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Who wore it best? The must-have new cars coming to forecourts in time to wear the 21-plate

Time 4 months ago

March is now only two weeks away and with it comes the critical registration change to the new 21-plate.

This year will be more challenging than most, with car dealers not knowing whether they’ll be able to welcome customers in to showrooms by then to let them look at potential new cars.

However, there still is plenty to be excited about. Car makers haven’t stopped working on the latest models and here we’ve compiled a list of the best new cars that will wear the number 21.

Abarth driving around a road bend

Abarth 595 Scorpioneoro

Abarth appears to bring out a ‘new’ version of its popular hatch every six months, adding a new trim level and an elaborate nameplate. The Scorpioneoro is its latest, bringing plenty of gold-coloured accents across the car as well as new sport seats.

It’s powered by the same 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine as always but boasts a new chrome twin-exit exhaust for a sportier sound 

Side profile Audi RS e-tron GT

Audi e-tron GT

Audi has made waves with its new e-tron GT, bringing a new four-door electric saloon to sit atop its e-tron range of EVs. With huge performance, yet retaining a focus on comfort, the e-tron GT looks to be a suitable flagship for the firm’s electrification plans. 

There’s also a new RS version, which brings added performance to the already rather potent package. 


Drifting BMW M3


There’s nothing quite like the arrival of a new M3 and it’s fair to say that this new version has already got people talking – mostly about its prominent new ‘face’. But design discussions aside, this latest M3 looks set to be one of the most accomplished incarnations of the famous sports car to date.

A sleeker two-door M4 will also be available, sharpening the car’s already cutting look. 

Bentley Flying Spur V8 driving

Bentley Flying Spur V8

Bentley’s latest Flying Spur arrived last year, but it has only recently introduced a version powered by the firm’s high-performance V8 engine. Replacing the W12 fitted to the standard Flying Spur, the V8 takes a good deal of weight from this big Bentley and transforms it into a slightly more driver-focused affair.

That said, it doesn’t miss out on comfort. With well-judged suspension and a beautifully crafted interior, this is a car that’ll still monster long trips. 

Front view of Cupra Formentor

Cupra Formentor

The new Formentor represents Cupra’s first standalone model since it parted company with Seat. Previously, Cupra’s models had essentially been go-faster versions of the Spanish firm’s cars, but the Formentor is the first that it has been able to design from the get-go.

It’s available with a range of powertrains, too, including both petrol and plug-in hybrid. A high-performance five-cylinder model is also on the cards. 

Ford S-Max Hybrid tows a jetski

Ford S-Max Hybrid

Ford is on an electrification offensive with its cars of late and is in the process of making much of its line-up as efficient as possible. It’s why it has ditched diesel entirely from its Fiesta line-up, and why a new hybrid version of its popular S-Max MPV has been introduced. 

Though the diesel-powered S-Max remains, this new Hybrid version promises improved efficiency as well as lower emissions. 

Two Hyundai Konas

Hyundai Kona

The Hyundai Kona has proved to be a hit for the South Korean firm thanks to its quirky looks and impressive level of standard equipment. The fully electric version boasts one of the best ranges on the market, too, which only helps to boost this car’s appeal.

A revised version has been introduced for 2021, with prices starting from just over £21,000. 

Isuzu D-Max scales rocks

Isuzu D-Max

Isuzu’s D-Max was a pick-up which didn’t really need to be made more imposing, but that’s just what has happened with this latest edition model. It now packs an eye-catching front grille design, which certainly makes even more of a visual impact than before.

Isuzu has also boosted the level of sound insulation to help with cabin quietness, while the suspension has been revised too to ensure a better ride. 

Kia Sorentos and one plugged into car charger

Kia Sorento

Kia’s latest Sorento is certainly a striking looking thing and only went on sale recently. Available in a range of specifications, the Sorento is also available as a plug-in hybrid, combining a 1.6-litre petrol engine with an electric motor and batteries.

Much like the rest of the firm’s range, the Sorento has a key focus on value, with all specifications bringing an impressive level of standard equipment. 

Two Mazda CX-5

Mazda CX-5

Mazda’s CX-5 has sat atop the firm’s range of SUVs for a little while now, which is why it has treated it to a much-needed update. As well as the introduction of a new petrol engine, the CX-5 benefits from an upgraded infotainment setup with a larger screen than before.

A new limited-edition Kuro Edition specification has also been added, with just 155 examples benefitting from the high-value equipment line. 

Mercedes-Benz EQA driving on the coast

Mercedes-Benz EQA

Mercedes is another manufacturer that is dead set on an electrified future, which is why it has just introduced this – the EQA. Arriving as a more compact version of the firm’s EQC, the EQA boasts up to 263 miles of electric range from a single charge.

With prices starting from £40,495 – inclusive of the Government’s plug-in car grant – the EQA arrives with a competitive price which undercuts many rivals. 

Porsche Taycan driving shot

Porsche Taycan rear-wheel-drive

The Taycan has already been on sale for a little while, but in classic Porsche fashion it hasn’t stopped there. In fact, it has now introduced a rear-wheel-drive version, offering a lighter and slightly cheaper entry point into the Taycan range.

Still packing serious performance, this electric four-door has head-turning looks and technology to match. 

Driving shot of Skoda Octavia vRS

Skoda Octavia vRS

The Octavia vRS is often seen as the ideal everyday performance car, which is why Skoda has ensured that it brings a good balance of pace and practicality with its latest model. Based on the latest Octavia, the vRS arrives with a well-sized boot and a roomy cabin too.

There’s also the option of petrol, diesel and plug-in powertrains, which means there’s an engine for all. 

Corner shot of Toyota Hilux

Toyota Hilux

Toyota’s Hilux has been given a comprehensive update, with a new 2.8-litre turbocharged diesel engine introduced to sit alongside a smaller 2.4-litre unit. The truck’s suspension has also been given a revamp to help it produce a better ride. 

A new infotainment system is available as well, while all trucks boast a completely revitalised exterior design with a new front grille and redesigned rear lights. 

Driving shot of Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid

Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid

Toyota hasn’t just refreshed its pick-ups, but has been focusing on its regular cars too. As well as its new Yaris, Toyota has brought a plug-in hybrid version of its latest RAV4, boosting the striking SUV’s efficiency levels.

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With a large battery on board, this RAV4 can return a claimed electric-only range of up to 46 miles while delivering up to 282.4mpg. 

Driving shot Volkswagen ID.4

Volkswagen ID.4

Volkswagen is looking to capitalise on the success of its electric ID.3 with the introduction of the larger ID.4. Bringing the same standout looks as the smaller model but with a slightly increased level of practicality, the ID.4 will initially be available in high-specification 1st Edition trim – though ‘regular’ versions will be introduced down the line. 

Thanks to a 77kWh battery, the ID.4 should be capable of returning up to 310 miles from a single charge. 

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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