Executive saloons are important to all the business men and women around the UK needing a practical vehicle that cruises well and is efficient – as well as being fun every now and again.
The UK’s top three executive saloons all come from the German ‘Big Three’ – Audi, BMW and Mercedes – and each of them are well-built, drive well and come with plenty of great options to make it a top-end model.
We take a look at each of them to see what comes out on top…
The A4 has been noted by many as one of the best executive saloons available, as it offers all a driver needs, as well as being cheap to own and very practical for a compact saloon.
Fitted with one of four engines – two petrol and two diesels – the A4 is efficient in any guise and comes with the option of four well-equipped trim levels that all include sport suspension, a touchscreen infotainment system and large, stylish alloy wheels that help the sometimes drab saloon look the part.
At 480 litres, the A4’s boot storage is ample to say the least and with lots of space for passengers in the back seats, comfort isn’t compromised in anyway.
Even though British customers have always found the options from BMW and Mercedes to be more popular, the Audi is actually – price-wise – a much better option than the Merc. Starting from £27,815, the A4 undercuts the C-Class by more than £4,000 and comes with similar equipment as well.
BMW 3 Series
In many respects, the 3 Series and Audi’s A4 are very closely matched, as they share almost the same price, are roughly the same price and come with a lot of equipment for their money.
Fitted with a range of EfficientDynamics diesel and petrol engines, the 3 Series is – unsurprisingly – very efficient, making it perfect for long-range driving and cruising on the motorway. An iPerformance plug-in hybrid model is also on offer to entice other users in.
BMW fits the 3 Series with one of four trim levels – SE, Sport, Luxury and M Sport – and all come with automatic air conditioning, large alloy wheels, LED lighting and Bluetooth – while mid-spec options come with leather upholstery, sporty additions and chrome detailing for a more high-end finish.
Boot space is the same as the A4 and interior space is roughly the same, too, making the 3 Series practical enough to cart your family around as well as carrying all the equipment you might need in the week.
Priced from £27,800, the Audi is arguably more equipped for the money, but the BMW feels better to drive and is more dynamic, so it’s up to you what you’re after.
The heavyweight of the three is commonplace in the UK’s top 10 for sales – and currently sits 10thplace in the 2018 sales figures.
As the most premium on this list, the C-Class is the baby brother of the luxury S-Class and a lot of the safety equipment found on the limo has trickled down to the compact executive model. Standard kit includes active parking assist, comfort suspension, a reversing camera, cruise control, heated front seats, a 10.25-inch infotainment display and leather upholstery.
Mercedes also offers the C-Class with nine engines – four petrol and five diesels – and all of which can give drivers great fuel usage, with the diesels able to return well over 55mpg.
One thing though is that the C-Class has a much smaller boot at 435 litres, and when it starts from £32,120 that comes at a major disadvantage to the other two – even if the overall finish is more premium.
Which one should you go for?
The Mercedes C-Class has proven to be a very popular option for many a business driver, but it is much more expensive than the other two to start with and both the BMW and Audi can be run on similar or less money in terms of fuel cost and insurance. So out of the other two, the Audi offers a more cossetted ride and does come with a nice finish, but the BMW is more dynamic to drive, comes with excellently efficient engines and is marginally cheaper to buy than the Audi. We would take the 3 Series out of the three.
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