Five alternatives for budding executives

 

This group of compact executive cars are well worth considering for the year ahead

• Honda Accord

Straddles two segments, sometimes uncomfortably, but well worth a look if you are shopping both in the large family and compact executive segment. The new model Accord looks and drives better and the diesel engine offered is still one of the best in the business.

• Skoda Superb

A car that we mentioned in the family-car segment too, the Superb also makes the grade as an entry-level premium car by virtue of its outstanding size, build quality, brilliant engines and value for money. A first-rate effort.

• Subaru Legacy

A car that is almost always over-looked by everyone aside from the real car connoisseur. Many believe them to be more expensive than they are but they start from under €30,000. There is a new 2.0-litre diesel version available with 150bhp, 350Nm of torque and Band C emissions of 148g/km.

• Volkswagen Passat CC

This gorgeous, coupé-like version of the Passat starts at €40,860 and comes with a choice of three engines, ranging from 1.8-litre petrol to a 2.0-litre diesel and 2.0-litre petrol. All versions are available with DSG transmission. A stunning-looking car.

• Alfa Romeo 159

Poor sales and a reputation for shaky residuals mean that the 159 doesnt reach as many owners as it should, but it's still a cracking car - and one of the better cars to drive in the segment. And the current models are fully loaded with luxuries too.