As soon as this one was announced, we had a feeling it would be good. And as it turns out, it was very, very good and has beaten the likes of the classy Lincoln MKZ to scoop our Best Executive Saloon of the Year award.

Volume manufacturer Volkswagen managed to produce a model that put the likes of Cadillac and Lincoln — no strangers to smart and sophisticated saloons — firmly in the shade and that too with humble underpinnings; the Arteon is based on the Passat and built on the Modular Transverse Matrix aka MQB platform but with the stunning exterior styling (low, long and wide) it has real presence on the road. VW calls it a coupé but it’s more of a liftback. Whatever you think it is, there’s no denying it is gorgeous and has the go to match the show too. Under that sculpted bonnet sits a de-tuned version of the Golf R driveline; the blown 2.0-litre TSI mated to a seven-speed automated dual clutch (with four-motion all-wheel drive) has a healthy 280 horses and 350Nm of torque. It can dispatch 0-100kph in just 5.6 seconds.

It doesn’t just look great and have bags of performance — it’s also loaded with tech such as progressive steering, adaptive suspension, three drive modes, a 9.2in screen with gesture control, 360-degree camera system and a full suite of active safety and driver-assistance technology. It makes for a very compelling proposition when shopping for an executive saloon and we reckon it is the best one out there.