Hatchbacks and crossovers dominate the car market, but if you want a comfortable saloon that’s nice to drive there are still plenty to choose from.
With many major brands offering quality saloon options, customers can cover large distances in style and with many pieces of kit on-hand.
Here’s our pick of the best new executive cars out there.
Alfa Romeo Giulia
After being fairly quiet since 2011, 2016 saw the Italian firm return to the saloon market with the stylish Giulia. Its super saloon Quadrifoglio form, voted What Car?’s Performance Car of the Year, is well on the side of driving pleasure and performance.
The entry-level Super models are well-equipped, sporting an 8.8-inch infotainment screen, cruise control, climate control, parking sensors and driver assistance systems. Prices for the Giulia start from £33,595.
A consistently popular executive option, the Audi A4 focuses on long-distance comfort. It’s fitted with quality equipment from the entry Technik model, such as digital instrumentation and a central touchscreen, comfort suspension and LED headlights, putting it on the same level as its key rivals.
Audi has worked hard on fuel efficiency and offers a choice of 6 different engines, including 3 that have electric assistance as a mild-hybrid. It doesn’t have an electric version yet, but when the next generation comes around, Audi is likely to remedy that. Prices for the A4 start from £30,750.
BMW 3 Series
Introduced in an all-new guise for 2019, the latest 3 Series is a class leader. The German firm has built a reputation in executive cars. A rear parking camera with sensors, an 8.8-inch central display, 17-inch alloy wheels, climate control and LED headlights are all included as standard.
Alongside efficient diesel engines, BMW also offers the 3 as a plug-in petrol hybrid to allow for zero-emission motoring for 37 miles and reduced environmental impact. The 2019 3 Series starts from £31,460.
BMW 5 Series
Released in its current form in 2017, the 5 Series is a truly impressive piece of kit that comes with lots of technology as standard.
Much like its smaller sibling, the 5 Series comes with a plug-in hybrid option, meaning drivers can choose a different powertrain to the established diesel options. With features including a digital instrument display, leather interior, LED headlights and heated seats, the 5 Series is on sale from £36,525.
Jaguar’s entry to its 3-car executive line-up may not be as popular as its German rivals, but it’s still an impressive alternative. Updated in 2019, the XE is a stylish saloon that focuses driving pleasure as well as being up to date in terms of tech.
Fitted with Jaguar Land Rover’s line-up of efficient ‘Ingenium’ diesel and petrol engines, the entry-level S model comes with a 10-inch touchscreen, LED headlights, leather upholstery, 18-inch alloys and parking sensors are all included from £33,915.
The C-Class is one of the key sellers for Mercedes, combining smart design with cutting-edge technology to keep the car maker relevant in a competitive market.
Along with the established diesel and petrol engines, the diesel plug-in hybrid powertrain is an efficient option for long-range driving. As well as that, models come with large digital displays, a leather interior, climate control and parking assistance from the entry SE model. Prices start from £30,930.
Seen as a small S-Class, the Mercedes E-Class is comfortable, spacious and brimming with equipment. It also comes with parking assistance, cruise control and leather seats from the entry level SE.
The firm’s ‘EQ Power’ hybrid powertrains will give you around 30 miles of electric-only travel, while the added electronics don’t compromise interior space. Prices for the E-Class start from £38,155.
Tesla Model 3
The all-electric vehicle revolution is well underway, and Tesla is leading the charge. The Model 3, currently the smallest Tesla, is still remarkably practical and in its top-end form has 348 miles of range.
The battery-powered car comes with an impressive safety rating, a simplified interior finish with a 15-inch touchscreen, and a large storage space – as well as boasting autonomous driving functions. Prices for the Model 3 start from £36,490.
The designers at Volvo have created a stylish and comfortable model with the S60. There’s a high standard of safety equipment alongside a spacious and well-equipped interior, making the car feel safe as well as luxurious.
Offered with solely petrol-derived powertrains, including the T8 plug-in hybrid, Volvo has moved away from diesel for good and is solely focused on an electrified future. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be economical, with the PHEV returning a claimed 122.8mpg. Prices for the S60 start from £37,935.
If you need a bit of extra room but want the style and function of a Volvo, the S90 is ideal. This smart-looking saloon comes with great comfort and driving features, such as adaptive cruise control and leather upholstery. And it also features a large central touchscreen that hosts the majority of the S90’s functions.
This will be one of the last Volvos with diesel power and, like the S60, a plug-in hybrid petrol alternative is available. As with all other Volvos, the S90 is incredibly safe too. Prices for the model start from £37,335.