21 Of The Best Cars Arriving In 2021

With a new year comes a raft of new cars that will be hitting showrooms for the first time.

The next 12 months promises a mix of fresh metal, from affordable small cars to ultra-fast hypercars with engines taken from Formula One racers.

After a misery-filled 2020 and the threat of new petrol and diesel cars being banned from sale in 2030, this will be the year might be thinking about treating themselves to a new ride. Fresh national lockdowns have arrived with the start of 2021, but the economy and people’s fortunes are forecast to hopefully pick up in the second half of the year.

We have listed 21 brand-spanking cars arriving in 2021, detailing what makes them stand out, how much they will cost and when we expect to start seeing them on our roads. 

1. Nissan Qashqai

Price: from approx £20,000

Due to launch in: Q2

The new third-generation Qashqai SUV is an important new arrival in 2021, for two reasons. 

The first is that it has been the best-selling model in its segment in Britain since it first launched in 2007 and is the most important car for Nissan in Europe from a sales perspective. The second is that it’s a huge deal for UK manufacturing, with the Qashqai produced for Europe at the Sunderland factory. Its success could be a significant influence on the future of Nissan’s production commitment to Britain.

As well as styling tweaks, the new version promised to be more spacious, have a larger boot and be lighter than before. When it arrives around May time, buyers won’t be able to get one with a diesel engine as the manufacturer begins its shift away from the fuel type. There will be an e-Power conventional hybrid, though. Find out more about the new Qashqai here. 

2. Dacia Sandero

Price: from £7,995

Due to launch in: Q2

Dacia will bring a new Sandero supermini to the UK market around April time, and it will officially retain its crown as Britain’s cheapest new car.

Prices and specifications for the budget-friendly supermini show the entry-level Access version ringing in at £7,995. While this is a £1,000 hike on the previous-generation car – which is much celebrated for offering no-frills motoring – the revised Sandero continues to prop up the market as the most affordable new motor you can buy in UK showrooms.

It will be better than before, too. Handsome new looks, more space, a much-improved cabin and access to Renault’s current line of frugal engines means this budget car will deliver in droves.  Read more about the new Sandero. 

3. Mercedes-AMG One

Price: from £2.4million

Due to launch in: Q1

A sizable change of budget and pace from the Dacia Sandero is one of the most expensive new cars to arrive in 2021. The Mercedes-AMG One will be the latest hypercar to hit the market, and it comes with plenty of pedigree and a whopping £2.4million price tag.

Just 275 examples are due to be produced, all of them using the 1.6-litre turbocharged hybrid powertrains from Lewis Hamilton’s Formula One racing cars. It will have four electric motors combining with the six-cylinder petrol engine to produce around 1,000hp and a top speed of 217mph.

The lithium-ion batteries and the system used to cool them have also been lifted directly from the Petronas Mercedes-AMG’s F1 machines, though the One has more of them to boost the zero-emissions driving range and a plug-in socket so you can replenish electricity from the mains. With the batteries fully charged, the car will be able to cover 15 miles in electric-only mode – enough for almost five laps of the Silverstone circuit or a quick blast to the local shops and back. Find out more about the Mercedes-AMG One in our full report.

4. Volkswagen ID.4

Price: from approx £42,000 (with government grant)

Due to launch in: Q1

One of the first entirely new models to hit the market in 2021 will be the eagerly anticipated VW ID.4. The SUV will be the second model in the German brand’s all-electric ID range range, following the arrival of the ID.3 last year.

The ID.4 will be VW’s chance to again showcase the mainstream-use benefits of EVs, with the Tiguan-sized SUV providing a maximum claimed driving range of 323 miles – enough to take you from London to Newcastle without having to stop. That will be for versions with the range-topping 77kWh battery, which is also compatible with 124kW rapid charging.

The roomy family car will have plenty of poke, too. The entry models will hit 62mph from a standstill in 8.5 seconds, while top speed is limited to 99mph. Revealed in full last year, you can expect to start seeing them on the road in the first quarter of 2021. Want to know more? We listed 10 things we think you need to know about the ID.4.

5. Citroen Ami

Price: from approx £5,000

Due to launch in: TBC

This is a bit of a wildcard entry for a couple of reasons: it has yet to be officially confirmed to be sold in the UK and it isn’t technically a car. The electric Citroen Ami is instead categorised as a quadricycle, and for that reason alone means it can be used by teenagers in Britain.

Drivers as young as 16 can legally drive the diminutive Ami on our roads, though they won’t be able to travel at any significant speeds. It has a top speed of a mere 28mph and a range of just 44 miles. And it’s not just the performance figures that are small. The Ami also has just two doors and is 2.41-metres long by 1.39-metres wide. The price is pretty dinky too, expected to ring in at around £5,000.

The vehicle has already been launched in Paris and is being used as part of a city rental and leasing scheme for cleaner transport around the French capital. And while there is no confirmation about the Ami being sold in the UK, Citroen has conducted a UK launch – which we attended – signalling their intent to sell it on British shores. 

6. Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA

Price:  from £153,000

Due to launch in: Q3

An iconic name returning for 2021 is Alfa Romeo’s legendary ‘GTA’ badge, which is reserved for the hottest road cars the Italian brand makes. It’s been some years since a model was adorned with the three letters, but this year fans of the brand will be able to get their hands on the Giulia GTA.

It won’t be cheap. Priced from £153,000, it’s more expensive than an Aston Martin V8 Vantage. But it has all the ingredients to be a phenomenal performance saloon car.

Under the bonnet will be the same 2.9-litre V6 unit that’s used in the already searing-hot Giulia Quadrifoglio. However, it’s been tweaked to boost power by 30bhp to a massive 533bhp output. It also gets a mightily aggressive bodykit and uses enough carbon fibre to trim the car’s weight by around 100kg, If you’re on the hunt for a super-fast family car, this is your best choice in 2021.

7.  BMW iX

Price: from £85,000

Due to launch in:  Q4

BMW will start putting more of its weight behind the shift to electric cars this year, with the arrival of the flagship iX SUV, which is due to launch in the UK around the end of 2021.

The £85,000 family wagon will rival the likes of the Tesla Model X, Audi E-tron and Mercedes-Benz EQC. It will be driven by two powerful electric motors developing 503bhp – potent enough to catapult the hefty SUV from 0 to 62mph in under five seconds and onto a top speed that is electronically limited to 155mph. A high voltage 100kWh battery should allow up to 372 miles of range. That compares to the 348-mile range of the rival Tesla SUV. Charging up to 80 per cent takes 40 minutes on a 200kW DC fast charger. And a ten minute burst is enough to add 75 miles of range.  

Behind that new kidney-shaped grille – which has been divisive among car fans – is a raft of sensors and radars that will power the iX’s semi-autonomous driving mode. As far as technological arrivals in 2021, this is one to keep an eye on. Find out more about the iX here.

8. Fiat 500

Price: from £19,995 (with government grant)

Due to launch in: Q1

An electric car in far smaller dimensions is the new Fiat 500. Oddly, the Italian brand has already discarded the idea of having a new petrol or diesel version of its iconic small car, instead launching this latest derivative as an electric-only model. However, the existing 500 model will continue to be sold new with petrol units under the bonnet.

Designed for city living, the 500 does not have the range-munching capacity of the BMW iX or VW ID.4 already mentioned. Instead, the range is just 199 miles, which is more than suitable for a week’s worth of trips around urban environments. We found out how it drove during the official press launch ahead of the 500’s showroom appearance this year.

The stumbling block could be the near £20,000 price tag, which is almost twice the cost of the cheapest Fiat 500 that runs on unleaded fuel. That £19,995 fee is also inclusive of the government’s £3,000 Plug-in Car Grant. 

9. Land Rover Defender P400e

Price: TBC

Due to launch in: Q1

Without question, the most hotly-anticipated new car of 2020 was Land Rover’s Defender. The modern take on the brand’s iconic offroader might not be to all tastes, but it’s already proving a hit with big demand for the three-door Defender 90 and larger five-door 110.

In 2021, Land Rover will bring a new dimension to the Defender with plug-in hybrid power. That’s right, the rugged offroader will be hauled into the 21st century with a lithium-ion battery and an electric motor to supplement the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. The combined output is 398bhp, enough to help the Defender crack the 0-to-62mph sprint in 5.6 seconds. Possibly more important for owners, however, is the fact that the plug-in model can tow a trailer up to 3,000kg in weight.

It will only be sold in 110 guise, and we’re still waiting for Land Rover to confirm the price. You can read more about the conventional Defender here.

10. Vauxhall Mokka-e

Price: from £30,840 (with government grant)

Due to launch in: Q1

Incredibly, it could be Vauxhall that launches the most striking model of 2021 in the shape of the new Mokka SUV, which will also be sold as an all-electric model called the Mokka-e.

Gone are the plain – and rather drab – looks of the first-generation Mokka, which was a forgettably dull compact SUV. In its place is this bold new design that is completely unrecognisable from the outgoing car, with two-tone paint and bulky silhouette.

The Mokka-e isn’t cheap for a small SUV, priced from almost £31,000, even when you take into account the £3,000 Plug-in Car Grant. It has a range of 201 miles, which is a mere 2 miles longer than the £20,000 Fiat 500. Power comes from a 50kWh battery, which feeds a single 134bhp electric motor that hauls the Vauxhall to 62mph in a little over 8 seconds. It also has 100kW rapid charging capability, so a battery can be replenished to 80 per cent capacity in around half an hour.

11. Maserati MC20

Price: from £187,230

Due to launch in: Q2

Having not sold a supercar for 15 years, Maserati is due to unleashed the stunning MC20 in 2021, which will cost from £187,230 when it arrives in the UK next year. It will rival the likes of the Ferrari F8 Tributo, McLaren 720S and Lamborghini Huracan and is powered by Maserati’s own V6 engine producing in excess of 600bhp.

When you do want to put your foot down – and are on a closed road, track or the Autobahn – Maserati says the MC20 will hit 62mph from a standing start in 2.9 seconds – a match for the rival Ferrari F8 Tributo – and has a claimed top speed of 202mph. The gorgeous styling should make it a big hit with nostalgic petrolheads with the appropriate funds in the their accounts.

The MC20 is launched to spearhead a return to form for the wavering Italian maker, which has a long heritage in Formula One but has been in a tailspin in recent years. It has promised to unveil 13 new models in the next three years – including electric vehicles – as part of a bid by parent group Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to revive its premium vehicle strategy heading into a mega-merger with French automaker Groupe PSA, which will be completed later this month.

12. Hyundai Tucson

Price: from £23,150

Due to launch in: Q1

Hitting showrooms this month will be the fourth-generation of Hyundai’s Tucson SUV. While this might not sound like big news compared to models already featured with electric drivetrains and bonkers performance, its all-round capabilities could see it become a real favourite with family-car buyers.

Inside, the Korean brand has gone to town to make the Tuscon feel on-par with far pricier rivals. Engineers have done this by stripping the cabin of function buttons and switches to give a minimal feel with lots of premium appeal. Most of the controls are now within a touchscreen, making the interior feel more elegant than before.

Equipment levels are impressive and even the lower-spec models come loaded with kit. What’s more, the engine range is a diverse line-up of conventional powertrains with mild-hybrid technology to cut emissions, or the option of a plug-in or self-charging hybrid for those wanting more eco-benefits. It’s also a hoot to drive for an SUV, though the busy and bulbous looks might not be to all tastes. For a little over £20,000, it might be one of the bargains of the year.

13. Tesla Model S Plaid

Price: from £130,980

Due to launch in: Q4

Fans of Tesla cars will be able to get their hands on the most performance-packed machine the US firm has ever produced in 2021, though will have to wait until around November to try it out for themselves. It called the Model S Tri-Motor ‘Plaid’ and will become the electric car with the longest range available when it eventually arrives on British shores.

This range-topping version of the Model S is already listed for sale in the UK, with an ‘estimated range’ in excess of 520 miles – beating the Model S Long Range by 141 miles and more. It’s also claimed to be able to complete a 0-to-60mph dash in under 2 seconds. It  is powered by the company’s most potent three-motor electric powertrain – which delivers a claimed output of 1,100bhp. 

However, it won’t come cheap; the starting price is a whopping £131,000. Even by Tesla standards, that’s steep for what is essentially a family car. You can find out how it compares to the electric Porsche Taycan in our report here. Tesla is also due to launch the new Model Y in 2021, though no firm dates have been released for UK deliveries. 

14. Toyota Mirai 

Price:  from £52,800

Due to launch in: Q3

Toyota will push ahead with its development of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles with the release of the second-generation Mirai later in 2021. The revamped super-green family saloon will feature new and sleeker looks, but more importantly the Japanese firm will slash the original model’s expensive price tag by 20 per cent to encourage a ten-fold increase in sales.

Prices are said to be starting from £52,800, though there is a chance that the Japanese manufacturer will slip the charge to a fraction under £50,000 so that buyers will qualify for a £3,000 government plug in grant, taking the cost down to £47,000.  

The new Mirai’s hydrogen fuel-cell creates enough electric power – equivalent to 174 horsepower (128kW) – to propel it from rest to 62mph in 9.2 seconds and up to a top speed of 108.5mph. It also has a range of 403 miles – far more than most, but not all, electric cars. However, a poor hydrogen infrastructure is what could restrict sales in the UK. Find out more about the 2021 Mirai in our first report.

15. Ford Mustang Mach E

Price: from £40,350 (with government grant)

Due to launch in: Q1

Don’t be fooled by the Mustang name – the Mach-E is as far from Ford’s famed American muscle car as you can possibly get. That’s because it’s a zero-emissions family SUV rather than a gurgling V8 emitter. And it’s been a long time coming, having been sold in the US for a number of months though only due to hit UK dealers around March this year.

The fully-electric SUV is aimed at families and throws into the mix bruising looks, the iconic charging horse symbol and one of the most affordable large EVs on the market.

Prices for the Standard Range RWD start from £40,350, though for the Extended Range RWD version – with an extra 110-miles of claimed range from a more substantial battery pack – you will need to fork out an additional £9,500. Find out more about the Mustang Mach-E in our original report.

16. Mercedes-Benz S-Class 

Price: from £78,705

Due to launch in: Q1

This is one car that’s already started to arrive in the UK, but when there’s a new S-Class it’s worth noting, mostly because of the huge amount of new technology the flagship Mercedes limo always delivers. This is the seventh-generation car, which will be priced up to £110,000 for the most luxurious example  – and over £150,000 if you go for the Maybach version.

And it doesn’t disappoint on the tech front. In fact, it is already equipped with a level of self-driving technology that’s not yet legal to use on UK roads – but could soon be permitted on our motorways, if given the green light by ministers in a matter of months.  

Across the range, engines available for the S-Class in the UK are the S350d and S400d 4Matic diesel (the latter only available in long-wheel-base layout) and the more potent S500 4Matic petrol with a 430bhp 3.0-litre straight-six cylinder petrol engine. If you’re looking for the ultimate silky-smooth and premium-class limousine this year, the S-Class is the car to have. 

17.  Mazda MX-30

Price: from £25,000 (with government grant)

Due to launch in: Q1

Mazda will launch its first production electric vehicle in 2021, called the MX-30. It’s a compact crossover with funky looks and lots of equipment.

The Japanese brand intends to do things differently with its electric cars – as it has done in recent years with conventional models by steering clear of small-capacity turbocharged petrol engines in favour of bigger – naturally aspirated – powerplants. For its EV assault, it wants to fit smaller batteries to allow for a more competent ride and better driving dynamics. The flipside of this is that the range is relatively short in comparison to rivals.

While the likes of the Vauxhall Mokka-e have a range of just over 200 miles, the MX-30 will cover just 124 miles on a single charge. Mazda says this is an ample distance for urban use, though could put many buyers off, given the asking price. 

18. Lotus Evija

Price: from £2million

Due to launch in: Q2

Inspired by fighter jets and with a sky-high £2million price-tag to match, legendary British sports car maker Lotus is accelerating back into the limelight with a new all-electric hypercar that aims to be the most powerful production vehicle on the planet.

With a top speed in excess of 200mph, the new Lotus Evija accelerates from rest to 62mph in under 3 seconds and up to 186mph in under nine seconds. This is thanks to a mega-potent battery and electric motor set-up, that delivers up to 1,923bhp if requested. It has a total of five driving modes: Range, City, Tour, Sport and Track. Only the latter setting provides the full power output, but even with the energy-sipping ‘Range’ mode selected, the Lotus offers 1,000bhp to the driver. 

Just 130 versions of the exclusive Evija hypercar will be produced. Many expect it will be the car that changes Lotus’ fortunes and will spark a return to the forefront of the car market, though only time will tell. 

19. Nissan Qashqai

Price: from approx £40,000 (with government grant)

Due to launch in: Q3

While the Nissan Qashqai (mentioned first in this list) will continue to be produced in Sunderland and available as a petrol or hybrid version, there’s a good reason why there isn’t a fully-electric variant of the popular SUV. That reason is the forthcoming Ariya, a spaceship-inspired model Nissan will produce in Japan and sell in the UK from the middle of 2021. 

With its bold looks, low roofline, big grille, and razor thin sci-fi looking LED lights constructed with four 20-millimeter mini-projectors, design chiefs said the aim was to make cars that were sleek and ‘sexy’ – not a word you usually associate with the mainstream Japanese brand.

And it’s not just the looks that are impressive. Nissan says it will produce 389bhp and cover up to 310 miles on a full charge. With prices expected to ring in at around £40,000, it’s certainly one to keep an eye on in the summer. Want to know more? Read our Ariya report from last year.

20. Citroen C4

Price: from £20,990

Due to launch in: Q1

Citroen has revamped its long-running C4 family car yet again for 2021, this time opting for a new coupe-like crossover that will make it stand apart from the conventional hatchbacks it goes up against. The styling is yet another sign of the French brand returning to the quirky design language that it’s famed for.

As well as returning to tradition with out-there styling, the car maker is also concentrating on comfort over driving performance, as was the norm for the brand in years gone by. While it might not be the most dynamic, it will certainly provide a cushioned ride. 

Citroen is certainly looking forward with powertrains, though. The C4 will be sold with the choice of three options: petrol, diesel and electric. While unleaded versions start from just under £21,000, the electric version comes at a premium of £29,180 (after deducting the £3,000 plug-in car grant). 

21. Skoda Enyaq iV

Price: from £30,450 (with government grant)

Due to launch in: Q2

Want a Volkswagen ID.4 (mentioned earlier in this list) but don’t want to stump-up the premium asking price? Then the Skoda Enyaq, which is built on the same platform as the VW ID.3, might be the answer.

It’s not the first electric Skoda (there has been an electric version of the Citigo) but this is the first ‘dedicated’ model from the Czech brand that’s been designed from the ground up to be an EV. Entry-level versions priced at just over £30,000 get a single 177bhp motor and 62kWh battery, enough for a claimed range of up to 242 miles. Skoda will also use its performance vRS badge for Enyaq iV, which has two motors to boost performance to 302bhp. The more potent model also gets an 82kWh battery – this boosts range to 285 miles.

At just over 4.6-metres long, the Enyaq iV is fractionally shorter than Skoda’s current largest SUV, the Kodiaq, and has a 585-litre boot. It could be the practical electric family car you’re looking for in 2021.


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