VOLVO has enjoyed huge success over the years with its large estate cars and last year the arrival of the new V90 confirmed that the Swedish company had not lost its touch.
It was a star from day one and won the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers Car of the Year Award last November because of its blend of style, quality and economy.
A premium product, it is one of best large family cars that money can buy.
Back in February Volvo expanded the range with some sporty design models and more importantly a Cross Country version.
That surprised a few people because of the success of Volvo's own XC90 SUV but the company believes that there is still a market for a large estate that is strong enough to tackle some rough terrain.
Volvo introduced the first V70 Cross Country over 20 years ago and other manufacturers followed its lead.
The V90 Cross Country retains all of the regular wagon's fine features - an upmarket interior, high levels of equipment, massive space and large boot - and adds four-wheel-drive and other features to make it an all-roader.
It sits up to 65mm higher than the standard car and the permanent four-wheel-drive (4WD), skid plates and plastic bodywork cladding combine to give it a tougher look and the ability to cope with the rough stuff.
It is available with a choice of two diesel engines, a D4 that produces 190ps or a D5 which pumps out 235ps, and both are linked to a smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox.
I drove the D4 version which had more than enough power and boasted a top speed of 130mph and a sprint to 60mph time of 8.8 seconds.
For such a big car it was reasonably economical - I averaged about 40mpg - somewhat short of the claimed 54.3mpg claimed combined figure.
At almost five metres long, the Cross Country is a very large car and can be difficult to park but out on the open road it drives and handles very well.
The power plant offers bags of punch and is capable of towing up to 2.4 tonnes - so caravans and horse boxes are no problem.
It may have a toughened suspension but it copes well with normal road surfaces and there is no drastic difference in ride quality between it and the standard estate.
The four-wheel drive system gives a feeling of security in all conditions and the car will easily cope with rutted tracks, mud and snow - just don't expect it to be a Land Rover.
The extra cladding will protect the car from dings and scrapes in supermarket car parks as well as on any off-road ventures.
As in the standard V90 the interior is superb, well constructed with quality soft touch materials. The leather seats are as you would expect from Volvo, very comfortable with power adjustment and heated. The standard equipment is more than generous, with full climate control, navigation and that superb 12.3-inch colour touchscreen which dominates the spacious cabin. It also has an amazing sound system.
The boot offers 560-litres of space and this rises to 1,525 litres with the rear seats collapsed.
Safety equipment is high across the range, with automatic city brake and adaptive cruise control. Volvo's pilot assist is also included, which effectively allows the car to drive itself, in a semi-autonomous way, by controlling the speed and distance to the vehicle in front, along with steering adjustments.
With prices starting at £40,605 the big Volvo is cheaper than its main rivals from Audi and Mercedes by a considerable margin and the company expects two out of every ten V90 models sold to carry the Cross Country badge. Take care when ticking the option boxes though as this particular one came in at £52,205 - some £12,000 over the list price.