Probably the best car I have driven this year is the Volvo S90, a superb saloon which will have BMW shaking in their boots.

I reckon to have been behind the wheel of more than 50 vehicles this year but a person who has driven more than ten times that number is the person who does the valet parking for a local hotel. And he reckons that this Volvo is his favourite car of the year.

He said he could have driven off for the day and not come back to work!

So anyone considering a BMW, Mercedes or Audi should study the Volvo menu because they have something delicious on offer at the moment.

One of the Swedish boffins said his company was in the market to build cars which customers could have a relaxed confidence with. They were not in the market to chase the German manufacturers, he said. We shall see who does the running.

Just like Skoda has shaken off its unreliable reputation it is the same with Volvo with its staid moniker. Volvo now produce some of the finest cars around.

Since the company broke away from the Ford clutches at the turn of the decade, Volvo’s cars are among the best and the German Big Three have every reason to worry.

Volvo has been in operation since 1927 and today, Volvo Cars is one of the most well-known and well respected car brands in the world, with sales of more than 500,000 last year in 100 countries.

Since 2010 Volvo has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding of China, and has 29,000 employees worldwide. The Chinese are putting their money where their mouth is with bags of investment in new plans for future models.

The S90 replaces the old S80 which are available with a pair of diesel engines which are badged D4 and D5. No petrol models here and Volvo have said they won’t build cars with engines above the two litre mark. The standard gearbox across the range is an eight-speed auto.

The 187bhp D4 editions come with front-wheel drive and can reach 62mph from rest in just over eight seconds, with 116g/km of CO2.

Then there is the more powerful D5 which offers 232bhp and has an electric compressor called PowerPulse which reduces turbo lag. Top of the range will give you 155mph.

The D5 gives you 0-62mph taking just over seven seconds, but the engine only has a four-wheel drive, so the miles per gallon goes down.

There is a standard eight speed gearbox across the range and there are plans for a manual in the UK.

There are bags of posh, useful extras, and the Volvo Sensus infotainment set-up has the identical nine-inch portrait-layout touch screen as in the XC90.

Polestar has also launched the new generation of its performance package for the new Volvo S90 and V90 which upgrades the entire drivetrain and further improves driving dynamics for less than £1,000.

Volvo has also kicked off Drive Me, the world’s most ambitious and advanced public autonomous driving in a bid to make the roads safer.

Vehicles will eventually be handed to families in Sweden to be driven on public roads for test purposes. Volvo currently offers a semi-autonomous functionality called Pilot Assist on its 90 series cars. Pilot Assist gives gentle steering inputs to keep the car properly aligned within lane markings up to 80 mph without the need to follow another car.

The Drive Me cars will add hands-off and feet-off capability in special autonomous drive zones powered by what Volvo calls the Autonomous Driving Brain.

Volvo, whose name has been synonymous with automotive safety ever since it invented the three-point seat belt in 1959, is pioneering the development of autonomous driving systems as part of its vision that no one will be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo by the year 2020.

Inside the S90 is a sheer delight with great equipment which is easy to understand, the interior is all tasteful elegance in fine leather and real wood. And there is bags of space everywhere.

Prices start around £33,000.