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What Is An Executive Car? The Key Differences From A Luxury Car

What Is An Executive Car

As a businessperson or a successful professional, you’re looking to step your game up with an executive or luxury car, but what is an executive car? In this article, we’ll answer all your questions about executive cars. We’ll answer questions such as where the term originates, what cars are considered executive and whether an executive is a luxury car. We’ll also compare executive and luxury cars and recommend some great ‘executives’.

 ‘Executive’ is the UK term and is the same as European E-segment and American full-size classifications.

An Executive Car

An executive car is a high-end car that is typically larger than a standard vehicle. In the UK, these vehicles are popular among business executives and other wealthy people who use them as status symbols. Executive vehicles also have many features that you’ll find in a luxury car, but they may not be as expensive as some luxury cars. The term ‘executive’ is the UK term and is the same as European E-segment and American full-size classifications.

The Term’s Origin

The term ‘executive car’ originated in the UK in the 1960s and was used firstly as a marketing strategy targeting businessmen and professionals. Businesses adapted the term and used those cars to lure senior employees in with executive vehicles and lower tax costs for each executive vehicle they buy by filling it as a business expense. The term ‘executive’ was used to make it seem like they’re luxury cars.

Nowadays, these cars have much more in common with luxury cars than they used to. Executive cars started as sedans, a tradition going on today as most executive cars today are also sedans. In the 1990s, executive vehicles began adapting different body styles and making luxury cars out of them. Body styles such as:

You can see what an estate car is on our site.

Key Features

Leather Interior

Some of the features of executive cars include:

  • Leather interior
  • Excellent comfort
  • Entertainment package
  • Temperature controlled seat
  • Advanced safety system
  • Powerful engine
  • Automated windows, sunroof, trunk and hood
  • Heads-up display
  • 360-degree camera
  • Decent amount of space

Executive Vs Luxury

When it comes to the comparison of executive and luxury cars in the UK, the differences become apparent once you enter inside.

Interior Space & Quality

Both executive and luxury cars look great, but the sheer space and comfort of luxury cars outshine executive cars. While executive cars often have parts made of synthetic or fake leather and even plastic, luxury cars rarely have plastic pieces anywhere with an interior made out of wood and luxury leather. There is also more space in luxury cars, making them more comfortable than executive cars.

Luxury cars are meant to be driven by a chauffeur, which is why in the making of luxury cars, the focus is on passengers’ comfort and quality. Executive cars focus on the driver the most.

Features & Details

While executive cars have ventilated seats, you can’t expect an executive vehicle to have massage seats, which nearly every new luxury car has. Many features are shared by executive and luxury cars. Still, you get a little extra with a luxury car, such as a champagne holder, luxury car keys, minifridge, unique specs uncommon with regular or executive cars, umbrella holders and more.

A luxury car often comes with an integrated vacuum cleaner.


Luxury cars cost more than an executive vehicle, making them the lesser option if you’re on a budget. Both cars have many features and feel great to drive and sit in, so the cost is something to think about. However, we suggest you go for it as it’s well worth the cost if you can afford a luxury car. 

Tip: Due to their weight and specs, luxury cars also have a worse fuel economy than other cars on the market, so keep that in mind.

Luxury Cars or Executive Cars?

The Businessman In The Car

Both luxury and executive cars are expensive, high-end vehicles, and the one you should select depends on your budget and needs. An executive car prioritises comfort and a splendid driving experience for its driver and passengers. These vehicles are best for professionals who intend to travel long distances in comfort and style. Since they’re more affordable, they’re great for anyone who wants the luxury experience but is on a budget.

A luxury car is ideal if you’re looking for an automobile of the highest quality. A luxury car is not just comfortable; it also delivers high performance and exudes class and elegance. Luxury cars come with several extravagant traits, and they are more expensive than executive vehicles.

You can learn much more about what a luxury car is on our site.

Hire an executive car from SDVH today for maximum comfort on your next trip. We also offer small car options for those looking for a compact vehicle for quick errands.

What To Consider Before Buying Or Hiring An Executive Car?

You should consider the primary purpose, comfort level and attributes wanted when buying an executive car. There are different categories of executive and luxury cars, and it’s important to select one suitable for your intended purpose.

You must also prioritise your comfort and that of other passengers. Ensure the executive or luxury car has comfort traits like leather seats and an infotainment system. Finally, look out for other desirable attributes, such as the safety system and entertainment packages.

Besides ‘executive’ and ‘luxury’, the terms ‘prestige’ and ‘premium’ are also used to describe high-quality vehicles. Learn what they mean and the difference between them on the links.

Frequently Asked Questions

An executive car means a large, expensive vehicle that prioritises comfort and style. Executive vehicles are the preferred car choice of most business executives and wealthy people in the corporate world. These vehicles come with many features that you may see in a luxury car, but they are not as expensive as luxury cars. The term was used to resemble similarity to a luxury car.

Cars that are considered executive are large and have luxurious, nonordinary features or more quality variants of usual traits. Some well-known examples of these cars are the following:

  • BMW 5 Series
  • Audi A5
  • Mercedes C-Class
  • BMW 6 Series
  • Audi A6
  • Mercedes E-Class
  • Volvo V90
  • Tesla Model S
  • Skoda Superb
  • Jaguar XF
  • Maserati Ghibli
  • Genesis G80
  • Volkswagen Arteon
  • Lexus ES
  • Citroen DS 5

An executive car is not a luxury car. Luxury cars are higher in quality and cost more than executive cars. Luxury cars are also larger and offer more space, especially for rear passengers. Executive cars have fewer features and worse specs than luxury cars. We suggest you go for a luxury car if you can afford it.

Whether a Mercedes is an executive car depends on the specific model of car that you buy. Mercedes produces both luxury and executive vehicles. Its C-Class and E-Class cars can be considered executive vehicles, while the S-Class and Maybach models are luxury cars. Mercedes also produces mid-range cars such as the CLA-Class and A-Class.


So, what is an executive car? ‘Executive car’ is a British term that is reserved for large cars that prioritise comfort and offer splendid driving experiences. These cars are popular among business executives and other high-income individuals in the corporate world. Executive vehicles are available in various types – estates, SUVs, sedans and more – making it easy to find one that fits your needs.

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