A compact executive car is a premium car larger than a premium compact and smaller than an executive car. Compact executive car is a UK term and a part of the D-segment in the European car classification.
They may have performance and comfort features, and thus are often viewed as status symbols; a high percentage of the "executive cars" market share consists of corporate-owned cars, or vehicles provided by a firm for the business and sometimes private use of an employee.
The "compact executive car" description is not often used in the United States, but it describes certain models imported from Europe.
Jaguar's first compact executive car (although larger than the 1960s' Jaguar Mark 2) was the 2001 Jaguar X-Type. Sales, however, were disappointing. The X-type was replaced by the Jaguar XE in 2014, competing in the same sector.
Alfa Romeo's models 75 and 155 are considered compact executive cars in the United Kingdom. Also the 1996 Alfa Romeo 156 has been considered such. This was followed by the Alfa Romeo 159 in 2004, which was built until 2011. After five years, Alfa Romeo returned to the sector in 2016 with the Giulia (Type 952).[failed verification]
An early compact executive car from Lancia is the 1972 Lancia Beta (Type 828). The Beta morphed into the Lancia Trevi, which was produced from 1980-1984. Following an absence from the segment for five years, Lancia returned in 1989 when the Lancia Dedra replaced the smaller Lancia Prisma. The Dedra was replaced by the Lancia Lybra, which was produced from 1998-2005.[failed verification]
The 1983 Mercedes-Benz W201 range (also known as the "Mercedes-Benz 190") was the first compact executive car from Mercedes-Benz. In 1993, the W201 was replaced by the Mercedes-Benz C-Class range. The C-Class is currently in its fourth generation and has been produced in saloon/sedan, estate/wagon, coupé, convertible and hatchback body styles.
An early compact executive car produced in Japan was the 1988 Mazda Persona / Eunos 300. The first Japanese compact executive car to be successful in overseas markets is the 1998 Lexus IS / Toyota Altezza.
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But it set the template. Other cars might have made the market for what would eventually be known as the compact executive saloon. One was Alfa Romeo’s 1962 Giulia saloon, another the 1971 Triumph Dolomite, but their makers failed to fully capitalise, leaving BMW to develop the compact, sporty two-door saloon that was the E21 3 Series of 1975.
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By these standards, the X-type - like much of Jaguar's and Ford's performance in the past years, has been disappointing. X-type sales fell to 32,500 units in 2006, compared with BMW 3-series sales of over 500,000 units in the same year.
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The Alfa Romeo Giulia (rival to the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Jaguar XE, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and even the Volkswagen Arteon) is the best looking compact executive saloon on sale today. [...] But all this shouldn’t come as any surprise. Alfa Romeo, after all, has a fantastic track record of making gorgeous compact executive saloons – the Giulia immediate forebears, the 159, 156, and 155 all come to mind.
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Let battle commence. Up for grabs is the title of world’s best compact executive car – an award BMW’s 3-Series has made its own since the launch of the current fifth generation in 2005. [...] Waiting in the wings to snap up buyers with an eye for style, value and individuality is the Alfa Romeo 159 2.4 JTD.
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The Lybra's death brings to an end, at least temporarily, Lancia’s offerings in the compact executive class, a line which stretches back from the Lybra to the Dedra, Prisma, Beta and Flavia/2000.
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The 190 kick-started the C-Class story: its successor, 1993’s ‘W202’ saloon, was the first to get the C-badge.
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The range was launched in October 1993 to replace the popular 190 and featured a rather unique portfolio of trim packages which enabled the buyer to tailor each car to his or her own individual lifestyle. The surprisingly well-appointed entry-level package was badged Classic, while those in search of brighter colours and a more youthful appearance could opt for similarly-priced Esprit models.
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The updates bestowed on the new Mercedes C-Class see Merc’s compact executive challenger return right to the sharp end of the class in style. We were so convinced we named it our Compact Executive Car of the Year at the 2018 Auto Express New Car Awards. . . . The C-Class was the junior Mercedes in 1993 when it first arrived, but the A-Class followed soon after as the German brand pushed deeper into the mainstream and an expanding A-Class range has pushed the C-Class further upmarket. The C-Class for sale today is the newly facelifted fourth-generation model, and as well as the regular saloon you can buy a C-Class Coupe, a C-Class Cabriolet and a C-Class Estate.
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The Infiniti Q50 is a forgotten compact executive contender. It’s Nissan’s successful upmarket brand taking on Europe with a dedicated compact saloon model, and there are several attractions such as a high-quality interior and gadget-packed cockpit. Another non-obvious choice.
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The Xedos 6 was the car that launched the Xedos (pronounced 'ker-see-dos') brand back in 1992, Mazda's attempt to break into the BMW, Mercedes and Audi-dominated compact executive saloon sector.