FEW cars impress so much or so quickly as the new Volvo S60.
This is an executive express with a huge array of innovations, which also does all the basics brilliantly.
I drove the range-topping D5 SE Lux Premium, with all the bells and whistles and a superb five cylinder diesel.
How does 7.4 seconds to 62 miles an hour and 53 miles per gallon grab you.
Yet this car is better than that, with hushed progress apart from a little wind noise at speed, tremendous road-holding with excellent grip and good agility in changes of direction.
The ride is fairly firm, but apart from the potholed roads we all face in town, it was never uncomfortable.
The 2.4-litre turbo engine has huge power, giving marvellous urge from any speed, and it sounds lovely.
The gearchange for the six speed gearbox is a little woolley and the steering could have a little more feel, but these are niggles. This is a Volvo right up there with Mercedes.
The level of safety is vast. It has six airbags, stability control and a safety system which detects objects in front and can stop the car to prevent low-speed impacts.
The optional Driver Support Pack includes adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and blind-spot warning. The front seats are superb but the sculpted rear seat makes riding in the middle rather less comfortable.
Mechanical: 202bhp, 2,400cc, 5cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 146mph
0-62mph: 7.4 seconds
Combined mpg: 53
Insurance group: 13
CO emissions: 139g/km
BIK rating: 19%
Warranty: 3yrs/ unlimited miles
Main rival: BMW 3-Series