March is Geneva Motor Show time. And while many tend to fly in on a day in, day out trip, we decided to put our long-term XC70 through a 1,500- mile road trip to the Swiss capital for the show, then on to Val Thorens for a few days.

Our XC70 was surprisingly frugal for a big, heavy four-wheel-drive. Before the trip we were expecting at least two stops to top up the tank. Surprisingly though, that wasn't the case.

After brimming it near the Euro Tunnel, it wasn't until we were close to the Swiss border that we needed to top up again.

As road trips go, the XC70 was pretty perfect for cruising down the French autoroute. Comfortable, quiet and an automatic: three things any road-tripper can appreciate.

The soft suspension simply wafted over lumps and bumps in the road. It was a very different matter, though, when we reached the mountains.

The XC70 may have flappy paddles to change gears like a sports car, but the reality is it's anything but sporty.

Through fun, twisty mountain roads it pitched and rolled like an oil tanker in a storm while driving at pace, and would have had passengers reaching for the sick bags, but on the autoroutes it was a comfortable cruiser.

The four-wheel-drive, though, meant there was bags of grip when climbing snow-capped roads. Driven more sedately, and the XC was more than a match for the mountain.

Author: Nigel Swan (@motoringnut)

The knowledge

Model: Volvo XC70 D5 AWD SE Lux Geartronic
Price: £43,545 (as tested)
Engine: 2.4-litre, five-cylinder diesel
Power: 213bhp, 439Nm
Max speed: 127mph
0-60mph: 7.8s
Emissions: 169g/km
Mileage this month: 2,871

This month's highlight

The XC works even better abroad than here in Blighty