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Used Car of the Year Awards contenders: executive cars

You’ll have to wait until 30 September for the winners of the 2021 What Car? Used Car of the Year Awards to be announced, but you can get a preview of the top contenders here...

Deal of the day: Audi A3 Saloon

The booted version of the Audi A3 impressed many when it arrived back in 2013, because it had a classier interior than the contemporary 2008-2015 A4, was better to drive and wasn't an awful lot smaller inside. Today, you can buy a decent one for less the price of a small car.

Read the full used Audi A3 Saloon review here >>

Audi A4

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Audi A4

The current A4 has just been facelifted, which has helped make pre-facelifted versions like the A4 we've chosen even more affordable. Interior quality is even better than that of the impressive 3 Series and a similarly great range of engines powered by either petrol or diesel make the A4 a great used buy. 

Read the full used Audi A4 review here >>

BMW 3 Series

Search for a used BMW 3 Series with What Car? Used Car Buying >>

BMW 3 Series

You can't talk about executive cars that drive well without mentioning the 3 Series. It has the A4 beaten in that regard because it has excellent handling and a brilliant range of engines; even the regular 2.0-litre diesel found in the 320d provides plenty of performance without costing too much to run.

Alfa Romeo Giulia

Much of what can be said of how the 3 Series drives can also be said of the Alfa Romeo Giulia, except this Italian saloon has far sharper steering that has a more immediate response to your inputs. Equipment levels are generous on most models, and it's the one to go for if you prefer petrol power, because even the entry-level 197bhp 2.0-litre is stronger than most rivals. 

Read the full used Alfa Romeo Giulia review here >>

Skoda Superb

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Skoda Superb

You can't knock the Superb for interior space; few cars this side of a long-wheelbase Mercedes S-Class have as much rear leg room. Also, the boot is vast and has a bigger hatchback opening through which to load items, while most of the Superb's saloon rivals have to make do with much smaller openings that are far less versatile.  

Read the full used Skoda Superb review here >>

Volkswagen Passat

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Volkswagen Passat executive

You can find a Passat of a similar age for the same money as a Superb, and while it misses some practicality points due to the fact that it lacks a hatchback boot, the Passat claws back some marks by having slightly nicer materials dressing its interior, and the ride is far more composed and less bouncy than the Superb's over undulating country roads.

BMW 3 Series 320d front

Our highest price point means that we can find plenty of the current-generation 3 Series, most coming with a diesel engine in 318d or 320d forms. It's far more enjoyable to drive than a contemporary Mercedes C-Class, plus the BMW has an intuitive infotainment system. 

Read the full used BMW 3 Series review here >>

Jaguar XE

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LT Jaguar XE nose

Facelifted examples of the Jaguar XE are within our budget, so you can take advantage of this model's much-improved interior, which can compete with that of rivals such as the Mercedes C-Class. You'll also get plenty of standard equipment with the XE. Plus, it has even more sophisticated suspension than you'll find on the 3 Series, helping it to feel even more agile than its BMW counterpart. 

Read the full used Jaguar XE review here >>

Mercedes C-Class

Search for a used Mercedes C-Class with What Car? Used Car Buying >>

2019 Mercedes C-Class front

The C-Class may not be as engaging to drive as the BMW 3 Series, but on the whole it grips well and can be a great motorway cruiser if you stick with a Sport model on smaller wheels. Find one with a Premium Plus Pack and you can have some very fancy gadgets such as LED Matrix headlights, a bigger infotainment screen and upgraded Burmester sound system.

Read the full used Mercedes C-Class review here >>

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