This award is all about business car users, so the holy grail is to achieve the lowest possible tax and fuel bills without compromising the sense of luxury and abundant performance.
A swanky, easy-to-use interior and infotainment system are vital, as is lots of space and the necessary kerbside kudos.
Of course, none of this would matter if the car didn't drive with the appropriate blend of poise and precision through bends, while being unflappable in town and on the motorway.
Audi A3 SaloonBest buy less than £24,000
With a refined, gutsy 2.0-litre diesel engine under its bonnet, the four-door A3 offers unbeatable value, thanks to its tax-busting emissions and list price.
BMW 3 SeriesBest buy £24,000-£28,000
Buy a 320d and you're getting the best-handling compact executive saloon out there.
BMW 5 SeriesBest buy More than £28,000
As a whole the 520d is hard to fault - although you will need to add the £985 variable damper control to get a supple, relaxing ride and responsive handling.