Paul Barker's blog: 10 September -Never had it so good, or trickier now to decide?
10 September 2015
There's been a debate in the office this week after BusinessCar's Chris Lloyd headed off to drive the new BMW 3-series at the same time as Jaguar's crucial new XE arrived in the office for us to sample.
According to whole-life cost expert KwikCarcost, the XE's residual values are way ahead of anything else in the sector, putting it a couple of pence per mile in front of the BMW, which is next-best over the Mercedes-Benz C-class and outgoing Audi A4.
The debate was about what vehicle we would have were we fortunate enough to be picking a new company car in that popular compact exec class.
I'm a big Jaguar fan, but I have to admit that the XE is compromised in areas such as boot space and rear visibility, while we have refinement criticisms of both the Jaguar and BMW. But I'd probably still drift towards the Jag over the perennially excellent 3-series.
Chris, on the other hand, admittedly with a BMW-owning history behind him, would take the 3-series, even if it meant footing the additional £500 per year in extra cost per mile, according to KwikCarcost figures.
The new A4, due in the coming weeks, could impact that decision, although we'll have to wait and see if Audi has increased the appeal both on the inside and in the driving experience, while I'm not exactly blown away by the very evolutionary exterior styling.
And then there's the C-class. Now the senior partner of the bunch and better than ever, if still pricier, it holds a better RV than some rivals, while not quite managing to match the best for efficiency.
Tough decisions with no bad answers? That's the modern car world, and never more so than in the executive saloon segment.