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Best executive cars 2016 (and the ones to avoid)

Executive cars are economical to run, good to drive and usually come loaded with technology. Here's our pick of the best (and worst) models to choose from

Words By

Darren Moss

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The best executive cars offer the lowest possible tax and fuel bills without compromising the sense of luxury and abundant performance.

Our favourite executive cars should have a swanky, spacious cabin, with easily usable switchgear and infotainment technology. They also need to handle well, while offering a comfortable, relaxing ride both in town and on the motorway. These cars are also most likely to be chosen by company car drivers, so they need to be comfortable for the weekday commute.

The best executive cars

10. Mercedes-Benz CLS

If you want a truly stylish executive car, then this luxurious four-door saloon should be on your list. The CLS comes with a punchy V6 diesel engine and an equipment list which shouldn't leave you wanting more. It's also reasonably practical, offering enough space for four adults to sit in comfort - even if it doesn't have a large boot like some rivals. The CLS is also one of the most expensive offerings on this list, so you might want to look at a cheaper Mercedes-Benz E-Class instead.

Our pick: CLS 350 Bluetec AMG Line

Read our full Mercedes-Benz CLS review

9. Audi A3 Saloon

Rather than being just a stretched version of the popular A3 hatchback, the Audi A3 Saloon has been engineered to be more comfortable and economical in order to appeal to the junior executive market. The result is a superb car that's excellent to drive and offers low running costs. The entry-level petrol engine recommended here is capable of shutting down two of its four cylinders to save fuel when you're cruising along, improving your MPG and saving you a few extra quid.

Our pick: 1.4 TFSI 150 Sport

Read our full Audi A3 Saloon review

8. Volkswagen Passat

If you're after a great deal in the executive car market, then it's well worth considering the Volkswagen Passat. It's significantly cheaper than many of its compatriot rivals, yet can do everything they can do. The Passat has a spacious and practical interior, an excellent range of economical diesel engines and a reasonably large boot, too. Its low CO2 emissions, and therefore tax, also make it a popular choice with company car drivers.

Our pick: 2.0 TDI SE

Read our full Volkswagen Passat review

Fancy a used Volkswagen Passat? Click here to read our used car review

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