In Depth

Best executive car 2017: New entries from BMW, Lexus and more

Saloons and estates from BMW, Mercedes and Tesla among this year's top executive models

There's an array of luxurious executive cars heading to the forecourts in 2017 – and what was once a sector dominated by German manufacturers now appears to be under increasing threat from the UK and the US. 

Not only are companies offering better fuel economy and emission figures on their latest models, many have upped the quality of their car's ride and interior quality. 

It's a hotly contested market, with manufacturers bidding to deliver the fastest and most economical cars, with a level of luxury to rival some of the most expensive saloons available. 

Here are this year's best executive cars so far. 

BMW 760Li xDrive

BMW has introduced its most powerful production car ever - and it's based on its 7-Series luxury saloon.

Dubbed the M760Li xDrive, the new car is powered by a turbocharged 6.6-litre V12 engine boasting 602bhp - 10bhp more than BMW's hardcore M5 Competition saloon.

Power is channelled to the all-wheel drive through an eight-speed Steptronic gearbox, which has been tweaked by M Performance to deliver faster gearshifts tailored to the V12 power unit.

It's also packed with the latest technology, including an iDrive touchscreen display that can be controlled using hand gestures, letting drivers change the radio station and accept telephone calls without touching a button.

Prices start from £132,230, says Evo, making the M760Li xDrive around £68,000 more than a regular 7-Series saloon.

Click here for all the details on BMW's most powerful production car ever. 

Lisa Linke

Lexus LS

After making its debut at last month's Detroit Motor Show, the Lexus LS is set to rival the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7-Series when it arrives later this year. 

Lexus has developed the car's angular model design further, introducing an intricate grille comprising "thousands of individual surfaces", it says. The LS will only be available in long-wheelbase form and is lower, wider and longer than the outgoing model.

Under the bonnet sits a bespoke 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, which produces 415bhp and 445lb-ft torque to the rear-wheels. Lexus also plans to introduce an all-wheel drive model that can go from zero to 62mph in a claimed 4.5secs. 

Prices for the 2017 LS have yet to be confirmed, but expect it to cost more than £99,995 needed for the current model. 

Find all the details about Lexus's new flagship saloon here.

BMW 5 Series

BMW AG / Daniel KrausFor press purposes only

BMW 5-Series

The seventh generation of the BMW 5-Series goes on sale this month, with prices starting at £36,025 for the entry-level 520d. 

BMW has made subtle revisions to the exterior, including more sculpted body panelling and headlights inspired by the larger 7-Series saloon. The firm claims the new shape is also more slippery in the air. 

Drivers buying at launch will get a choice of two petrol and two diesel engines. Diesels enter with a 2.0-litre power plant delivering 187bhp and a claimed 67.3mph, while a range-topping 3.0-litre unit delivers 261bhp and a zero to 62mph time of a respectable 5.7secs. 

Petrol models comprise a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine and 3.0-litre six-cylinder unit, which are slightly more powerful than the diesels but may also be more expensive to run. 

The German car giant has announced a Touring version is set to go on sale in June for £38,385. It's slightly longer, wider and taller than the outgoing model and boasts a boot space of 570-litres.

Click here for all the details on BMW's new mid-size saloon.

Mercedes-Benz E-Klasse Limousine (W 213) 2016Mercedes-Benz E-Class Saloon (W 213) 2016

press photo, do not use for advertising purposes

Mercedes E-Class

Mercedes' new E-Class is set to rival the BMW 5-Series for best German executive car on the market. 

Its design, which takes many styling cues from the flagship S-Class, is much sleeker than the angular outgoing model and gives a drag coefficient of just 0.23cd, which should offer drivers better fuel economy. 

An array of frugal engines are available, including a 2.0-litre hybrid petrol unit with a claimed 134.5mpg and CO2 emissions of just 49g/km. The hybrid E-Class can travel for 20 miles on its battery alone, although performance figures are expected to tumble. 

There's also a selection of high-powered AMG-tuned E63 models available in both saloon and estate form. A zero to 62mph time of only 3.6secs means the E63 is 0.4secs faster than an AMG GT sports car. 

Prices start at £33,720 for the base-level E200d, while E63 AMG models enter at around £75,000. 

Here are all the details about the new Mercedes E-Class

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 04:A Tesla on display during the 4moms Car Seat launch event at Petersen Automotive Museum on August 4, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.(Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Ima

659123787QS00051_4moms_Car_

2016 Getty Images

Tesla Model S P100D

Tesla keeps increasing the power of its Model S saloon and its range-topping P100D now boasts performance figures to rival a McLaren P1 hypercar. 

Not only does it have a zero to 60mph of 2.34secs through the Ludicrous mode easter egg, the all-electric car also has an estimated 381-mile range from its 100kWh lithium-ion battery. What's more, there's a growing network of charging hubs across the country, which should make owning it a more viable option. 

Prices for the P100D start at £129,400, which includes the Ludicrous mode upgrade and air suspension as standard. Buyer can also get a grant of up to £4,500 from the government as part of its incentive to bring more electric cars to the roads. 

Here's all the latest news on Tesla's supercar-rivalling saloon.

New Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport

Vauxhall Motors

Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport

At the lower end of the executive market is the Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, which will appear at next month's Geneva Motor Show. 

It features a complete redesign over the original, with significantly reduced overhangs and a slightly longer wheelbase, and the new all-wheel drive system features torque vectoring, allowing power to be distributed differently to each wheel for improved traction. 

The cabin is packed with technology, including keyless open and start as standard. Buyers can also add Apple CarPlay, a driver heads-up display and a concierge service that books hotel rooms via Vauxhall's OnStar personal assistant. 

More details - and possibly prices - are expected when the Insignia Grand Sport debuts on 9 March.

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