While in recent years crossovers and SUVs have started to take hold of the market, there is still some appetite for the classic executive saloon. So, while for manufacturers this means there is no room for error, for potential buyers this makes for exciting, well-developed segment options. Below, we talk about four of our favourites.
BMW 3 Series – the modern one
With more than 15 million 3 Series sold across the world, BMW has created one of the world’s best-selling executive cars. After being around for more than 40 years would you expect anything less? The latest seventh-generation model has really raised the bar on almost all fronts, offering buyers a thoroughly competitive option within the segment. With a range of engine choices to suit and a class-leading infotainment system, there is now even more to like with the 3 Series. This compact saloon is fun to drive thanks to its sharp and engaging handling and there is a plug-in hybrid 330e variant which could help business drivers save on company car tax.
Skoda Superb – the value for money one
It is true that with the Skoda Superb you’re not necessarily getting a premium-badged car. But if you’re not fussed about labels, you’ll get an awful lot of bang for your buck here. The Superb offers a relatively comfortable drive and safe, predictable handling. Given the price, it is difficult to fault the interior quality on offer. Even in the entry-level S trim you get an 8.0in touchscreen which allows you to connect your phone via Apple CarPlay. But where Skoda really comes up trumps against other executive car competitors is with the size and space. Where front, rear and boot space is concerned you really won’t find any other model which can successfully rival the Superb at this price point.
Jaguar XE – the underrated one
Jaguar may have struggled to keep up with German brand BMW when it comes to tech, but then again, not every option in this segment can be considered class-leading. The 2019 XE facelift has improved the equipment on offer, with even the entry-level spec boasting leather upholstery, 18in alloy wheels, cruise control, dual-zone climate control and automatic lights and wipers. If you’re looking for a sportier executive car the beautifully designed XE has great handling and feels really settled during motorway driving making for a luxuriously comfortable ride.
Mercedes E-Class – the classy one
The benchmark Mercedes E-Class covers a broad model which is available in estate, coupe (pictured below), saloon and even cabriolet variants. It is the perfect mix of the usability offered by the C-Class and the sheer luxury which comes with the S-Class. The E-class has a classy, attractive interior and a well-developed infotainment system. All the standard equipment a company car driver would need comes in the entry-level Sport trim, including cruise control and front and rear parking sensors, as well as heated front seats and dual-zone climate control.