From £45,9506

Price, fuel economy, range and depreciation

The regrettable real-world economy of the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 puts a hole in its ownership case that you can neither ignore nor forgive.

BMW will insist that the tax advantages make it appealing and that by choosing this car instead of the Jaguar XF we’ve placed at the head of the class, a 40 percent company car tax payer will save £110 a month in Benefit in Kind tax.

And that may be true – but he’d need a very understanding boss to be able to claim for the 30 percent higher fuel bills he’d also be in line for. BMW claims a near-50mpg figure on the combined cycle, but our test returned just 21.6mpg.

The BMW’s residuals look impressive next to its wallflower hybrid competition from Lexus and Infiniti, but they’re much less outstanding compared with the fast diesel executive saloons with their better blend of high performance and low running costs.