Best new cars coming in 2021 - Range Rover to Volvo

From electric cars to supercars, this is our list of the best new cars coming in 2021

Range Rover

  • Price: £80,000 (est)
  • On sale: Winter 2021

Later this year the fifth-generation Range Rover will be revealed. As our exclusive image reveals, it will retain the current SUV’s imposing boxy proportions and bluff front end, but its familiar looks hide huge changes beneath the evolutionary design.

The new Range Rover will narrow the gap between it and the even more luxurious Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce Cullinan, and it will be one of the first models to use Land Rover’s new MLA platform. 

This not only enables a welcome weight saving over the current large SUV, but also heralds a huge technical leap forward in autonomous driving and electrified powertrains that will result in an all-electric version of the Range Rover arriving in 2024.

Skoda Enyaq

  • Price: £34,085
  • On sale: June 2021

The Enyaq is the first Skoda based on the VW Group’s MEB architecture, and the Czech brand’s first bespoke EV. No pressure then. 

Luckily, as well as sitting on the same platform as the VW ID.4, the Enyaq also shares plenty with its German cousin, so it should get off to an impeccable start. From the smooth performance dished up by its 177bhp or 201bhp rear-mounted motor, to the decent 316-mile range offered by the biggest 80kWh battery, the electric SUV will be the quietest, most refined Skoda ever. 

There’s also plenty of space inside, so it will easily fulfil the family brief. Throw in a classy, well equipped, minimalist cabin and a cossetting ride, and the Enyaq will be a tempting electric car for those making the move from petrol or diesel.

Skoda Fabia

  • Price: £15,000 (est)
  • On sale: Winter 2021

Longer, wider and taller, the fourth generation of the Skoda Fabia is primed to once again rule the roost when it comes to passenger and luggage space in the highly  competitive supermini class. 

Thanks to the Skoda’s all-new MQB A0 underpinnings, it will stand a chance of matching rivals such as the Vauxhall Corsa and Toyota Yaris for their drive, too. Inside, the Fabia also gets the Volkswagen Group’s latest infotainment system that’s accessed via a large eight or 9.2-inch touchscreen. 

New driving aids such as cruise control with lane-keep assist plus a punchy 1.0-litre turbo engine with either 94bhp or 108bhp only add to its big-car feel. Don’t rule the Czech hatchback out for the top spot in the class when it meets its rivals.

Skoda Kodiaq

  • Price: £30,000 (est)
  • On sale: Autumn 2021

Skoda will freshen up the popular Kodiaq in late 2021 when it introduces a facelifted version of the current seven-seat SUV. However, when it’s unveiled, expect only minor tweaks to the headlamps, grille and bumper design, and for most of its exterior design features to be carried over unchanged. Instead, the big changes will be within the cabin where the infotainment will be upgraded to match the latest technology available in the Mk8 VW Golf. 

New driving aids are expected, including upgraded cruise control, while under the bonnet the 148bhp 1.5 TSI and 187bhp 2.0 TSI engines should be carried over to the revised car. A plug-in hybrid model, badged iV, is likely to join the range and should be a popular choice.

Subaru XV facelift

  • Price: £31,665
  • On sale: Now

In the small-SUV class, the Subaru XV is set to offer buyers that rarest of things – genuine off-road ability. Where a Skoda Karoq would struggle, the all-wheel-drive XV should manage to plough on. 

For 2021 the Subaru benefits from a facelift that introduces minor exterior tweaks, like a new front bumper and grille, plus a fresh set of wheels. And at the same time, the company has thoroughly overhauled the chassis for better ride and handling. 

Safety equipment is boosted by the addition of a new 180-degree front monitor system that is designed to prevent you scraping the nose on unseen obstacles. The old 1.6-litre engine is no more, but the 154bhp 2.0-litre flat-four petrol hybrid lives on with four-wheel drive and a CVT.

Toyota Highlander

  • Price: £50,595
  • On sale: Summer 2021

Slotting in between the go-anywhere Land Cruiser and family favourite RAV4, the Highlander name will be unfamiliar to UK buyers, but it’s been a best-seller in North America and Australia since 2000. 

The fourth-generation model is coming to the UK, and it’ll be a rival to models such as the SEAT Tarraco and Skoda Kodiaq. It comes with a powerful 241bhp petrol-electric hybrid drive system that gets two electric motors, while fuel economy is a respectable 42.8mpg. 

Throw in generous kit – the entry model gets leather seats, a panoramic roof, 20-inch wheels and a premium sound system – and the Highlander will be well worth considering for family SUV buyers.

Toyota Mirai

  • Price: £65,000
  • On sale: Summer 2021

The future at Toyota is not just electric; hydrogen cars will continue to play a big part in the company’s future. So perhaps it isn’t a surprise to see a new, second-generation Mirai arrive later in 2021. 

It’s another zero-emissions rival for the Tesla Model S and, like that car, the Mirai is electrically driven, featuring a 180bhp motor on the rear axle. However, instead of plugging the Mirai in, you’ll have to visit one of the UK’s 11 passenger car hydrogen fuel stations. Hydrogen and oxygen are fused to provide voltage for the electric motor, and the tank is good for 400 miles of range.

In a bid to get more mainstream motorists into hydrogen, the new Mirai has a far more conventional and somewhat sportier appearance than before.

Toyota Yaris Cross

  • Price: £20,000 (est)
  • On sale: Winter 2021

Later this year Toyota will finally have a rival for the Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008 and Skoda Kamiq when the Yaris Cross touches down. Its latest compact SUV is an understudy to the sporty-looking C-HR.

Despite using the Yaris nameplate and sharing some obvious design cue on the outside, not a single body panel is shared between the compact SUV and the popular supermini, hence the Yaris Cross’ chunkier look. 

Inside there should be more headroom than in the Yaris and space on par with its rivals, while the baby Toyota SUV will have the option of four-wheel drive. A full range of efficient petrol-electric hybrids should make the Yaris Cross among the cheapest cars to run in its class.

Vauxhall Astra

  • Price: £21,000 (est)
  • On sale: Late 2021

Vauxhall has big plans for the Astra in 2021, with the eighth-generation of the hatchback to be the most stylish iteration in more than 40 years of production. 

As demonstrated by our exclusive image, the next Astra will feature more of a coupé look with hidden rear door handles. Under the skin, there are big changes planned, with the mid-size Vauxhall set to migrate to the same EMP2 platform as the Peugeot 308 hatchback. 

Inside, the Astra will match the VW Golf for its infotainment and connectivity. Expect an electrified engine range with a plug-in hybrid option for the first time. It will also introduce semi-autonomous cruise control that will self-steer, brake and accelerate on the motorway.

Volkswagen Golf Estate

  • Price: £24,575
  • On sale: Now

Small family estates remain the perfect antidote to heavy, bloated SUVs, so we’re glad that VW is still persevering with the Golf wagon

The new version is 66mm longer than its predecessor, so there’s more legroom in the second row and there’s a vast 611-litre boot on offer, too. That’s 39 litres down on the latest Skoda Octavia Estate, but the Golf makes up the deficit with its sharper looks, high-quality cabin, strong tech and high levels of refinement, plus an efficient engine range. However, it’s hobbled by the VW Group’s latest infotainment system, which is frustrating to use. As before, there’ll even be a high-performance 316bhp Golf R Estate.

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport

  • Price: £37,315
  • On sale: Now

If you prefer your hatches white-hot, VW’s latest Golf GTI Clubsport should more than suffice. The fastest-accelerating Golf to ever carry the hallowed GTI nameplate packs 296bhp – a whole 54bhp more than the regular GTI – while torque jumps up by 30Nm to a more muscular 400Nm. 

The result is a time of just 5.6 seconds for the benchmark 0-62mph sprint, thanks to the snappy seven-speed DSG auto (a manual isn’t available). 

Better still, engineers have given the Clubsport’s chassis a significant going over, plus a new electronic differential that’s said to provide sharper handling. A more prominent chin spoiler, larger rear wing and a new rear diffuser, meanwhile, add extra stability on track – a place you’ll want to visit often.

Volkswagen Golf R

  • Price: £39,270
  • On sale: Now

Discreet, complete and indecently fast, Volkswagen hasn’t messed with the winning formula for the latest Golf R, and we’re very glad. 

The big news for 2021 is that the fastest-accelerating production VW gets an extra 20bhp and 20Nm, so the 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit now pumps out 316bhp and 420Nm. There’s a choice of either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG auto, while the Golf R retains 4Motion four-wheel drive to distance it from the GTI. It means the R can sprint from 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds, too. 

New for the Mk8 Golf R are smart chassis tech and torque vectoring that works front-to-rear and across the back axle, while five-door and estate bodystyles are available.

Volkswagen ID.4

  • Price: £37,800
  • On sale: Now

Volkswagen is off to a great start with the ID electric sub-brand. Its first offering, the ID.3, is a firm hit, but now it’s time for the second act, the ID.4. The new model takes the ID.3’s styling cues and boosts them to create a small electric SUV. 

Designed to take on its close relative, the Skoda Enyaq, and the forthcoming Tesla Model Y, VW’s all-electric SUV shares the same MEB underpinnings as the ID.3 hatch and, initially, gets the same 201bhp rear electric motor, which can be had with a large 77kWh battery that offers a decent claimed range of 310 miles.

ID.4 buyers get a taller, more commanding driving position than the ID.3’s, as well as more interior space. A four-wheel-drive version with 302bhp is planned too, which could carry GTI-aping GTX badges. 

If the ID.4 can mimic the ID.3’s decent ride and drive, then its generous cabin space and ultra-low running costs could help it steal sales not only from rivals, but also from VW’s own top-selling Tiguan.

Volvo C40 Recharge

  • Price: £50,000 (est)
  • On sale: Summer 2021

Volvo’s latest reveal  is the C40 Recharge, which lines up as a taller-riding replacement for the old V40 hatchback. 

Sharing much of its styling – and its CMA platform – with the XC40 SUV, the new C40 is Volvo’s first ever electric-only model and won’t be offered with a combustion engine.

It rides almost as tall as the XC40 SUV but has a much sleeker roofline, which tapers into a more aerodynamic coupé-like rear quarter. Inside, it’s the first Volvo to feature an entirely leather-free cabin. 

A 402bhp twin-electric-motor set-up enables 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds, and the top speed is limited to 112mph. Its 78kWh battery (75kWh usable) means a WLTP range of 261 miles is claimed, while the C40 can handle DC charging at up to 150kW. 

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