Best executive cars 2019 (and the ones to avoid)

The stakes are high in the executive car class; it's one of the most hotly contested in Britain, with some of the most demanding customers. But which models are hitting all their targets and whic...

Best executive cars 2019 (and the ones to avoid)
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What Car? team
23 Sep 2019 12:00

A good executive saloon needs to combine two opposing qualities: luxury and affordability. The best have efficient engines that make them cheap to run as company cars. Yet they also have plush interiors and enough soundproofing to keep them quiet on the motorway.

Ideally, they should also offer a comfortable ride and be enjoyable to drive. Plus, they should have a user-friendly dashboard layout and come equipped with the latest infotainment and safety technology.

Here we count down our top 10 – and names the cars that are best to steer clear of.

Jaguar XE Executive class

Taking on the big German brands in the executive car market is a big task, but Jaguar has made a good go of it with its junior saloon, the XE. It's offered with a strong range of engines and rewards keen drivers with excellent steering and sharp handling. It's let down a little when it comes to interior quality, but a generous equipment list should entice company car drivers.

Our pick: 2.0-litre D180 SE 

Mercedes C-Class Executive class

The C-Class is one of the three main choices when it comes to executive cars, the other two being the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series – both of which feature further up this list. The C-Class does a lot well, too – it has a superb interior, most engines emit little CO2 and you get plenty of toys as standard. The entry-level C220d diesel makes the most financial sense and pulls strongly from low revs.

Our pick: C220d SE

Read our full Mercedes C-Class review or find a great deal on a C-Class

8. Volkswagen Arteon

Volkswagen Arteon executive class

The Arteon is a very stylish choice, mixing the practicality of an executive saloon with the svelte looks of a coupé. We like its strong range of engines, of which the mid-level 2.0-litre diesel is our recommended choice, as well as its huge boot and generous standard kit.

Our pick: 2.0 190 TDI Elegance

Read our full Volkswagen Arteon review or find a great deal on an Arteon

Next: more of the best executive cars >

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