The best executive company cars in 2021

The best company cars obviously need to be kind to your wallet, but also need to be comfortable and practical enough to make every journey a joy. Here we count down the top 10 choices from the ex...

Choosing the right company car can be a tricky business, because as well as wanting a good car in its own right, you also need to be mindful of how much it will set you back in terms of company car tax.

Executive cars 2021

While this amount differs depending on whether you're a 20% or 40% tax payer, you'll want something with low C02 emissions to keep the figure as low as possible

Here, we're looking at the best company cars to buy among the executive car class. These saloons and hatchbacks are most commonly associated with buyers who spent a lot of time on the motorway, so a comfy ride and low running costs are important, but since these cars will also be used as family transport, they also need to be practical and spacious.

In each case on the list below, you can see the P11D price of our preferred model, as well as how much it will cost you. And don't forget, you can read more about each car in our dedicated reviews, and see how much we can save you through our free New Car Buying service.

10. Mazda 6

Mazda 6 2.2d SE-L Nav+ auto

Model 2.0 Skyactiv-G SE-L | C02 142g/km | P11D price £24,130 | BIK tax rate 2020/21 @20% £1592.58, @40% £3185.16

If you don't fancy driving something with a German badge on its bonnet, then why not go Japanese instead? The Mazda 6 offers an excellent infotainment system, and lots of kit in our recommended SE-L specification. The 2.0-litre petrol engine you get here needs to be worked hard to perform at its best, but it should be economical.

Mazda 6 (cont.)

Mazda 6 2.2d SE-L Nav+ auto - interior

Pros
Excellent infotainment system
Very well equipped

Cons
Firm low-speed ride
Handling not as precise as some rivals
Boot is on the small side in the class

9. Mercedes A-Class Saloon

Mercedes A-Class Saloon 2020 front tracking

Model A180d Sport auto | C02 130g/km | P11D price £28,870 | BIK tax rate 2020/21 @20% £1674.46, @40% £3448.92

If the regular A-Class family hatchback isn't up your street, then try the A-Class Saloon instead. It offers a comfortable ride, which means it should soak up long motorway journeys with ease, giving you enough time to enjoy its snazzy interior and feature-packed infotainment system. This A180d diesel-engined version is our recommended choice, while Sport trim gets you 17in alloy wheels, LED headlights, dual-zone climate control and cruise control.

Mercedes A-Class Saloon (cont.)

Mercedes A-Class Saloon 2020 dashboard

Pros
Comfortable ride
Good infotainment system
Glitzy-looking interior

Cons
Boot smaller than rivals'
Dashboard flimsy in places
Rear head room could be better

8. Alfa Romeo Giulia

Alfa Romeo Giulia 2020 wide front tracking

Model 2.0 TB 280 Veloce [Performance brake] | C02 169g/km | P11D price £39,600 | BIK tax rate 2020/21 @20% £2851.20, @40% £5702.40

The Giulia may be an outsider's choice in the company car park, but that doesn't mean it's a bad one. In fact, the Giulia suits keen drivers well, with engaging handling and strong performance coming from our recommended 2.0-litre petrol engine. Its interior quality can't quite match that of German rivals, but at least Veloce cars come with everything you're likely to want, including 18in alloy wheels and upgraded brakes.

Alfa Romeo Giulia (cont.)

Alfa Romeo Giulia 2020 RHD dashboard

Pros
Engaging handling
Strong performance
Competent petrol engines

Cons
Diesel engines could be quieter
Rivals have a bigger boot
Interior quality still can’t match German rivals

7. Jaguar XE

LT Jaguar XE nose

Model D200 S | C02 128g/km | P11D price £29,975 | BIK tax rate 2020/21 @20% £1678.60, @40% £3357.20

You'll enjoy relative exclusivity with the Jaguar XE, but that affords you the opportunity to show off its agile handling and keen engine whenever possible. S models are our favourites, and get you 18in alloy wheels, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control and automatic lights and wipers.

Jaguar XE (cont.)

Jaguar XE interior

Pros
Agile, enjoyable handling
Relative exclusivity
Generous equipment list

Cons
Tight rear-seat and boot space
Interior could be classier
Poor reliability record

6. Audi A3 Saloon

Audi A3 Saloon 2020 front cornering

Model 35 TFSI Sport | C02 128g/km | P11D price £26,600 | BIK tax rate 2020/21 @20% £1489.60, @40% £2979.20

Like the A3 family hatchback on which it is based, the Audi A3 Saloon offers a good balance between agile handling and a comfortable ride, and combined with our favourite 35 TFSI petrol engine, this is an executive car which will suit both keen drivers and those looking for a good motorway car alike. Sport trim may be the entry-level choice, but it comes with everything you'll want including 17in alloy wheels and cruise control.

Audi A3 Saloon (cont.)

Audi A3 Saloon 2020 dashboard

Pros
Good ride and handling balance
Punchy 35 TFSI petrol engine
All versions are well equipped

Cons
Distracting infotainment system
Road noise at speed
Small boot by class standards

5. Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen Passat saloon front

Model 1.5 TSI Evo SE Nav | C02 139g/km | P11D price £26,815 | BIK tax rate 2020/21 @20% £1608.90, @40% £3217.80

It might not have the same badge appeal as some of the other entrants on this list, but don't rule out the Volkswagen Passat just yet, because this executive car has a comfortable ride and a spacious yet plush interior. It's quiet at high speeds, too, and our top 1.5-litre petrol engine is pleasantly punchy while still keeping running costs sensible.

Volkswagen Passat (cont.)

Volkswagen Passat Estate GTE 2021 RHD dashboard

Pros
Comfortable ride – if you stick with smaller wheels
Spacious and reasonably plush interior
Quiet at high speeds

Cons
Diesel engines can be gruff
Not all engines RDE2 compliant
Big wheels produce too much road noise
Less versatile than hatchback rivals, despite big boot

 

4. Skoda Superb

2019 Skoda Superb front

Model 1.5 TSI 150 SE Technology | C02 137g/km | P11D price £25,490 | BIK tax rate 2020/21 @20% £1529.40, @40% £3058.80

If you want a large, comfortable car and aren't bothered about a prestige badge, then the Skoda Superb is the executive car for you. It consistently ranks among our favourite cars in this class for its mixture of gigantic space, classy interior, smooth engine and exceptional value for money. You don't need to splash out on a high trim level, either, because mid-range SE Technology has all of your equipment needs covered.

Skoda Superb (cont.)

Skoda Superb 2021 RHD dashboard

Pros
Vast interior and boot space
Exceptional value for money
Classy, high-quality interior

Cons
Some rivals are more fun to drive
Diesel engines sound a little gruff
Automatic gearbox can be a tad jerky in traffic

3. Audi A4

Audi A4 Saloon executive class

Model 35 TDI Technik | C02 125g/km | P11D price £34,995 | BIK tax rate 2020/21 @20% £1959.72, @40% £3919.44

This former What Car? Car of the Year remains one of the very best executive car choices, with class-leading interior quality, lots of standard equipment and a smooth range of engines. This 35 TDI diesel is perfect for someone who mainly drives in town, but long motorway treks aren't out of its comfort zone either. It also happens to be the most efficient A4 around, which helps with your running costs.

Audi A4 (cont.)

Audi A4 Avant interior

Pros
Class-leading interior quality
Smooth engines
Well equipped

Cons
Entry-level engines a touch weedy
A BMW 3 Series is more fun to drive
You cannot add many options

2. Tesla Model 3

2021 Tesla Model 3 LR hero

Model Performance| C02 0g/km | P11D price £56,435 | BIK tax rate 2020/21 @20% £0, @40% £0

As a fully electric car, the Model 3 is the only car here which will cost you nothing in terms of company car tax, and combined with far lower running costs than your average executive car, it should be very cheap to run. Handily, the Model 3 is also an excellent car in its own right, offering savage acceleration, a long range, and surprising practicality. You also get access to Tesla's wonderful Supercharger network, which makes topping up both fast and convenient.

Tesla Model 3 (cont.)

2021 Tesla Model 3 LR dash

Pros
Savage acceleration
Long range between charges
Surprisingly practical
Fast charging via Tesla's prolific Supercharger network

Cons
Build quality could be better
Handling not as entertaining as petrol rivals
Some may find the ride a touch firm

1. BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series 2021 COTY

Model 330e M Sport [M Sport Pro Pack]| C02 34g/km | P11D price £44,580 | BIK tax rate 2020/21 @20% £891, @40% £1783

The latest BMW 3 Series has consistently impressed us since it went on sale, but this 330e plug-in hybrid version is the cream of the crop. Not only does it have a decent electric range of up to 30 miles, but its low C02 emissions also make it one of the cheapest cars here in terms of company car tax. It's a great choice then, even before you factor in its class-leading infotainment system, its engaging driving style or its family-friendly space. It's the best executive company car by some margin.

BMW 3 Series (cont.)

EXECUTIVE CAR: BMW 3 Series 330e M Sport dashboard

Pros
Brilliant fun to drive
Class-leading infotainment system
Great range of engines

Cons
Ride is rather firm – particularly in M Sport versions
Not as well finished inside as an Audi A4
Adjustable lumbar support costs extra

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