Used Car of the Year 2010 - Executive and luxury

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Winner Executive and luxury
Mercedes-Benz S320 CDI
Year ’06/06 Price £24,000
If there's one category where you can get some serious flash for your cash, this is it.

You really will feel like you’ve hit the big time with the Merc; the swathes of leather and wood give an opulent ambience, and even the clock set into the dashboard looks like it belongs in a jeweller’s window.

This is really a limousine, but that doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable to drive. The S-Class is surprisingly composed for such a big car, and it even changes direction pretty well. The ride is nothing short of superb, too.

As befitting a car of this stature, it comes with all the baubles you would expect, including leather upholstery, multi-zone climate control and a large colour-display sat-nav system.

Judge's view
Duncan McClure Fisher,
managing director, Warranty Direct

‘Offering one of the smoothest drives around, the refined S320 CDI is lean,
green and accomplished, as well as consistently reliable across the board.’
It also comes packed with technology designed to keep passengers safe and the driver in complete control, but look out for some of the sexy options, including Active Body Control that further enhances the car’s comfort and handling. If those in the back really need to stretch out then you might want to consider the long-wheelbase version. These come with a higher spec as standard, but push used prices up by £2000.

It isn’t a cheap car to run, but this diesel version keeps fuel bills under some semblance of control: it manages an official average of 34mpg. Road tax is still a hefty £425 per year, though. Servicing will cost more than your average Mercedes, but you shouldn’t have to remortgage the house.

You’ll find a good selection of cars at Mercedes dealers, while independent specialists tend to sell higher-mileage examples. Executive taxi cars are easily spotted by their astronomical mileages, and are best avoided – go for well maintained company cars instead.

Need to know
Power 232bhp
Fuel economy 34.0mpg
0-60mph 7.8sec
Max speed 155mph
Insurance 47
Road tax £245
CO2 emissions 220g/km
Euro NCAP rating N/A
Reliability rating 3/5
Service intervals 9000 miles



Runners-up
Audi A6 2.0 TDI S line
’06/06, £11,700
Elegant and understated, the A6 is more discreet than rivals but well finished and refined.

BMW 520d SE
’08/08, £16,290
A great car at a great price: if you’re looking for business class on a budget, this is the car for you.

Jaguar XF 2.7 Premium Lux
’08/08, £24,355
Sublime refinement and panache: one of the best new execs is now sensibly priced on the used market.


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