We’ve put together a list of the best executive cars on the market right now. From affordable options to the priciest and plushest models out there – these cars all boast strong kerb appeal, comfortable cabins and refined road manners.
Check out the best deals on these sophisticated offerings using our new car deals page or head over to our car chooser tool if you’re not sure what to buy. If you’ve already picked the perfect new car, use our PCP calculator to get a better idea of how much it could cost per month.
- Mercedes E-Class
- Volvo V90
- BMW 5 Series
- Skoda Superb
- Audi A6
- Jaguar XF
- VW Passat
- Lexus GS
- Maserati Ghibli
- Hyundai Genesis
1. Mercedes E-Class
The new Mercedes E-Class jumps straight to the top of the class for luxury and comfort. Its striking looks, refined road manners and high-quality interior all make it feel like a truly luxurious product.
Whether you’re behind the wheel or sat in the back, the E-Class is a fantastic place to spend time. Its spacious cabin and numerous lavish touches – including plush leather seats and vast infotainment screens – should keep you amused on long journeys. The E-Class is slightly pricier than most rivals, however – entry-level models will set you back at least £34,440 – but you certainly get what you pay for.
2. Volvo V90
The Volvo V90 estate takes focus away from the likes of the Audi A6 Avant and BMW 5 Series Touring with its stylish looks and hugely practical interior. Its high-tech cabin features a portrait touchscreen infotainment system nestled in a minimalist dashboard design that makes many rivals feel distinctly old-fashioned. As an added bonus, its seats are some of the best on the market.
Its S90 saloon sibling puts up a good fight against more expensive competitors but, with more boot space and sharper looks, the V90 gets our vote. It’s offered with a good range of efficient four-cylinder engines and there’s even a plug-in hybrid version for those who want to cut down on fuel and tax bills, too.
3. BMW 5 Series
The BMW 5 Series lags behind some rivals in the luxury and refinement stakes but it strides ahead in terms of handling and driver involvement. Its sharp steering and comfortable ride make it a great car to chuck around back roads, while its range of powerful engines helps make it a capable motorway cruiser, too.
Inside its spacious cabin you’ll find a raft of modern gadgets – including the particularly impressive iDrive infotainment system. Its 520-litre boot is snapping at the heels of the class-leading E-Class, but the 5 Series can’t quite match its Mercedes rival in terms of materials quality or design flair.
4. Skoda Superb
The Skoda Superb is a classy saloon with a range of refined engines that’ll set you back less than £20,000 in entry-level trim. Not only does is sport smart styling and a well-built interior but, when fitted with a 148hp 2.0-litre diesel engine, it promises refined road manners and effortless motorway cruising.
The Superb is best known for its vast interior – it comes with a huge 625-litre boot and more than big enough room inside for five adults to sit in comfort. Cheaper versions can’t match the likes of BMW, Mercedes of Audi in terms of luxury, but top-spec Laurin and Klement models come with adaptive cruise control, xenon headlights and a self-parking system as standard.
5. Audi A6
The Audi A6 is an understated and elegant option in the executive car class. It isn’t as charismatic as the E-Class or as fun to drive as the 5-Series, but it comes with an exceptionally well-built interior and bags of standard equipment across the range – including Audi’s easy to use MMI infotainment system.
A roomy cabin and generous 530-litre boot make it a great family car, too, while a good range of engines – including a 2.0-litre diesel that can return more than 65mpg – make the A6 a great car for long motorway drives. It’s certainly a strong alternative to other luxury executive saloons on our list.
6. Jaguar XF
The Jaguar XF boasts striking looks and kerb appeal few large executive cars can match. The latest model pairs a smart interior with a vastly improved 10.2-inch infotainment system, too – although it still lags behind the likes of BMW’s excellent iDrive system.
Its 540-litre boot is on par with the commodious E-Class and its roomy cabin can easily seat four in comfort – even on long journeys. Handling is one of the XF’s key strengths but it’s also comfortable and refined on long journeys. If you go for the most efficient diesel option, fuel economy could reach more than 70mpg, too.
7. VW Passat
The VW Passat has been transformed over recent generations into a handsome yet affordable executive car. Top-spec R-Line models will set you back only as much as a basic Audi A6 but come loaded with tech.
For around £35,000, you get loads of space inside, plenty of standard equipment, four-wheel drive and VW’s excellent BiTDI engine producing 240hp. Special fluid-filled suspension components help these range-topping models feel as refined as possible, even over rutted roads. The versatile Passat is also offered as a practical estate with a 650-litre boot and a surprisingly rapid GTE hybrid model, too.
8. Lexus GS
If you’re looking for a premium car but want something a little different, the Lexus GS is a great option. It’s a refined, comfortable car with a range of punchy turbocharged petrol and hybrid engines. The smooth automatic gearbox makes for a relaxed driving experience and the supple suspension setup will make journeys on the bumpy UK roads much more bearable.
The GS also comes with an impressively luxurious cabin. The dashboard design isn’t quite as smart or as intuitive as rivals but it comes fitted with a wide range of equipment as standard. One of its standout features are the excellent seats with their special ergonomic design that mimics the shape of your back.
9. Maserati Ghibli
The Maserati Ghibli is a more exotic offering than most cars on our list. It might not boast the same build quality or refined ride as its German rivals but its eye-catching design, desirable badge and plush cabin will no doubt appeal to many buyers.
The interior certainly stands out from more run-of-the-mill executive saloons and comes with loads of equipment as standard. There are some brilliant-sounding petrol engines in the Ghibli’s range, while a diesel V6 option – capable of returning 47.6mpg – brings a slightly more economical option to the table. It’s a little rough around the edges but the Ghibli makes a good choice for those who value exclusivity over refinement.
10. Hyundai Genesis
The Hyundai Genesis is an underrated member of the executive car class. It’s part of the Korean brand’s plans to expand its range into more upmarket territory and, as a result, offers a spacious interior, decent build quality and loads of equipment as standard.
The Genesis can’t match other cars on this list for fuel economy or refinement but, if you’re looking for a fairly left-field executive saloon, this may be your best option. You will need to set aside more than £50,000 for one, however.
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