Best new cars coming in 2021
What can you expect to see in showrooms this year? Our guide reveals all
- Page 1 - Superminis and family hatchbacks
- Page 2 - Small SUVs and family SUVs
- Page 3 - Large SUVs and fast SUVs
- Page 4 - Coupes, convertibles, saloons and estates
- Page 5 - Hot hatchbacks and MPVs
- Page 6 - Cars coming in 2022 and beyond
Hot hatchbacks coming in 2021
On sale: Now
The latest version Audi RS 3 is based on the regular A3, and gets all of the RS-specific stand out styling cues with flared bodywork to give it a wholly more aggressive look. Under the bonnet is a 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol engine producing 395bhp, which improves the 0-62mph times for both the saloon and hatchback model to under four seconds. It also gets a crop of new chassis tech, including a new rear differential called the ‘RS Torque Splitter,’ which can split power between the front and rear wheels or to just one wheel if needed.
On sale: Winter
Cupra has pulled the wraps off its ID.3-based Born, which will be one of the first electric hot hatches. The Cupra Born gets a much bigger battery than standard cars, and promises a 310-mile range and 0-31mph in just 2.9 seconds. It’ll be rear-wheel drive and will get all the usual trademark Cupra copper touches, inside and out.
Hyundai i20 N
On sale: Spring
The Hyundai i20 N is the brand’s second hot hatchback and is a 200bhp version of the regular i20 hatchback that rivals the Ford Fiesta ST. It’ll have upgraded parts and much sportier looks than the standard car, which was unveiled in February.
Toyota GR Corolla
On sale: Winter
Following the four-wheel-drive Toyota GR Yaris, Toyota will use the same 1.6-litre engine (producing over 250bhp) in several other performance models. The next of these will be a fast GR Corolla, which will look to compete with the Hyundai i30 N and Skoda Octavia vRS.
MPVs coming in 2021
BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
On sale: Winter
It seems that BMW will keep selling its 2 Series Active Tourer MPV, despite an increasing number of buyers switching to SUVs. The new model is likely to look pretty similar to the current car but with influences from the latest BMW 1 Series. We know it’ll be available with a plug-in hybrid again, but the seven-seat BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer variant is likely to be withdrawn.
On sale: Autumn
Mercedes is set to join the van-based MPV market with a new T-Class model, which will be launched in 2021 - a bit earlier than first expected. It’ll be an upmarket rival to the Ford Tourneo Connect and Volkswagen Caddy Life, with petrol, diesel and electric options all due. The German brand will hope the T-Class will prove a greater success than the Mercedes X-Class pickup, which was clearly based on the Nissan Navara and withdrawn after just two years on sale.
Peugeot e-Rifter/ Citroen e-Berlingo/ Vauxhall Combo-e Life
On sale: Summer
Electric MPVs are set to become commonplace this year, as the mechanically identical Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Rifter and Vauxhall Combo Life are all now available with a pure-electric powertrain. All come with fast-charging and the choice of two body lengths, and manage around 174 miles between charges.