While the market is awash with choice for those looking for a cheap runabout, the choice at the opposite end of the market is almost as plentiful. Traditional saloons, four-door coupes and SUVs – whatever buyers want from a high-end executive vehicle, the choice is out there.
Here are 10 of the finest large executive cars on sale today. If you like the look of any of the cars featured here, put them in our car configurator to see how much you could save. Looking for something a little smaller? Check out our list of the 10 best executive cars.
10 – Audi A8
If subtlety is a quality you rate in a luxury saloon, the Audi A8 is one of the best options. Without looking revolutionary from any angle, the well-proportioned, finely detailed limo looks handsome in a way that suggests its owner wants to go about his or her business without drawing attention to themselves.
They’ll enjoy a similar level of peace inside, too. As with many cars of this type, the windows are double glazed, making the A8’s interior an eerily silent place in which to sit. Audis a third of this price are well built, but the A8 is on another level – every material is meticulously crafted, and every button and switch operates with utter precision.
Put the Audi A8 in our car configurator to see what savings can be made.
9 – Lexus LS
Taking silence a step further than the Audi, however, is the Lexus LS. Thanks to measures ranging from tightened panel gaps to even insulating the engine cover itself, the LS 600h is one of the quietest cars on sale today.
This makes the big Lexus incredibly relaxing on the road, regardless of whether you’re driving or being chauffeured. The ride is comfortable, too so, at this price point, there are few more refined ways in which to travel.
Spec up a Lexus LS in our car configurator to see the savings offered.
8 – Bentley Flying Spur
Very few luxury saloons can crack 200mph but, when equipped with the most powerful engine in its lineup, the Bentley Flying Spur is one of them. The 616hp 6.0-litre W12 belies its 2.5-tonne weight to deliver the sort of acceleration figures that wouldn’t seem out of place in a modern sports car.
Inside, the cabin is crafted to Bentley’s exacting standards – the use of leather and wood is perfectly well judged. The Flying Spur corners in a way no car of this size has any right to, yet the way it isolates the cabin from bumps is arguably even more impressive.
Check out the Bentley Flying Spur in our car configurator to see the savings on offer.
7 – Maserati Quattroporte
The Maserati Quattroporte aims to offer the an opulent feel without straying too far from the sporting pretensions of the illustrious brand. Its huge wheelbase allows even the tallest rear seat passengers to stretch out while it offers a level of agility which would be impressive in a saloon the size of a Mercedes C-Class.
Three engines are offered: a turbocharged V6, a 190mph V8 and even a 3.0-litre diesel capable of a claimed 45.6mpg. The big Maserati is as impressive at long distance cruising as it is treading along a twisty road.
Pick your ideal Maserati Quattroporte in our car configurator to see what savings can be made.
6 – BMW 7 Series
The most recent addition to the wealthy end of the saloon market, the BMW 7 Series boasts one of the longest lists of toys featured in any car here. It features gesture controls for the infotainment system, air suspension, semi-autonomous driving, laser headlights and a self-parking function. Even the key has a small touchscreen.
The rest of the car is pretty impressive, too. Comfort levels are on a par with its most serious rivals and, while it isn’t quite as fun to drive as some smaller BMWs, it’s impressive for a car of this size.
5 – Rolls-Royce Ghost
The ride in the Rolls Royce Ghost is so smooth, it really feels like you’re floating on a cushion of air. It’s a feeling enhanced by the armchairs in the cabin, which feel soft, squishy, and more comforting than even your own bed. Every material inside is hand crafted from only the finest samples, lending the Ghost a level of quality that nothing else on this list can compete with.
While it seems vulgar to describe a Rolls Royce as ‘sporty’, the Ghost is capable of accelerating with some serious force – a 6.6-litre V12 will shrug off all but the most enthusiastically driven sports cars.
4 – Range Rover
While its off-road ability may seem a little superfluous to its role as a luxury car, the fact the Range Rover can simply highlights what a staggering technical achievement it is. The ride is smooth, the engine is barely audible until the accelerator is floored, at which point the car launches forward in a way that’s deeply impressive for a 1.8-metre tall, 2.3-tonne SUV.
The interior is a delightful place to sit. The seats are trimmed in beautifully soft leather, while optional ‘winged’ headrests wrap around you for a cosseting experience. Even the styling is spot-on – classy, yet just imposing enough to help it stand out.
Select your ideal Range Rover in our car configurator to see what reductions are offered.
3 – Aston Martin Rapide
If you’re the sort of person who likes to be driven, the Aston Martin Rapide perhaps isn’t the car for you – the rear quarters are a little cramped compared to most of the other options here. If, however, you intend to get behind the wheel yourself, carrying three friends across a continent as quickly as possible, there isn’t a single alternative that feels quite so exciting.
Up front sits a glorious 6.0-litre V12 engine, pumping out 552hp. It helps the Rapide to reach a top speed of 203mph. While it might not have the eerily smooth ride and refinement of the Rolls Royce Ghost, the Rapide is more comfortable than any other Aston.
Choose your ideal Aston Martin Rapide in our car configurator to see what reductions are offered.
2 – Jaguar XJ
Trading just a fraction of the Rapide’s driving involvement for plenty more rear legroom, the Jaguar XJ offers arguably the best compromise between sportiness and indulgence of any car here. It’s one of the lightest limos in its class, enabling it to dart into corners with uncanny agility. The star of the engine lineup is the 503hp supercharged V8 in the XJR which, despite the XJ’s size, will shove it to 62mph from rest in just 4.4 seconds.
Opt for the long wheelbase model, and accommodation for those in the back is improved considerably. There is even the option of individual chairs, allowing rear seat passengers to recline at their own leisure.
Pick your perfect Jaguar XJ in our car configurator to see the discounts available.
1 – Mercedes S-Class
The Mercedes S-Class has long been regarded as the very peak of executive travel, and the latest model continues that proud tradition. The stunning interior is dominated by two 12.5-inch screens that display driving, navigation and infotainment functions. The rest of the dash is gorgeous, too – the four circular air vents that sit below those screens result in a design quite unlike anything else in the segment.
Its strongest point is arguably the ride quality. Many testers suggest the suspension setup might surpass even the most pampering Rolls-Royces for comfort, with barely a speed bump announcing its presence to the occupants inside. It’s quiet, too – perhaps not quite Lexus LS-silent, but very hushed nonetheless. Factor in the powerful and efficient engine lineup, and the S-Class becomes an almost impossible car to fault.
Check out the Mercedes S-Class in our car configurator to see the deals available.
Save money on your next executive car
Put any of the cars featured here in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save. For more options, head over to our deals page or, if you still need help picking you next car, check out our car chooser.