VOLVO drivers are a loyal lot in my experience.

Once enticed into the refined experience of its SUV, estate and saloon cars, they tend to stay put. They are as comfortable with the brand as the cars themselves.

Take the XC60, for example. It’s not the sportiest SUV. No, you will need to look to the Porsche Macan for that. And there are very good much cheaper offerings from Mazda and Peugeot in the same class, plus an excellent rival in the Audi Q5.

Where the XC60 scores so highly it that it is such a pleasure to drive. Even the most horrible morning commute becomes bearable as you immerse yourself in the plush seats, flick through the excellent Sensus multimedia system and experience the smooth ride.

For a weekend getaway, family holidays or for businesspeople pounding the motorways, the XC60 excels when it comes to space and convenience. Its clever packaging ensures the cabin provides plenty of room for everyone on board, plus flexible boot space that ranges from 505 litres with all the seats in place to a cavernous 1,432 litres with the rear seats folded.

The design of the seats and the precision ergonomics of the controls around the driver all contribute to journey comfort, reducing fatigue and providing a commanding view of the road ahead. The two-zone climate control with its CleanZone air-quality system and the integrated front seat heaters help maintain a comfortable cabin environment, while the Sensus system gives access to a wide range of entertainment options and information and navigation for easy journey planning.

Volvo’s industry-leading focus on safety adds to the peace of mind when it comes to travelling longer distances. As well as advanced hazard-detection and collision-avoidance technology, the XC60 comes as standard with driver alert control, which detects from steering inputs when the driver may be growing tired or losing concentration.

For business motorists in particular, costs are an important consideration. Here, the newly introduced XC60 D4 model with front-wheel drive in R-Design specification is a strong proposition. The highly efficient diesel engine provides relaxed, flexible performance that’s ideal for long-distance driving, with the benefit of low fuel consumption (42.2 to 47.9mpg) and CO2 emissions from just 129g/km, meaning a 33 per cent benefit-in-kind rate for company car taxation.

Okay, the D4 engine provides only acceptable rather than impressive acceleration, but the three drive modes – dynamic, eco and comfort – plus an individual mode give plenty of options on how you like the car to perform.

Matched with eight-speed automatic transmission, it is slightly hesitant from standstill. Once into its stride you are ready to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Oncoming lane mitigation forms part of a suite of safety systems that can prevent accidents with pedestrians as well as run-off-road crashes and makes the XC60 one of the safest cars you can buy.

But there’s much more to this family-sized SUV, which wore the crown of World Car of the Year 2018.

It matches the award-wining conservative yet stylish exterior design with an interior that combines elegant Scandinavian design, premium natural materials and craftsmanship. system.

The engines in the XC60 are all 2.0-litre, four-cylinder units.

There are three main trim levels – Momentum, R-Design and Inscription – all of which can also be specified in Pro form, which adds even more desirable equipment.

Sitting between the XC40 and XC90 models, the XC60 is proving to be just right for a legion of fans.

The lowdown:

Volvo XC60 D4 R-Design

Price: from £41,365 (XC60 range from £37,785)

Engine: 2.0-litre diesel producing 190hp

Transmission: Automatic driving front wheels

Performance: 0 to 60mph in 7.9 seconds; top speed 127mph

Economy: 42,2 to 47.9mpg

CO2 emissions: 129g/km

Star ratings:

Performance: ****

Economy: ****

Ride/Handling: ****

Space/Practicality: *****

Equipment: *****

Security/Safety: *****

Value For Money: ***