IF you're on the hunt for a high-end seven seater that's packed with all the latest gizmos and as safe as houses, then few SUVs can compete with the mighty Volvo XC90.
It looks great from any angle, it's a really practical option and it's also competitively priced which gives the car lots of all-round appeal.
And it needs to be good with the likes of the Land Rover Discovery, Audi Q7 and BMW X5 listed as its closest rivals.
The XC90 looks imposing with its bold upright design, distinctive Thor-hammer signature lights, tinted rear windows, panoramic sunroof and 19-inch alloy wheels.
The latest generation model also features some design upgrades including a new grille and lower front bumper, redesigned air intakes, plus integrated tail pipes.
The interior is quality through and through with upmarket Nappa leather upholstery, soft touch surfaces, four-zone climate control, heated front and rear seats, powered front seats with memory settings and tiny Swedish flags stitched into the seats as a gentle reminder to the car's birthplace.
The majority of the on-board technology is accessed via the now familiar nine-inch Sensus portrait touchscreen with full navigation, smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, a wireless charging pad and a pitch perfect Bowers and Wilkins sound system.
Our car was powered by a 235hp 2.0-litre diesel engine matched to an eight-speed automatic gearbox priced at £59,115 (£66,890 with options fitted). It could sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 7.6 seconds, topped out at 112mph and, according to official figures, could deliver a combined 37.1-41.5mpg with carbon emissions of 178g/km.
Comfort levels within the car are excellent and the XC90 is perfect for long motorway journeys where it glides along effortlessly eating up the miles. It also handles impressively on fast moving country lanes where the road holding is assured with minimal body sway provided tight bends are given a degree of respect.
In town, the elevated driving position results in excellent all-round visibility and the XC90 is deceptively agile coping well with lots of twists and turns. The Park Assist Pilot will guide you into the tightest of parking spaces and is part of an optional Lounge pack costing £2,250.
There are drive modes called Eco, Comfort, Dynamic and Off-Road that alter the manner in which the car responds and there is 4WD to keep you going during more challenging driving conditions.
The XC90 also features the rather clever Pilot Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control driver assist technology that keeps the car within its lane markings while helping with the steering, accelerating and braking at a desired set speed of up to 80mph.
It is a shame there are no steering wheel mounted paddles but that was my only gripe and, in all honesty, the automatic transmission is beautifully timed anyway.
Obviously, practicality is an area where the XC90 needs to excel and it does just that. The second row of seats can easily accommodate three adults and there are two extra individual seats folded flat to the boot floor that can be used when needed - but these are only really suitable for children.
Storage options are good too with a boot capacity that ranges from 314 litres to 1,868 litres with the second row of seats dropped flat. Even with all seven seats in use, the boot has ample room for some overnight luggage.
And as is the Volvo way, the XC90 boasts a wealth of safety kit such as City Safety with Steering Support which includes pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection along with front collision warning and fully automatic emergency braking and steering assistance. There are automatic LED headlights with high beam assist, Oncoming Lane Mitigation, Run-off Road Protection and a whole lot more besides.