Now, finally, this is what I call a proper hybrid, writes Steven Smith.

You can actually drive it properly on electric without the engine cutting in at 25mph, as is the case with most hybrids on the market at the moment.

The Volvo S90 range as a whole is the manufacturer’s flagship premium range, its largest cars when it comes to saloons and estates.

You can have a petrol or a diesel, all four-cylinder lumps.

And then you can have this, the T8 hybrid – and it’s a -plug-in hybrid, which means you can charge the battery at home or at work and you’re not just relying on the engine to replenish it.

As well as being the cleanest of the range – on-paper CO2 is a mere 46g/km and mpg is a theoretical 141 on the combined cycle – it’s also the quickest, getting to 62mph in just 4.8 seconds.

Drive-wise it works like any other hybrid. Electric power gets you going and then the engine kicks in when more power is needed.

However, as mentioned, electric doesn’t just get you to 25mph or so before the engine kicks in.

Fully charged, you can glide along as if you’re driving a fully electric car, up to 70mph on the battery alone, and you can do that for 20 miles or so.

So, if your commute is around that length and you can charge regularly, you could feasibly use no petrol all week.

But when all is said and done in the real world on a long drive you’re talking about 40mpg, in which case a diesel or petrol seems like just as good an option.

Indeed, Volvo tells us that the majority of drivers – more than two thirds – are buying the D4 diesel.

But if you do quite a few short trips – or as we have said, have a short commute but do longer trips at other times – the hybrid does start to make sense.

And the T8 can be what you want it to be, from clean and economical to a sporty saloon, which is a huge part of its appeal.

Power mode – one of four drive modes – gives you plenty of poke and turns the S90 into a sharp and rewarding driver’s car.

As you’d expect from a Volvo exec saloon, it’s a quality, smooth and comfortable drive. You could spend hours and hours in it and come out feeling just fine.

There’s a lush and luxurious interior and it’s beautiful to look at, too.

Safety tech, being a Volvo, is aplenty, including ground-breaking things like large animal detection and run-off road mitigation.

There’s loads of other tech, too, incorporated into Volvo’s excellent touch screen system, including smartphone integration, a WiFi hotspot, Spotify and much more.

The rear accommodation is truly lovely and you get a big 500-litre boot.

The S90 T8 is a shining example of what a great hybrid can be – and the range as a whole keeps Volvo at the top of the premium game.

The S90 range starts from a rather reasonable £33,865, with the T8 costing from £56,455.