Most popular new car reviews 2021
Will it be a stylish SUV, a practical hatchback or a high-tech electric car which takes the top honours as What Car?'s most-read new car review so far in 2021?...
What’s been the most popular car review on the What Car? website in the first half of 2021? With so many excellent models on sale at the moment, it isn't easy to guess.
Is it one of 2021's headline-grabbing newcomers, such as the Nissan Qashqai or Skoda Enyaq? Or could it be a traditional big-hitter, like the Ford Fiesta or Volkswagen Golf? Well, we've been through the numbers of an incredible six months in cars, and below we count down the top 10 most-read reviews.
We first tested the latest version of this family SUV late last year, and if space is high on your list of priorities you should definitely take a look at the Tucson, because a quartet of tall adults will have plenty of room and the boot is cavernous. Hybrid tech makes the Tucson an efficient choice, too, but it is a bit on the pricey side and some rivals are better to drive.
- Frugal hybrid is a worthy alternative to diesel
- Well-made interior
- Spacious for passengers and luggage
- So-so handling
- Ride can get choppy at times
- No NCAP safety rating as yet
Thanks to rear-wheel drive, accurate steering and fine body control, the ID.3 is an electric car that’s enjoyable to drive. What's more, its practicality is up with the roomiest family hatchbacks, predicted resale values are superb and it’ll be cheap to run for both company car drivers and private buyers. Throw in strong performance and a long range, and it's a brilliant choice.
- Good electric range
- Sprightly performance
- Decent to drive
- Iffy interior quality, especially for the pricier versions
- Charging network weaker than Tesla’s
- Infotainment system needs some upgrades
Launched last year, the latest Kuga is a decent large SUV in any guise, but really makes sense if you opt for the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model. In fact, this is one of the best plug-in hybrid SUVs out there, providing tidy handling, a decent electric-only range and excellent fuel economy once the battery has run flat – and all for a sensible price. Just make sure you can live with the slightly disappointing interior quality.
- Competitively priced against rivals
- Plug-in hybrid (PHEV) offers a long electric range and low company car tax
- FHEV hybrid is cheaper than equivalent diesel, yet has similar economy
- Interior quality doesn't impress
- Relatively small boot
- Infotainment system isn't the slickest
- Remarkably roomy seats and boot
- Better-finished interior than many of its rivals
- Comfortable ride
- No sliding or reclining rear seats
- Not especially well equipped
- Other small SUVs have a higher driving position
The fully electric e-Niro can drive for more than 250 miles between charges in real-world conditions, so banishes range anxiety. What's more, it offers good practicality, performance, comfort and equipment. In fact, we rate the e-Niro so highly we made it our 2019 Car of the Year, and it's been among the most popular cars on the What Car? website ever since.
- 64kWh model’s 250-mile-plus real-world range
- Quick acceleration in 64kWh
- Tidy handling and comfortable ride
- A fair bit pricier than an MG ZS EV
- Doesn't charge as quickly as a Tesla Model 3
- No Euro NCAP safety rating
Few cars received as much hype before their launch as the Model 3, which partly explains its presence on this list. However, crucially, even fewer can match what the Model 3 offers in reality. Tesla's most affordable car yet is great to drive, packed full of tech, fast (ridiculously so in Performance guise) and surprisingly spacious. Factor in a competitive price, and it’s not only a great electric car but one of the best executive cars you can buy.
- Savage acceleration
- Long range between charges
- Surprisingly practical
- Fast charging via Tesla's prolific Supercharger network
- Rivals are quieter on the move
- Handling not as entertaining as petrol rivals
- Some may find the ride a touch firm
The Karoq offers many of the best bits of the Volkswagen Tiguan for thousands less. In fact, it's a super family SUV, with a smart-looking and sturdy-feeling interior and clever rear seats that can slide, recline or be removed entirely. It’s also a pleasure to drive, thanks to its comfortable ride (as long as you avoid the 19in alloy wheels) and excellent visibility.
- Good to drive
- Excellent space and seating flexibility
- Smart-looking and sturdy-feeling interior
- Seat Ateca is more fun to drive
- Avoid big wheels for the best ride comfort
- Top models are rather expensive
Volkswagen now offers five SUVs, but it's the T-Roc that's not only most popular with What Car? readers but the best all-rounder, particularly if you stick to the cheaper engines and trims. Its supple suspension, superb refinement and practical boot will appeal to families, plus it has one of the best driving positions of any car in the small SUV class.
- Comfortable ride and quiet on the motorway
- High-set driving position for a small SUV
- Good boot by class standards
- Cheap-feeling interior
- Upper trims and engine options are too pricey
- Unexciting handling; the Ford Puma is a sharper drive
The Puma was our 2020 Car of the Year, and it remains the best small SUV you can buy today. Thanks to agile handling and surprisingly nippy performance, it will put a bigger smile on your face than any rival. But it’s also a car you can buy with your sensible hat on, due to its low CO2 emissions, excellent real-world fuel economy, clever boot and attractive monthly PCP finance costs.
- Great fun to drive
- Remarkable blend of performance and fuel economy
- Big and cleverly designed boot
- Rear space is adequate rather than outstanding
- Visibility could be better
- Volkswagen T-Roc is more comfortable and quieter
The XC40 may have similar front and rear lights to the brand’s bigger SUVs to ensure a family resemblance, but it avoids the Russian doll approach of many rivals. More importantly, it mixes its distinctive style with space, comfort, cutting-edge safety, a high-quality interior and relative affordability. No wonder it's the most popular car with What Car? readers so far in 2021.
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- Stylish and high-quality interior
- Comfortable ride on most versions
- Comprehensive safety kit
- Lacks the rear seat flexibility of some rivals
- Fiddly infotainment system
- Road noise on the motorway
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