Even in the depths of the world’s worst health crisis of modern times, Volvo’s marketing machine continues on top form.

Within days of the pandemic lockdown in the UK, the Swedish carmaker changed its promotional tagline to: “For once the safest place in the world is not in a Volvo #stayhome #savelives”

Thankfully the Volvo S90 T8, pictured above, arrived just before the Prime Minister’s lockdown speech and I was able to get sufficient miles under its luxurious belt to bring something of the flavour of one of the world’s most desirable hybrid saloons.

The T8 is a twin-engine car, combining the oomph of a large petrol engine with a battery pack and electric motor powering the rear wheels.

In practical terms it means you could run under hybrid power up to the edge of a compact city like Oxford, turn off the ring road and switch to pure electric. With a potential all-electric range of about 29 miles that should easily allow a day’s clean, emissions-free urban running around, then return home under hybrid power.

If most of your travel is limited to short journeys with opportunities to recharge the battery, you could probably escape having to put in any fuel at all, if your commute could be covered using mostly electric power. Use it without any electricity in the battery and you find the day-to-day economy falls into the 30s.

Charging can be achieved with by plugging the car into a roadside fast charger, or a domestic three-pin socket circuit using cables supplied in a bag in the car’s voluminous boot.

Set aside the green credentials and tax advantages for a second, the other serious advantage of battery power is outright performance – the T8 can accelerate from 0-62mph in less than five seconds.

Inside, the design is clean-cut Scandinavian with lots of soft materials, solid switches and a thoroughly well-built feel.

The driving position is superb and irrespective of the height or size of the driver you are guaranteed excellent support and adjustability. Volvo’s seats are rightly known for their comfort on long-distance journeys and the S90 comes with standard electric lumbar and seat-height adjustment. The steering wheel also allows drivers of all sizes to get comfortable and a standard automatic gearbox eases the strain on long trips.

The S90's Sensus infotainment system is the same as you will find in the V90 and XC90, featuring a nine-inch touchscreen through which you can control everything from satellite navigation and climate control to smartphone link and audio.

Standard equipment is top class and as with many Volvos, the entry-level Momentum trim offers superb value for money. That comes with top-notch safety systems and a range of equipment from LED headlights, heated leather seats and satellite navigation to sat-nav, Bluetooth, and a DAB radio. A powered boot lid, keyless start and rear parking sensors are also included, as well as adaptive cruise control. Higher trims, like the car driven here, add more luxury touches but inevitably at a higher price.

For all the misery unleashed by Covid-19 it has clearly made communities realise something of what is truly important.

A renewed respect for those who spend their time saving lives and caring for others might also increase admiration for a company whose stated vow has been, for some time, that by the end of this year no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo.

When the dust finally settles from this global crisis maybe we can return to a world where, once again, one of the safest places to be is in a Volvo.

Auto facts

Model: Volvo S90 T8 AWD Twin Engine R-Design Plus

Price: £57,665

Insurance group: 42E

Fuel consumption (combined): 113mpg

Top speed: 155mph

Length: 496.3cm/194.9in

Width: 187.9cm/73.9in

Luggage capacity: 500 litres/17.6 cu ft

Fuel tank capacity: 15.4 gallons/70 litres

CO2 emissions: 40g/km

Warranty: Three years/ 60,000 miles