Latest Volvo is

plenty fast enough

Volvo V90, action front
Volvo V90, action front 2
Volvo V90, action front 3
Volvo V90, full front static
Volvo V90, rear action
Volvo V90, rear seats
Volvo V90, dashboard
Volvo V90, full rear static
Volvo V90, boot

SORRY, but your new Volvo won't go any faster than 112mph. That's the cap the Swedish car company has built into all its cars from now on.

Your reaction to the news might fall into one of two camps: either you never go that fast anyway, or it's an assault on our freedom to drive as fast as we like.

And there's a third thought, perhaps, that 112mph is far too high a limit, when we can't top 70mph without breaking the law.

Volvo says the limit is set to spotlight the dangers of speeding as it shows how seriously it takes road safety - it was the first to introduce today's three-point safety belt 60 years ago and which has subsequently saved huge numbers of lives.

All of which brings us to the car you're looking at here; in the handsomely chiselled lines of the Volvo V90, an estate car that continues a line of family hold-alls that for many are simply what Volvos were all about.

This very latest version of the firm's top estate has been given a styling refresh so modest you won't notice a new look to the grille, as the car continues to weave a path through a crowded field of mostly German rivals.

And a drive in the latest V90, here in dearest (£56,155) form shows how well the Scandi-vibes continue to work for the firm.

From its softly welcoming interior to the way it coaxes the best out of a bad road surface, this is distinctly a German contender for your cash.

Even with two power sources - 253hp petrol engine and 87hp electric motor - providing scintillating acceleration (5.9 seconds to 62mph) there's no suggestion that this spacious estate really wants to head for Silverstone.

Especially, of course, because once you reached the Northants race track your Volvo would be outrun by anything capable of hitting 113mph on the straights.

This car comes with one of the longest model descriptions you'll find (deep breath)... Volvo V90 Recharge T6 Plug-in Hybrid AWD. The most on-message part of that is the plug-in hybrid bit, meaning you have a battery you can recharge at home and which will then push this big car along on electricity alone for up to 35 miles if you're not impatient on the throttle and force the petrol engine to chime in to help.

It means an official economy figure of up to 134.5mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 47g/km. They're both figures Volvo has to show but highly unlikely to be achieved in any real world driving, but 76mpg on a spirited cross country run on both battery and petrol power wasn't too shabby, you might agree.

Business users, who make up the majority of big Volvo buyers, won't mind the way those official figures help them keep more of their monthly salary from the taxman thanks to a benefit-in-kind rating as low as 10 per cent. That compares to up to 37 per cent for the most popular power choice in the V90, a 197hp diesel that's slower and dirtier than the hybrid, if also nearly £11,000 cheaper.


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