Britain's best value cars - Executive cars
BMW 520d Efficient Dynamics
Target Price: £28,039
Resale value £16,250
True MPG: 54.5
Three-year cost: £19,678
Yes, it's true: a BMW 5 Series really is cheaper to own than the smaller 3 Series.
Why? Well, although the 520d ED officially costs £2355 more to buy than its smaller sibling, there's less than £1600 between the two cars once you've factored in dealer discounts.
True, that still means you'll be paying more money up front, but because of the 5 Series' stronger resale values, you'll lose less in depreciation during the first three years. That's enough to tip the balance in the favour of the bigger car.
Running costs aren't as different as you might expect, either. Yes, the 3 Series is slightly more fuel efficient, but in the real world it manages only an extra 1.5 miles on every gallon of diesel. That's nothing.
As a company car, the 5 Series isn't such a bargain, but it's still much more affordable than similar-sized rivals, including the Audi A6 and Mercedes E-Class. Overall, it's the best-value executive car on the market.
Read the full BMW 5 Series review
BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics
Target Price: £26,476
Resale value £12,726
True MPG: 56.0
Three-year cost: £20,338
The BMW 3 Series is the best executive car to drive, and it's surprisingly affordable in 320d Efficient Dynamics guise. It's more expensive to buy than most rivals, but low CO2 emissions make it very cheap to run as a company car. Impressive fuel economy, solid Resale values and reasonable servicing rates all cut total ownership costs.
Read the full BMW 3 Series review
Jaguar XF 2.2D 163 Luxury
Target Price: £29,481
Resale value £14,431
True MPG: 42.1
Three-year cost: £24,261
Big discounts and strong resale values don't usually go together, but the Jaguar XF is one of the few cars that offers both. The entry-level 2.2-litre diesel will reward you with reasonable fuel economy, while respectable CO2 emissions keep down company car tax bills. Okay, you'll still be paying a few grand more than you would have for an equivalent BMW 5 Series, but the XF is sharper to drive and gets an automatic gearbox as standard.
Read the full Jaguar XF review
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