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...

Alfa Romeo Giulia driving

7. Alfa Romeo Giulia

Few executive cars look quite as slinky or drive quite as well as the Alfa Romeo Giulia. It’s actually very comfortable, too, especially models with adaptive suspension, because you can set the steering, throttle response and engine in Sport mode but slacken off the dampers to cope better with rough roads. That sweeping roofline makes head room for rear seat passengers a bit tight, but on the plus side, you get plenty of equipment and a punchy yet efficient range of engines. What's more, Alfa Romeo seems to have cracked reliability with this model, according to our latest What Car? Reliability Survey; the Giulia finished near the top of the executive car class.

We found: 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.2 JTDM Super auto, 9922 miles, £18,499

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. 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, because some expensive engine faults have been reported, and the DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox can be costly to fix if it goes wrong.

We found: 2018 Volkswagen Passat 1.6 TDI SE Business, 20,237 miles, £13,298

Read the used Volkswagen Passat review

5. Ford Mondeo

4: Ford Mondeo 1.5 TDCi

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. It’s just a shame its interior feels a little tacky in places; that's one of the few downsides.

We found: 2018 Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi 140 Zetec, 20,494 miles, £14,699

Read the used Ford Mondeo review