Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

VerdictShould you buy a Volvo V90 Estate?

This is a stylish, usable and unpretentious estate that has a lot going for it, not least that it’s a credible alternative to the default Germanic three. These factors help it to stand-out from the crowd, but the fact that it’s efficient and comes packed with some of the most advanced safety kit currently on the market merely adds to its appeal.

The diesel models make more sense than the petrols, particularly for high-mileage drivers – we’d opt for the D5 PowerPulse over the less urgent D4, which gains all-wheel drive (AWD). If you’re not covering high annual mileages then the T5 and T6 petrols make more sense.

Theoretically, the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid should be the most economical – after all, you can drive it for almost 30 miles on electric power alone, but that assumes you’re not going to make the most of its 400hp output. High performance rather than low running costs is more likely if you spend your days plying motorways, meaning that the D5 still makes more sense.

What else does the V90 have in its favour? Well, if it’s important to you it’s not one of the default prestige choices of the Audi A6 Avant, BMW 5 Series Touring and Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate. Beware though – as stylish as it is, the Volvo’s not as roomy as those key rivals – and yes, if you’re an older reader, the irony of that sentence compared with what you’d have read 30 years ago isn’t lost on us either.

The V90 not perfect, however, with a number of competitors offering greater practicality and a more rewarding driving experience. If the last word in luggage capacity and handling dynamics aren't top of your list, then you can buy with confidence.

Despite our preferences, Volvo indicates that the D4 is the most popular engine, while luxury-focused Inscription Plus and sportier R-Design Plus trims have far more interest than the entry-level Momentum Plus. If you fancy yours wearing wellies then have a look at the elevated, SUV-esque V90 Cross Country.

There aren’t too many personalisation options on the V90, so you won’t have to worry about justifying a chequered roof to a potential buyer if you decide to buy the car outright, but other options, particularly in the realms of safety, will make your car more attractive than others. The Xenium Pack is a worthwhile bundle to go for, bringing a panoramic roof and 360-degree cameras.