VOLVO continues to thrive during these difficult times and continues to increase sales thanks mainly to its excellent range of handsome SUVs.
Customers can choose from the compact XC40, the mid-size XC60 and the top of the range XC90 and from the extensive choice of petrol, diesel, plug-in hybrids, two-wheel-drive (2WD) or four-wheel-drive (4WD) versions, along with a large selection of trim levels.
Like most other manufacturers Volvo is moving towards a pure-electric line up over the next few years and it plans to outsell its premium rivals at the same time.
With that in mind I have been sampling the fine looking XC60 in Plug-In Hybrid T6 AWD form with Inscription specification.
It combines a 2.0-litre petrol engine producing 253bhp with an 87hp electric motor to provide smooth and economical motoring with fine performance.
You can also plug into the mains overnight to boost the battery charge and stretch the car's ability to drive longer distances under electric power only allowing owners to dodge congestion charges and enjoy great economy on short town trips.
The XC60 is a large vehicle but its clean lines make it look impressive and stylish from any viewpoint and its large alloys, twin exhaust pipes, roof rails, tinted windows and panoramic sunroof all add to its presence.
The Inscription interior is supremely comfortable and elegant and boasts Nappa soft leather perforated and ventilated upholstery, powered seats, drift wood inlays, soft touch surfaces, heated seats and steering wheel, plus a stack of easily operated technology.
The car featured Volvo's highly-acclaimed Sensus Connect system, which provides an upright touchscreen that is very similar to a tablet. Smartphone connection n is available via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto which is part of a truly impressive Bowers and Wilkins premium sound system kit adding Â£2,500 to the cost.
A Lounge pack costing £800 added a parking camera with 360-degree surround view and Park Assist Pilot. AConvenience pack, priced at £175, introduced power-folding rear seat headrests, net pockets and puddle lights. Two other packs added even more features and cost a further £1,175.
On top of that a Driver Assist pack provided a blind spot information system, steer assist cross traffic alert, pilot assist and adaptive cruise control for a further £1,500.
Visibility is excellent thanks to the elevated driving position and easy seat adjustment and all the controls and dials are clear and easy to read and use.
The XC60 provides a very comfortable ride and drive, shifting with ease through its eight-speed automatic gearbox. It is surprisingly agile for its size and drivers can select from a number of drive modes called Constant AWD, Pure, Hybrid, Individual, Power and Off Road.
It is perfectly happy in town, on twisting country roads or cruising quietly at motorway speeds with hardly any noise entering the luxury cabin.
Acceleration is brisk with a 0-62mph sprint time of just 5.9 seconds and maximum speed of 112mph. The official economy figures are frankly not realistic in the real world and could only be achieved if you were using the car on mainly very short journeys after charging it from a power source.
Space is anotherXC60 feature with an impressive boot capacity of 483 litres which increases to 1,410 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. The tailgate is power-operated and there are stacks of storage spaces inside the cabin.
As you would expect from Volvo the XC60 is one of the safest cars on the road with all the latest safety technology and aids that are too numerous to mention.
Sadly all this comes at a price and the XC60 in this form is not cheap as the final price tag with all the options came to just over £64,000.