Brown cars may be the new cool but are like purple suits; good idea at the time but you step out looking like a bottle of Ribena.

Only a bishop should wear a purple suit.

Here is a thing about brown cars. The Austin Allegro was very popular in brown. Which suited precisely what it was.

Just to make it clear brown is any shade which can be stood in or would be called very smart by my wife's mother, the latter being how that generation dresses its men in preparation for any cataclysmicpersonal malfunction in the queue at Bedding Plants R Us.

However there are times when I am prepared to look beyond the garden center hues of retirement clothing and admire a car no matter where it exists the prism.

Even Peugeot will escape criticism for those two-toneback quarter paint jobs which make you think you have landed in a 1970s reggae party.

Enter the Volvo V90 estate, a truly desirable alternative to theone on every corner crossover.

It is a family estate after the style of good sense, big, practical, well equipped. It could never have that funky tag attached to it, a proper car inthe traditional manner not a hipster named desire.

Pick of the bunch is probably the D4 Momentum, as smooth a diesel as you could ask for, safe as a 200ft-deep bunker on a south seas island and sprightly at 8.5 seconds to 62mph. Remember this is a fully fattened estate car not some dinky sportback.

Power is from a turbocharged two-litre engine, the entry level D4 developing 187bhp and available in front wheel drive only. If you need more poke the D5 has 232 horses and a 7.2 sprint time.

Handling leave little to be desired given that this is a cruiser and not a candidate for a day on the Evo triangle.

The real story is one of refinement and class.

There is nothing brash about the V90 cabin just well positions instruments and a high-tech touch screen. The only complaint of which I have is that the heater controls can be a bit over sensitive.

Maybe because this is for a more mature customer there is not an over-abundance of USB sockets.

The rest, however, is excellent. Leather seats, LED lights, all manner of electricals and the Sensus infotainment system which manages the car including sat nav.

Comfort? Oh yes we'll have a slice of that. The expected brilliant seat ergonomics, plenty of legroom and smoothness only interrupted by a slight intrusiveness form the big alloys. You can choose your drive setting by a selector in the center console.

In terms of practicality, after all you did not buy this to wear with a medallion and impress the ladies, there are bigger boots but if 560 litres is not enough then I would suggest a smaller dog and flogging the kids off.

The pop up divider is always a favourite as is underfloor storage behind the electric tailgate.

The entry level Momentum costs £35,000and claims a combined 62.8mpg which you may or may not mange. It is very clean, emitting just 119g/km of demon dust.

As ever Volvo ensure it sees its customers return safely with a huge package including all the usual features plusa run-off protection system which judges whenyou are in danger of intimacy with a ditch, large animal detection,semi-autonomous drive pilot, sensors and cameras.

Bringing a skidding to a minor matter of misfortune.

People often ask what happens if you damage a car on evaluation. Well accidents do happen, in spite of all the technology.

Sad to say the Volvo found itself marginally attracted to a car park wall. I have inspected the scene of the crime and this car definitely was having a brown moment.

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