The most popular new car reviews of 2021

Will it be a stylish SUV, a practical hatchback or a high-tech electric car that takes the honours as the most-read What Car? new car review of 2021? Here's our top 10.....


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What Car? team

Enyaq puma most popular reviews

What’s been the most popular car review on the What Car? website in 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 12 months in cars, and below we count down the top 10 most-read reviews.

10

Ford Kuga

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.

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Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Interior quality doesn't impress
  • Relatively small boot
  • Infotainment system isn't the slickest
9

Skoda Enyaq

It's really no surprise that the new Skoda Enyaq has made it on to this list – because it's a brilliant SUV that proves you don't need deep pockets to buy a large electric car. It also ticks the boxes of many of the main requirements for an electric SUV, such as being comfortable, practical, good to drive and well-equipped. The 80 and 80X versions of the Enyaq have a good official electric range, too, but they are a fair bit more expensive than the 60 versions.

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Pros

  • Well priced
  • Extremely practical
  • Comfortable and easy to drive

Cons

  • So-so performance by electric car standards
  • A Volkswagen ID.3 is more fun to drive
  • 80 and 80X versions don't qualify for government grant
8

Skoda Kamiq

You sit quite low to the ground in the Kamiq, with a driving position that's barely any more elevated than that of the Skoda Scala hatchback. However, in every other respect it's a brilliant small SUV – its supple, controlled ride and remarkably spacious interior are particular highlights.

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Pros

  • Remarkably roomy seats and boot
  • Better-finished interior than many of its rivals
  • Comfortable ride

Cons

  • No sliding or reclining rear seats
  • Not especially well equipped
  • Other small SUVs have a higher driving position
7

Tesla Model 3

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 so far is great to drive, packed full of tech, fast (ridiculously so in Performance guise) and surprisingly spacious. When you factor in a competitive price, it’s not only a great electric car but also one of the best executive cars you can buy.

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Pros

  • Savage acceleration – particularly in Performance version
  • Long range between charges
  • Surprisingly practical
  • Fast charging via Tesla's prolific Supercharger network

Cons

  • Rivals are quieter on the move
  • Handling not as entertaining as the best petrol-powered rivals
  • Some may find the ride a touch firm
6

Volkswagen ID.3

With 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.

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Pros

  • Good electric range
  • Sprightly performance
  • Decent to drive

Cons

  • Iffy interior quality, especially for the pricier versions
  • Charging network weaker than Tesla’s
  • Infotainment system needs some upgrades
5

Kia e-Niro

The fully electric e-Niro can do more than 250 miles between charges in real-world conditions, so it 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.

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Pros

  • 64kWh model’s 250-mile-plus real-world range
  • Quick acceleration in 64kWh
  • Tidy handling and comfortable ride

Cons

  • A fair bit pricier than an MG ZS EV
  • Doesn't charge as quickly as a Tesla Model 3
  • No Euro NCAP safety rating
4

Skoda Karoq

The Karoq offers many of the best bits of the Volkswagen Tiguan for thousands of pounds 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, with a comfortable ride (as long as you avoid the larger 19in alloy wheels) and excellent visibility.

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Pros

  • Good to drive
  • Excellent space and seating flexibility
  • Smart-looking and sturdy-feeling interior

Cons

  • Seat Ateca is more fun to drive
  • You can no longer specify an adjustable boot floor
  • No hybrid options
3

Volkswagen T-Roc

Volkswagen now offers five SUVs, but it's the T-Roc that's not only most popular with What Car? readers but also the best all-rounder – especially 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.

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Pros

  • Comfortable ride and quiet on the motorway
  • High-set driving position for a small SUV
  • Good boot by class standards

Cons

  • Touch-sensitive controls can be fiddly
  • Upper trims and engine options are too pricey
  • Unexciting handling (the Ford Puma is a sharper drive)
2

Ford Puma

The Puma was our 2020 Car of the Year, and it remains the best small SUV you can buy today. Its agile handling and surprisingly nippy performance will put a bigger smile on your face than any rival. It’s also a car you can buy with your sensible hat on because of its low CO2 emissions, excellent real-world fuel economy, clever boot and attractive monthly PCP finance costs.

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Pros

  • Great fun to drive
  • Remarkable blend of performance and fuel economy
  • Big and cleverly designed boot

Cons

  • Rear space is adequate rather than outstanding
  • Visibility could be better
  • Volkswagen T-Roc is more comfortable and quieter
1

Volvo XC40

The XC40 has similar front and rear lights to the brand’s bigger SUVs to ensure a family resemblance, but it avoids the 'Russian doll approach' of some rival manufacturers. 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 in 2021.

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Pros

  • Stylish and high-quality interior
  • Comfortable ride on most versions
  • Comprehensive safety kit

Cons

  • Lacks the rear seat flexibility of some rivals
  • Fiddly infotainment system
  • Road noise on the motorway