Volvo Cars expects its business to recover in the second half of this year, as car markets get back to normal  and the company returned to sales growth in China in the second quarter making up much of the ground lost in the first quarter.

Volvo’s global sales during the first six months of 2020 fell by 20.8 per cent to 269,962 cars, as governments in many key markets implemented stay-at-home orders or other restrictions on movement, severely affecting economic activity and showroom traffic.

Volvo Cars is the only car maker to offer a plug-in hybrid variant on every model in its portfolio. And later this year you will be seeing the XC40 P8 Recharge, the company’s first fully electric model. This will be followed by several fully electric models to be launched in coming years. 

The older model of the Volvo XC40 has been named car of the year according to both What Car? and the Honest John website and as expected it is an excellent motor car.

The XC40 comes with a wide range of engines – four petrols and two diesels. A 150PS diesel or 156PS three-cylinder petrol – the D3 and T3 – start the range and are good for those looking for an efficient around-town SUV.

The mid-range D4 and T4 variants are the most popular and improve refinement as well as performance. And there is the plug-in hybrid, complete with the T3 petrol engine and pure-electric running combines impressive performance with low running costs.

The XC40 is a good ride easily getting through the potholes even with the large  20in alloy wheels that come as standard with the top of the range.

Even on the Momentum model there is plenty of kit which includes cruise control, keyless start, dual-zone climate control, 18in alloy wheels, LED headlights and rear parking sensors.

The R-Design adds leather seats, power-folding door mirrors, privacy glass and multicoloured ambient interior lighting. There is sports suspension which gives you a more comfortable, ride. 

Volvo’s semi-autonomous ‘Intellisafe Pro’ pack, which means the car will actually steer and brake.

All of the XC40 models are a delight to drive.

Each model has the big touchscreen with navigation with the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which costs an extra 300. But there is LED headlights, climate control and rear parking sensors.

Volvo offers an all-inclusive finance service that means you can have a new XC40 every couple of years, all your insurance and tax costs as part of your deal. 

The honours keep coming for Volvo’s flagship model, with the announcement that the XC90 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T8 has won the Hybrid Seven-Seater of the Year award in the first What Car? Electric Car Awards.

The accolade further emphasises the large luxury SUV’s status: it also received ‘best plug-in hybrid’ honours in the general What Car? Awards in both 2019 and 2020, plus the 2019 best used hybrid title. This time the focus is on electrification, where Volvo has taken a market lead in introducing a plug-in hybrid version of every model in its UK line-up.

The plug-in hybrid system combines a 303hp 2.0-litre petrol engine with an 87hp electric motor in what is the most potent powertrain in the XC90 range. Not only does this enable acceleration from rest to 62mph in just 5.8 seconds, its superb efficiency means CO2 emissions from just 63g/km (WLTP) and fuel economy of up to 100.9mpg (WLTP Combined cycle). Thanks to the low CO2 figures, the XC90 Recharge T8 earns an exceptionally low benefit-in-kind rating for company car taxation of just 15 or 16%, depending on the car’s equipment grade. This means monthly car tax bills for a 40% taxpayer from just £338.