Best used executive cars 2019 (and the ones to avoid)

What's the best used executive car for you? Our handy guide to the 10 best on the UK market will help you decide...

Best used executive cars 2018 (and the ones to avoid)

Best used executive cars

Is there a tougher place in which to compete than the market for used executive cars? Almost certainly not. With standards incredibly high thanks to years of continuous development by manufacturers such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes, and increasingly stringent demands from buyers of these saloons and large hatchbacks, any executive car has to be at the top of its game if it’s to be a worthwhile purchase.

Fortunately, buyers of used executive cars also benefit from this ceaseless drive for improvement. At just a few years old, all that fantastic new technology, not to mention the smart looks, comfort, sharp drive and everyday usability, start to become available for very reasonable prices.

But which is the best used executive car to buy? Here’s a round-up of our top 10 to help you decide.

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Best used executive cars

Volvo S60

Best used executive cars

10. Volvo S60

Comfort and class – that’s what the Volvo S60 offers in a nutshell. Granted, it’s a little stodgy to drive compared with some of the other cars here, but if you’re not fussed about that, you get a beautifully styled and appointed interior with some of the best seats on the market, not to mention plenty of equipment.

We found: 2014 D4 R Design, 15,000 miles, £11,995


Best used executive cars

Volvo S60

One thing to note, though: the back seats and boot don’t offer as much room as some other executives.

Read the full Volvo S60 review

Find a used Volvo S60 in the What Car? Classifieds

Best used executive cars

Skoda Superb

9. Skoda Superb

If space is your top priority, then the Skoda Superb makes a whole heap of sense. There’s oodles of room for both front and rear seat passengers, and while it might look like a saloon, it actually has a huge hatchback boot.

We found: 2014 1.6 TDI CR SE Greenline II, 20,000 miles, £9999


Best used executive cars

Skoda Superb

What’s more, it feels classy and well-built inside, and it’s reassuringly stable at speed, which makes it an ideal choice if you undertake regular long trips. And don’t forget what great value it is.

Read the used Skoda Superb review

Find a used Skoda Superb in the What Car? Classifieds


Best used executive cars

Audi A4

8. Audi A4

The Audi A4 is the picture of understated class, with smooth lines and a fabulously built interior. It’s also spacious inside and endowed with an impressive chassis that makes it enjoyable to drive.

We found: 2014 1.8 TFSI S line, 38,000 miles, £14,321

Best used executive cars

Audi A4

The downside to that is the firm ride, and it’s worth remembering, too, that the A4 is quite pricey to buy. But if you’ve always fancied having those four rings on your grille, this is a very respectable way to get them.

Read the used Audi A4 review

Find a used Audi A4 in the What Car? Classifieds

Best used executive cars

Volkswagen CC

7. Volkswagen CC

Few executive cars look quite as slinky as the Volkswagen CC, or as it was formerly known, the Passat CC. And while it isn’t particularly exciting to drive, it’s very comfortable, with a smooth ride that’s at its best on the motorway (just avoid the 19in wheels, which make things a bit jarring).

We found: 2014 2.0 TDI 140 DSG, 36,950 miles, £13,495

Best used executive cars

Volkswagen CC

That sweeping roofline does make the rear seats a bit tight for adults and older children, but on the plus side you get plenty of equipment and a punchy yet efficient range of engines.

Read the full Volkswagen CC review

Find a used Volkswagen CC in the What Car? Classifieds


Best used executive cars

Ford Mondeo

6. Ford Mondeo

You might not think of a Ford Mondeo as an executive car, but with plenty of high-specification examples around and handling to match the best in the class, it certainly qualifies. Throw in a comfortable ride, a massive boot, decent reliability and bargain prices, and it isn’t hard to convince yourself that you need a used Mondeo in your life.

We found: 2013 2.0 TDCi 163 Titanium X 5dr, 19,500 miles, £9490

Best used executive cars

Ford Mondeo

It’s just a shame its interior feels a little tacky in places – it’s one of very few downsides.

Read the used Ford Mondeo review

Find a used Ford Mondeo in the What Car? Classifieds


Best used executive cars

Mazda 6

5. Mazda 6

Reliability and quality are the hallmarks of the Mazda 6 – it feels beautifully built inside and has a great reputation for long service and dependability. But it isn’t a one-trick pony; it’s also great to drive, with sharp responses and punchy engines, and it’s remarkably fuel efficient.

We found: 2014 2.0 SE-L Nav, 24,000 miles, £10,791

Best used executive cars

Mazda 6

True, you do have to put up with a firm ride in some versons, so it’s worth a test drive to check you can live with that. Otherwise, if you want a smart executive car that shouldn’t break down, the 6 ticks those boxes.

Read the full Mazda 6 review

Find a used Mazda 6 in the What Car? Classifieds

Best used executive cars

Audi A3

4. Audi A3 Saloon

It’s rather small by comparison with its rivals here, and consequently it’s tight on space in the boot and rear seats, but the Audi A3’s fantastic combination of comfort, efficiency and agility might make it worth the sacrifice.

We found: 2015 1.4 TFSI Sport, 20,000 miles, full service history £14,490

Best used executive cars

Audi A3

And, of course, you get the same fabulous interior you do in all A3s. What’s more, those diminutive dimensions make it one of the easiest cars on our list to drive and park. If you can afford the high price, then, the A3 makes for a fantastic executive saloon.

Read the full Audi A3 Saloon review

Find a used Audi A3 Saloon in the What Car? Classifieds


Best used executive cars

Volkswagen Passat

3. Volkswagen Passat

You might argue that the Volkswagen Passat isn’t as exciting as some of the other cars here. You’d be right. Nevertheless, it is a fantastic all-rounder, blending comfort and efficiency with handling that’s pleasant enough and an interior that's delightfully classy.

We found: 2015 2.0 TDI SE Business, 29,630 miles, £12,995

Best used executive cars

Volkswagen Passat

There’s plenty of room for everyone, too, and a capacious boot; it even looks good, and prices are reasonable. What’s the catch? Well, reliability is tricky to predict, as some expensive engine faults have been reported, and the DSG dual-clutch automatic gearboxes can be costly to fix when they go wrong, too.

Read the used Volkswagen Passat review

Find a used Volkswagen Passat in the What Car? Classifieds


Best used executive cars

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Possibly the most prestigious car here, the Mercedes C-Class lives up to its reputation. Noisy diesel engines are the only real black mark, and while the C-Class isn’t as lively to drive as a BMW 3-Series, you get a comfortable ride, slick styling, a well-built interior and plenty of desirable equipment.

We found: 2013 C 220 CDI AMG Sport, 28,500 miles, full service history, £11,799

Best used executive cars

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Go for a post-facelift car if you can, as they had quite a few improvements to the dashboard area, and avoid the manual gearbox – most Merc buyers like automatics, so the manual will be tougher to sell on when the time comes.

Read the used Mercedes-Benz C-Class review

Find a used Mercedes-Benz C-Class in the What Car? Classifieds

Best used executive cars

BMW 3 Series

1. BMW 3 Series

It’ll come as no surprise to some to hear that our favourite used executive car is currently the BMW 3 Series. It’s great to drive, available with a wide selection of superb engines and it’s extremely efficient.

We found: 2014 320d M Sport, 24,000 miles, £14,500

Best used executive cars

BMW 3 Series

What’s more, it’s spacious enough for the average family, it's sharp-looking and most versions are very comfortable. It’s even priced pretty reasonably. Just watch out for a couple of reliability faults that, while they don’t affect every car, can be very expensive to fix if you’re unlucky.

Read the used BMW 3 Series review

Find a used BMW 3 Series in the What Car? Classifieds ***

Best used executive cars

Suzuki Kizashi

And the executive cars to avoid…

Suzuki Kizashi

Anonymous to drive and only available with a thirsty petrol engine, the Suzuki Kizashi is an oddity best left well alone.


Best used executive cars

Infiniti Q50

Infiniti Q50

Its handsome looks might tempt you, but the Infiniti Q50 is thirsty, noisy and odd to drive thanks to its vague steering. And despite all of that, it doesn’t come cheap.


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