many many years ago when I was a lad Volvo was synonymous with two things safe cars and big estate cars not much has changed when it comes to safety of course over the last few years you can be forgiven for thinking Volvo hood abandoned big estates all together in favour of SUVs or the arrival of this the new V 90 proves that nothing could be further from the truth in fact this is the latest in a long line of big Volvo stakes that stretches back more than 60 years however just as significantly as the name implies this car also owes an awful lot to its multi-award-winning Big Brother the xc90 so along with its platform and much of its technology it also gets this wonderfully imposing front-end with this big gaping grille and these Thor's hammer headlights back here at the business end you've got 560 litres of boot space to play with or more than 1500 if you fold those rear seats down it's true you can buy bigger estate cars but according to Volvo sheer size isn't the be-all and end-all for estate car buyers instead the v90 concentrates on supplying what Volvo calls the right kind of functionality of course being a Volvo that includes an awful lot industry-leading in fact levels of standard safety kit but this car also includes something called pilot assist it's a system that in certain circumstances allows the car to effectively drive itself that's all very clever of course but for now we're going to do the driving ourselves so let's find out if this new Volvo is good enough to tempt buyers away from the likes of the Audi a6 the BMW 5-series and the Mercedes e-class the first thing to strike you about the new v90 is this luxurious and sophisticated cabin it looks fantastically high tech and high class in fact the combination of this touchscreen and the controls on the steering wheel it's all fantastically easy to use it's really comfortable to Volvo always done some of the best seats in the business and these just carry on that tradition there's room for another couple of six-foot ELLs behind me and although the boot isn't the biggest in the class it does all the important things that a boot should do it's got a nice wide opening a low load sill and a really nice square shape so overall this is a very practical car there will be two diesel engines available in the v90 when it comes to Britain and we're driving the top of the range d5 it also come - the really clever feature called power poles and where some old diesel engines used to suffer from turbo like this uses compressed air to spool the turbocharger up to speed really really quickly so this engine responds fantastically quickly which is ideal you know when you're trying to keep up with traffic on a motorway or just with the ebb and flow of traffic it's perfect responds really nice and quickly mind you sheer speed isn't what the v90 is all about if you're the kind of driver who wants to get from A to B as quickly as you can with a soundtrack of squealing tires and the scent of Tyre smoke and your nostrils this is not the car for you if you want to get into the car at a and get out hundreds of miles later be completely calm completely unruffled then this is what the car is really good at on the motorway this car is fantastically refined it's so quiet it's going to cause Lexus engineers sleepless nights and for the most part the suspension is pretty comfortable but mentally this car we're driving comes on the optional 20-inch wheels but we feel certain that even in Britain a car on 18-inch wheels which is standard fit on this particular model will ride really nicely it's a very different beast to say a BMW 5-series it's not a sporty cars not about it Dinah responses this is a car that prefers to be coaxed round corners rather than hurled rounds of benz Volvo proudly proclaims that it hasn't got where it is today by doing the same thing as everyone else and on the evidence of our brief first driving the new V 90 this car is further evidence of that with a smart cabin distinctive looks and emphasis on comfort smoothest and refinement it really does offer something a little bit different to its predominantly German rivals we can't be exactly sure just how good this car is until we've driven a British version on British roads but we've seen enough to be certain that this is a fine car and anyone in the market for a prestigious state car should certainly
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Sharing its platform and much of its technology with the award-winning XC90, the 2016 V90 brings Volvo back into the executive estate market. Cars editor Andy Pringle goes to southern Spain to drive the new rival for the Audi A6 Avant and Mercedes E-Class estate
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