Best new cars coming in 2021

What can you expect to see in showrooms this year? Our guide reveals all

Our list of the best new cars coming in 2021 illustrates where the industry is heading. It’s fair to say that the car market is going through something of a revolution at the moment, and we’re publishing reviews and articles about new SUVs and electric cars more frequently than ever before. Buyers can’t seem to get enough of SUVs and with nearly every manufacturer introducing new electric versions, buyers now have a greater choice of greener alternatives to petrol or diesel-powered cars.

EV technology is rapidly improving, and there are now cars with plenty of range for all but the highest-mileage drivers. Charging times are coming down, and the availability of charging points is increasing almost every week. Prices are still higher than an equivalent petrol or diesel car, but we’ll start to see costs coming down in the next few years. Take a look at our guides to the best electric cars and cheapest electric cars currently available.

Best plug-in hybrids

Even supercars like the Ferrari Roma and McLaren Artura are turning to hybrid power. Electrification seems almost unavoidable, especially as almost every important new car in 2021 will be hybrid or electric. As we get through the year, it’s likely that we’ll start to see more high-performance petrol cars revealed; after all, the last couple of years have arguably seen more powerful machinery than ever before.

Diesel cars are likely to become less common, but you’ll still be able to buy new diesel cars for the next few years.

Here are all the new cars that are set for a 2021 release date:

Superminis coming in 2021

Dacia Sandero

2021 Dacia Sandero - front 3/4 view

On sale: Now

The budget-focused Dacia Sandero hatchback has been modernised and the next-generation model is now available to buy. It remains the cheapest supermini on sale, undercutting the Ford Fiesta and other rivals by several thousand pounds. The latest Sandero shares parts with the current Renault Clio and is available as a regular hatchback or a Stepway model, which features some SUV styling.

Read our review of the new Dacia Sandero here.

Dacia Spring Electric EV

On sale: Spring

Dacia will introduce its first electric car in 2021, one that’s set to be one of the cheapest EVs on sale. It’ll cost less than the SEAT Mii electric and will have SUV styling, although it only has 43bhp. A range of about 140 miles is claimed, which would be enough for most people to charge once every few days. However, it’s unlikely to come to the UK.

Read more about the new Dacia Spring Electric here.

Ford Fiesta facelift

2021 Ford Fiesta prototype - front

On sale: Autumn

The Ford Fiesta will get a mid-life facelift this year, to keep it fresh against a host of recently updated and launched rivals. It’ll get styling inspired by the Ford Puma, and small updates to the interior.

Read more about the facelifted Ford Fiesta here.

MINI facelift

MINI Cooper S five-door

On sale: Now

The latest-generation MINI has been around for a few years now, so the BMW-owned brand has given its hatchback range another facelift to keep it fresh. Changes include a larger grille and lots more black trim than before, while inside the 8.8-inch infotainment system and five-inch digital dial cluster are new too. The MINI Convertible and MINI Electric models also benefit from the update.

Read our review of the facelifted MINI 5-door hatchback here.

Skoda Fabia

2021 Skoda Fabia - front 3/4 static

On sale: Winter

An all-new, fourth-generation Skoda Fabia has arrived. As part of a complete overhaul, the car gets a refreshed exterior design that’s similar to Skoda’s most recent models and a thoroughly modern interior makeover with the latest technology. It sits on a new platform, which makes it 111m longer than the old car and gives it a larger 380-litre boot (a 50-litre increase). Buyers can pick from a three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine with various power outputs plus a four-cylinder 1.5-litre. The Fabia should remain good value, undercutting key rivals like the Ford Fiesta and Toyota Yaris.

Read more about the new Skoda Fabia here.

Volkswagen Polo facelift

2021 Volkswagen Polo - front 3/4

On sale: Autumn

The latest Volkswagen Polo has received a mild update for 2021 with updated styling inspired by the Mk8 Golf. The changes include a new steering wheel and touch-sensitive controls on higher trim models, as well as the introduction of driver assistance tech for the first time. Buyers can pick from a trio of 1.0-litre petrol engines and it's been confirmed that a range-topping GTI model will be added to the range next year.

Read more about the Volkswagen Polo facelift here.

Family hatchbacks coming in 2021

Citroen C4

2021 Citroen C4 - front 3/4 view dynamic

On sale: Now

The new Citroen C4 is a stylish alternative to the conventional family hatchback, and it’s available with electric, petrol and diesel powertrains from launch. It looks completely different to the slightly bland previous model, with crossover saloon-like styling. We think it looks excellent inside and out, with a more upmarket interior than the Citroen C4 Cactus, the car it effectively replaces.

Read our review of the new Citroen C4 and electric e-C4.

DS 4

2021 DS 4 E-Tense - front 3/4 view

On sale: Winter

The new DS 4 has been revealed and it’s a bit less SUV-like than we were expecting. Not many of us thought it would look quite this stylish, either, but we can imagine many customers will overlook other family hatches and SUVs for DS’ latest product. There’ll be a choice of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines, while the interior is new and plush.

Read more about the new DS 4 here.

Ford Focus facelift

2021 Ford Focus in camouflage

On sale: Autumn

Ford’s family hatchback is getting a fresh new look later this year to keep it up-to-date amid a wave of new and refreshed rivals. It looks like the front end will be inspired by the Ford Mondeo, which may come off sale, and we expect some improvements to the interior.

Read more about the Ford Focus facelift here.

Honda Civic

On sale: Autumn

The next-generation Honda Civic has been previewed as a concept. It gets more conservative styling and a completely revamped interior, while UK buyers will only get the hatchback model - not the saloon shown in these pictures.

Read more about the new Honda Civic here.

Ioniq 5

Hyundai Ioniq 5 - front 3/4

On sale: Spring

We’ve put the retro-styled Ioniq 5 into this category because it doesn’t have the ride height or body cladding you’d expect from an SUV but it’s longer than the new Hyundai Tucson, so the interior space should be very generous. It’ll rival everything from the Volkswagen ID.3 to the Ford Mustang Mach-E and will only be sold as a powerful electric car.

Read our Ioniq 5 prototype drive here.

Peugeot 308

2021 Peugeot 308 - front 3/4 dynamic

On sale: Late 2021

The new Peugeot 308 wa unveiled earlier this year with an eye-catching design. A pair of plug-in hybrid models will be available for the first time, along with an updated range of petrol and diesel engines. This latest generation 308 is also more spacious than the old car and gets distinctive interior makeover. It also boasts a range of new wireless connectivity features, and new safety technology including an updated drive assistance pack.

Read more about the new Peugeot 308 here.

Vauxhall Astra

On sale: Late 2021

The next Vauxhall Astra will have much more of a coupe-like look than the current model in a bid to compete with the new SEAT Leon, Kia Ceed and Ford Focus. It’ll share a lot of parts and technology with the Peugeot 308, and a 296bhp plug-in hybrid model will bring back the VXR badge.

Read more about the new Vauxhall Astra here.

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