Best used executive cars 2021 (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...

Audi A3 Saloon

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. 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 it and don't need the extra space, then, the A3 makes for a fantastic executive saloon.

We found: 2017 Audi A3 1.6 TDI Sport S tronic, 18,000 miles, £14,995

Used test: Audi A4 vs BMW 3 Series

The BMW 3 Series is great to drive and is available with a wide selection of superb engines that are extremely efficient. What’s more, it’s spacious enough for the average family 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.

We found: 2017 BMW 3 Series 320d SE, 8849 miles, £15,556

Read the used BMW 3 Series review

2. Audi A4

Audi A4 saloon

Possibly the classiest car here, the Audi A4 continues to live up to its award-winning reputation (it was our 2016 What Car? Car of the Year) and is still one the best executive cars you can buy, new or used. It isn’t as lively to drive as the BMW 3 Series, but it has a comfortable ride (as long as you avoid big wheels on S line models), a well-built interior and plenty of desirable equipment. For similar money to our favourite used executive car, you'll only get a high-mileage diesel, but you will be able to get the perky 1.4-litre petrol with fewer miles covered and in our preferred Sport specification.

We found: 2017 Audi A4 1.4 TFSI Sport, 22,000 miles, £12,995

Read the used Audi A4 review

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