An executive saloon needs to do a few things. Firstly, badge cred is a big deal; you need to show you’re part of the crew when you park down in the basement. Secondly, a quality, luxury interior is essential. Fuel consumption and value for money are probably last on your priority list, but you’ll find in this price range, the modern petrol burners are relatively economical.
Top 6 Petrol powered executive sedans for under R400 000 by John BealeBelow the summaries is a full spec sheet detailing all of the car’s featured.
BMW 320i AT
The 3 is by far the most dynamically adept of the German trio, but standard specification is bare bones. Specification lines (Sport, Modern & Comfort) give a more unique look, but push you over your budget. If you enjoy driving, this is the one for you. Be sure to specify Bluetooth and the adaptive running gear.
Mercedes C 200 BE AT
The exact same engine outputs as the BMW, but 7speed gearbox makes it a vastly different drive. Solid, but less dynamic and quite a bit more bland. Interior and exterior are now very dated and unique package ad-ons will push you over already most expensive list price. As bare-bones as the BMW on spec, so keep an eye out for run-out deals.
Audi A4 2.0T SE Multitronic
Recently updated, the Audi looks good and has the best quality interior of all here, but least supportive seats. A super engine offering best performance with similar fuel consumption. Multitronic gearbox might not be for all, and it’s the only front wheel drive German here. Careful on the Audi-buffet-options list as things get pricey, fast.
Volvo S60 T4 Excel Powershift
One of the most underrated vehicles on the road today. High specification levels when compared to the Germans, and extremely comfortable seats and interior. More relaxed cruiser than racer. Individual looks means you’ll stand out, but with the smallest boot you might leave some things out too. Excellent deals going, and second hand they’re even better value.
VW Passat 1.8T Comfortline DSG
The old-time South African favourite is largely ignored in this premium segment. Excellent, solid driving dynamics coupled with a superb reliable turbocharged engine and VW staple DSG gearbox. Quality interior and a very high standard specification list means it’s the best value here. Also by far the biggest boot, to boot!
Honda Accord 2.4 i-VTEC Executive AT
A Honda?! Slightly overpriced but powerful engine and supremely luxury ride and interior means it can hold its own here. A solid purchase, but rather small boot makes it less of a family vehicle. Also now the oldest of the lot, and expecting a new model soon, so look out for good deals and low mileage second hand models.