Executive cars are traditionally the choice of company car drivers, so factors such as the CO2 emissions (that govern your monthly tax bill) are just as important as cruising refinement for those long motorway journeys, a plush cabin and (whisper it) the image of the badge on the bonnet.
The good news is that there are options for all budgets and tastes. If you don’t need lots of space in the rear seats, then something like the Audi A3 Saloon should suffice. Conversely, if rear space is crucial and you’re willing to put up with a less-than-premium badge, the Skoda Superb is tough to beat.
If your budget is a little higher, you can choose from superb-handling execs, such as the BMW 3 Series and Jaguar XE, or those that are more comfortable, quieter and classier inside, namely the Audi A4. You can even go larger again for a surprisingly small hit in monthly tax, because the likes of the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class offer four-cylinder diesel editions that have impressively low CO2 emissions.