There are few more comforting places to be when facing a freezing winter’s day travel than aboard a Volvo XC90.

Heated, electrically-adjustable seats, heated steering wheel and powerful four-zone climate control quickly turn an ice-covered car into a cosy retreat.

Volvo’s flagship SUV now comes in a T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid version delivering huge power and serious economy from the petrol engine and electric motor.

This spacious, luxurious seven-seater has recently been revised to extend its potential all-electric driving range to more than 28 miles.

What that means, if you keep the lithium-ion battery topped up, is official fuel consumption figures topping well over 100mpg

It also means the family-friendly battlecruiser, despite its daunting dimensions, can glide through city low-emission zones and escape proposed vehicle bans in places like Bristol.

The clever hybrid technology also delivers an impressively low benefit-in-kind tax rating of just 19% for business and company car drivers.

Just as remarkable is that the advanced technology has no effect on either the stylish Scandinavian cabin space or the generous luggage carrying capacity of conventionally-powered XC90s.

Despite weighing well over two tonnes, the XC90 T8 is light on its feet, with the 0-62mph sprint despatched in just 5.8 seconds thanks to a combined 385 horsepower from the petrol engine and electric motor.

That makes it ideal for motorway cruising, though I confess I pushed the test car well out of its comfort zone on a mud-splashing trip to Oxfordshire’s RSPB Otmoor reserve, where the electronic air suspension, adaptive dampers and enormous 21-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels played their part in dealing with the worst that could be thrown at them.

The ability to roll a small knurled drive-select switch to engage all-wheel-drive, through a rear-axle electric motor, allowed the car to safely negotiate slippery conditions.

The car’s clever powertrain has continued its award-winning streak, recently voted 2020's Best Plug-in Hybrid over £50,000 in the What Car? Awards, following its Plug-in Hybrid of the Year title in 2019 and also crowned Best Electrified Seven-Seater in the DrivingElectric Awards.

All versions of the XC90 come with a package of advanced active safety and Volvo's Sensus system, which provides a nine-inch touchscreen to co-ordinate navigation and connectivity functions, voice control, access to the Volvo On Call connected services platform and a SIM card with up to 100GB of data.

Standard equipment on all XC90 T8 Twin Engine versions includes a powered tailgate, rear parking camera, LED headlights, four-zone climate control, leather upholstery, and heated, power-adjustable front seats.

The model driven here, in top-of-the-range Inscription Pro specification, adds everything from an Orrefors crystal gear lever knob and sun curtains in the rear doors to a driver's head-up display in the windscreen and follow-the-road headlights.

As part of its drive towards electrifying its entire range, Volvo will introduce its first all-electric model – the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric – this year.

And it’s not just on icy days that Volvo comes out on top for comfort. If you wondered why the XC90’s soft leather front seats are perforated it is because on a hot summer’s day you can flick on the seats’ in-built ventilation fans – seriously cool technology.

Auto facts

Model: Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription Pro AWD

Price: £78,829 as tested

Insurance group: 45E

Fuel consumption (combined): 113mpg

Top speed: 143mph

Length: 495.3cm/194.5in

Width: 200.8cm/78.8in

Luggage capacity: 314 litres/16.6 cu ft

Fuel tank capacity: 15.4 gallons/70 litres

CO2 emissions: 55g/km

Warranty: Three years/ 60,000 miles