Top 10 executive cars

When it comes to the company car park, nothing has quite the kudos of a premium-badged saloon car. They've long been the reserve of the high-ranking executive, and offer the sort of long-distance cruising comfort that lesser employees could only dream of.

But the best executive cars aren't just comfortable - they're also dynamically capable, handsome, suitably intimidating and loaded with as many toys as a CEO's desk. They also need to be roomy enough to transport the contingent from the European office during the week, and rugged enough to do family duty at the weekends.

We've rounded up the top 10 options for junior and senior execs alike.

Top 10 Executive Saloons
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Top 10 Executive Saloons
1. BMW 5 Series
2. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
3. Volvo S90
4. Jaguar XF
5. Audi A4
6. BMW 3 Series
7. Jaguar XE
8. Volkswagen Arteon
9. Alfa Romeo Giulia
10. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

BMW 5 Series

The BMW 5 Series - especially in Touring estate guise - might be one of the most complete cars on sale today. Sure, it's pricey, but for that money there's very little you'll be left wanting for.

The rear-drive chassis balances ride and handling beautifully, while a wide range of superb petrol and diesel engines ensure good performance with surprising fuel economy. A comfortable interior, loads of equipment and rock-solid residual values complete the package. Any management professional would be lucky to have one as a company chariot.

Mercedes E-Class

If you're one of those people who spends more time behind the wheel than you do at home, then there are few cars more comfortable, cossetting and relaxing than the Mercedes E-Class. The German brand has been tailoring its cars for fast autobahn cruises for decades, and the experience pays dividends.

You feel particularly imperious behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz - studies have that the three-pointed star is considered the most premium brand by the public. The E-Class upholds this reputation spectacularly.

Volvo S90

Volvo always does things a little differently, and the S90 is a case in point. It doesn't pretend to be a low-slung sport saloon, and instead cossets its occupants in a comfortable, leather-lined cabin which is truly one of the most pleasant in the business.

Add in class-leading levels of safety equipment, handsome Swedish styling and the ability to stand out in the office car park and the S90 could be a sound choice. It's not as compelling to drive as rivals - but you'll be so relaxed, you probably won't care.

Jaguar XF

Jaguar has a history of great saloons - its mantra of pace, grace and space is upheld to this day. The XF is good at many things, but it's best from behind the wheel, where it's one of the most dynamic and enjoyable cars in this class.

Lightweight aluminium structure and a selection of decent engines aid matters, while the XF is good-looking enough on the outside to make you feel pretty special. Then, there's the lure of the Jaguar badge - a British icon.

Audi A4

The A4 is no longer Audi's smallest saloon - that honour goes to the A3 Saloon - giving Audi a chance to push its volume compact executive upmarket. It's done that very well indeed, giving buyers a discreet, smart-looking saloon with all of Audi's trademark features.

The interior is beautifully crafted and packed with tech, while opting for one of the Ultra diesel engines will give you very impressive fuel economy.

BMW 3 Series

The 3 Series has been the de facto junior executive choice for decades, and the latest model is the best yet. Still dynamically virtually flawless, it's basically a 5 Series in miniature - and how bad can that be?

It may be due an upgrade soon, but the current 3 Series is still a top choice.

Jaguar XE

The smallest car in Jaguar's range is the XE. It's the little brother to the XF, and is every bit as good as its bigger brother on the road - making it one of the most enjoyable cars to hustle down a country lane.

Though it's not exactly spacious, the XE would make an ideal car for a small family, while its rakish good looks attract all the right sort of attention.

Volkswagen Arteon

With prices kicking off from around £30,000, the Arteon could be seen as the bargain of the century - as even entry models are packed with kit. It also offers stunning looks of the sort you wouldn't expect from staid and sensible Volkswagen.

The Arteon is a genuine executive competitor, even despite its comparatively workaday badge.

Alfa Romeo Giulia

If you're looking for one of the most dynamically capable saloon cars, then look no further than the Giulia.

Available with a diesel engine as well as a range of petrols, it offers up a great combination of invigorating performance and decent ride quality - no matter which specification you go for. It also gets a starter button on the steering wheel, and who wouldn't want that?

Mercedes C-Class

The C-Class name was introduced in 1993, and since then it's gained a reputation for comfort, dependability and prestige. The current model has all of that in spades.

With a roomy interior, comfortable ride and plenty of tech included as standard, the C-Class is well-worth considering as an executive chariot - and worthy of its place as one of Britain's best-sellers.

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