Reliable executive cars without excessive repair bills

Executive cars are primarily aimed at posh drivers – business types who want premium quality and exceptional comfort to help them endure those long arduous journeys between meetings.

That means they tend to be beautifully-finished, supremely quiet, cosseting to drive and packed with the latest in-car gadgetry.

The downside is that all these luxuries result in fairly big prices, especially if you were to get a little too tick-box happy with the options list in the showroom. 

For those who simply can’t afford a new one, the only alternative is to find something on the used market that has depreciated to an acceptable price. But which second-hand executive cars will be affordable to run as well as purchase? 

Posh cars: Executive models are mainly aimed at business types who want premium quality and exceptional comfort to help them endure long arduous journeys between meetings. You too can have the same luxuries at a fraction of the price if you buy the right one second hand The Skoda Superb's name suggests it has big ambitions, and it manages to fulfill them with a huge interior and plenty of comfort. It's pretty dependable too The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the quintessential executive motor. There's a big reason why so many chauffeur services use them The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is proving its reliability. Choose this ageing model and you still get premium feel and the three-point badge kudos for a little over £5k The Mazda6 is one of the most stylish executive models on the market today. Despite still being on sale, this generation has been on the market since 2012, so used versions are available The A6 has recently been replaced, so this previous generation model is still pretty pricey on the used market The older Mazda 6 is actually more reliable than the one that's replaced it, according to readers of What Car? magazine If you want a reliable executive estate, you'll struggle to do better than the Volvo V70 The Avensis has since been removed from Toyota's range of new cars. The last model it sold is proving to be very dependable BMW's 3 Series is the executive saloon most people will think of first. If you're buying used, the just-replaced car is proving to robust - so owners have said Value for money doesn't get much better than this. The Avensis is 16 years old, but models aged 4 to 10 years are the most reliable of all second-hand exec cars Value for money doesn't get much better than this. The Avensis is 16 years old, but models aged 4 to 10 years are the most reliable of all second-hand exec cars

Value for money doesn’t get much better than this. The Avensis is 16 years old, but models aged 4 to 10 years are the most reliable of all second-hand exec cars

Price: from £2,000

What Car? Reliability Rating: 90.2% 

If you think a newer Toyota Avensis is not an executive car then you definitely won’t think this older generation one is either. Nonetheless, What Car? included it on its list. 

The second-generation Toyota Avensis – according to owners – is the most dependable older executive model out there.

Only a small number had reported problems, split evenly between the air conditioning, engine, engine electrics, exterior lights, fuel system, non-engine electrics and suspension. 

Three-quarters of these slightly problematic examples were still driveable and half were fixed the same day.

Repair bills ranged from free to £1,000. Not bad for a large family motor you can pick up for less than £2,000 with no more than 60,000 miles on the clock. 

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