I always like to have a bit of company on a long drive but in the Volvo S90 that doesn’t mean you need a passenger.

Technology has moved on at such a pace that this sleek, stylish four-door saloon has been transformed into your best driving buddy.

Whether it is slipping into a tight parking spot, or cruising effortlessly along a motorway, an array of cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors combine to keep an eye out for you.

The assistance is welcome as Volvo’s flagship saloon is a large car with great road presence and a sumptuous interior capable of housing three adults in the rear seats along with a heap of luggage in a sizeable boot.

Power on the test car came from the T5 turbocharged petrol engine recently added to Volvo’s large-car. Tuned to deliver 250 horsepower, the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder unit is mated as standard to an eight-speed automatic transmission to deliver impressive fuel economy and emissions.

The distinctively-styled car, with its concave grille – itself a homage to the Volvo P1800 – and T-shaped ‘Thor’s hammer’ lights up front, is packed with new technology and comes with Volvo’s ‘IntelliSafe Assist’ as standard. This includes adaptive cruise control and distance alert, and the advanced semi-autonomous drive feature, pilot assist.

Pilot assist is a real help on longer journeys as it gives gentle steering input to keep the car properly aligned within lane markings up to motorway speeds and no longer needs to follow another car.

Another system automatically gives steering assistance if you should drift out of your lane, guiding the car back on to the correct side of the road and away from oncoming vehicles.

At lower speeds the city safety system can detect pedestrians, cyclists and large animals, giving front collision warning and, if necessary, fully-automatic emergency braking.

Front and rear parking sensors are standard but the addition of an optional £1,600 parking pack gives the ability to automatically park the car both in parallel and at 90 degrees together with a set of parking cameras that give a spooky 360-degree ‘bird’s eye’ view of the car at low speeds, displayed on the nine-inch centre console touchscreen.

That screen gives access to the car’s systems ranging from satellite navigation and entertainment to Internet access and most can also be controlled by voice, removing the need to take your hand off the steering wheel.

Buying an optional SIM card gives access to a range of web-based apps, including one which enables the car to pre-book itself for a service appointment at your selected Volvo dealer.

The S90 has pretty striking looks but the car driven here, in sporty R-Design trim, adds an even more dramatic performance feel.

Sporting a new front-end design with spoiler-integrated foglights, it comes with a unique grille and piano black trim both on the front and rear, along with new five-spoke matt black diamond-cut wheels

A wide range of styling cues are included on the inside – from unique trim, pedals and mats, to the sporty contour seats and steering wheel – and the test car came with optional soft-leather perforated sports seats and carbon-fibre inlays

So here is a luxury car that can happily steer, brake and park itself, connect to the Internet and even book itself in for a service.

And for its final trick, even if you have both hands full you don’t need any help loading luggage, as a gentle wiggle of a leg under a sensor at the rear of the car automatically opens and closes the power-operated boot lid.

Auto facts

Model: Volvo S90 T5 R-Design Pro

Price: £52,690 as tested

Insurance group: 28 (1-50)

Fuel consumption (combined): 42.2mpg

Top speed: 140mph

Length: 496.3cm/195in

Width: 187.9cm/73.8in

Luggage capacity: 500 litres/17.6 cu ft

Fuel tank capacity: 12.1 gallons/55 litres

CO2 emissions: 156 g/km

Warranty: Three years/60,000 miles