Sunday Times Driving Letters - Jeremy Clarkson VW Arteon review

Best executive cars to buy in 2022

Image isn’t (quite) everything

IF YOU’RE looking to buy an executive car, then the chances are that you’re after one that will deliver a good impression in the company car park.

The best executive models turn heads but also deliver decent running costs and cheap tax rates to help you balance your books. These are our top choices for sale in 2022.

Best executive cars at a glance

CarPrice fromDimensions (L x W x H)Power options
Audi A6£39,9504,939mm x 1,886mm x 1,457mmPetrol, diesel, PHEV
BMW 5 Series£40,1254,963mm x 1,868mm x 1,483mmPetrol, diesel, PHEV
BMW i4£51,9054,783mm x 1,852mm x 1,448mmPure-electric
Genesis G80£37,4604,995mm x 1,925mm x 1,465mmPetrol, diesel, pure-electric*
Kia Stinger£43,3054,830mm x 1,870mm x 1,400mmPetrol
Lexus ES£37,1054,975mm x 1,865mm x 1,445mmHybrid
Mercedes E-Class£39,7604,935mm x 1,852mm x 1,460mmPetrol, diesel, PHEV
Polestar 2£39,9004,607mm x 1,859mm x 1,478mmPure-electric
Tesla Model 3£42,5004,694mm x 1,849mm x 1,443mmPure-electric
Volkswagen Arteon£37,0404,862mm x 1,871mm x 1,460mmPetrol, diesel, PHEV
*coming soon

Audi A6

Constant evolution means that the Audi A6 is as luxurious as the previous A8 limousine, in the class above, and almost as high tech as the new A8. Plug-in hybrid drive helps to keep the tax costs low, too.

BMW 5 Series

Much like the A6, the BMW 5 Series delivers tech and luxury with low running costs, but it also adds performance and handling prowess to the mix. There are few better executive cars for drivers interested in rewarding handling and performance. There’s plug-in hybrid drive here, too, with the top-spec 545e delivering impressive pace and low tax.

BMW i4

We’ve tried to include just one model from each manufacturer here, but the i4 is too good to overlook. It manages to deliver the kind of handling we’ve come to expect from BMW in a 3 Series-sized package with a fully electric range of up to 365 miles, which means smooth, powerful (and tax-busting) zero-emissions performance.

Genesis G80

Something of a left-field choice, the new Genesis brand offers excellent quality and high technology, with Hyundai Motor Corp’s engineering expertise underneath the svelte skin. The G80 is an excellent thing to sit in and drive, with petrol and diesel option available now, and a pure-electric model coming soon.

Genesis’ concierge service means you have a personal assistant on hand to help with the buying and servicing; they’ll even arrange for the car to be picked up and dropped back on your driveway when it needs an oil change. And the best bit? Genesis is a bold alternative to the obvious German fare.

Kia Stinger

The Kia Stinger is another executive car for the heart rather than the head. If you want a model that stands out from the crowd and are willing to sacrifice some of the luxury — not to mention tax savings — offered by other models in this list in the name of driving entertainment, then the V6 Stinger GT is a top pick.

Lexus ES

Not everyone is able to hook up a plug-in hybrid when parked to make the most of its electric range. The ES is a so-called ‘self-charging’ hybrid and while it’s not the most exciting to drive, it’s hugely comfortable.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

This list wouldn’t be complete without the E-class. Updated in 2020, its interior is a high-tech haven, and the comfort and refinement offered is second to none in this class. It comes in two plug-in hybrid guises, one petrol and one diesel, with the latter offering a great mix of zero-emissions city driving and long-distance economy.

Polestar 2

Polestar is the electric sister brand to Volvo, and the 2 is a rival to the Tesla Model 3. It can’t go as far as the 3 on a charge but its design-focused cabin, quality of materials, sporty handling and strong safety kit help to make up for that.

Tesla Model 3

With a range of up to 374 miles between charges and access to Tesla’s excellent Supercharger network, the Model 3 is just about the most convenient electric company car for sale right now. If you spend a lot of time cruising up and down motorways, this works very well. The tech-packed cabin will keep gadget freaks amused, too. It’s not rare on our roads, though — it was the second best-selling car overall in the UK in 2021.

Volkswagen Arteon

VW’s sporty take on the repmobile uses Passat engineering draped in a swoopy four-door coupé body. Plug-in hybrid tech is available to keep down running costs, and there’s also a practical Shooting Brake estate available.

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