7. Audi A4
The Audi A4 is a very fine car, indeed. In fact, the only reason it doesn’t feature higher in our top 10 is because it’s been so successful that prices on the used car market are rather high, limiting the type of A4 you can buy for our admittedly small budget. What you get is an elegant executive car that’s great to drive with a wide choice of efficient engines and many trim options. Add to that its excellent levels of fit and finish and the A4 will always be a contender in any executive car list.
We found2007 2.0 SE, 46,800 miles, service history, £4995
6. Mazda 6
It might not be the first car that springs to mind when you think of a smart executive car, but the Mazda 6 is a sharp and practical all-rounder. It’s good to drive, with precise – almost sporty – handling, and it rides well too. Inside, there’s plenty of space, although taller passengers might find the swooping roofline cuts into the rear head room a little. The Mazda 6 is also well screwed together and has proved to be one of the more reliable cars in this class.
We found 2010 2.2 TD SL, 79,000 miles, full service history, £4295
Admittedly, it is not the most exciting car to look at, or even to drive, but the Avensis is the epitome of comfortable and ultra-dependable executive car motoring. It’s refined, well equipped and has plenty of space inside. Add in the fact that it’s possible to pick up an Avensis that, price for price, is much newer than most of the other cars listed here and you can see why we rate it so highly.
We found 2011 2.0 D-4D TR, 68,000 miles, £4995