The best new cars launched in 2021

A huge array of new cars went on sale in the UK in 2021. Here are our picks of the best models that launched last year

James Allen
Jan 18, 2022

The car industry was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, but UK drivers were still able to buy new cars. Thanks to initiatives like remote sales and supermarket-style click-and-collect deliveries, more than 1.6 million new cars found homes in 2020. Thankfully, despite the global slowdown caused by the pandemic, brand new models were still introduced in 2021 and total car sales in 2021 increased by 1% compared with 2020.

A huge array of new models went on sale in the UK during 2021. You’re especially well catered for if you’re after an affordable and family-friendly car, but there's plenty of choice from inexpensive superminis and compact crossovers to practical hatchbacks and spacious SUVs.

Of the massive range of new metal that debuted in showrooms and online ordering services in 2021, below are some of our picks of the best new cars you’ll be able to get your hands on in the coming months.

All of these cars have been on sale for enough time now for used deals to be popping up, helping you to potentially save thousands. And of course, if you prefer the new car smell, nearly new and pre-registered examples can be found too.

Best cars launched in 2021

1. Citroen C4

Citroen C4 deals from £18,490
Monthly finance from £0*
Citroen e-C4 deals from £28,495
Monthly finance from £0*

The Citroen C4 is back, and it’s much different from the humdrum family hatchback that preceded it. Whereas the old C4 was a conventionally-styled low-cost alternative to the likes of the Ford Focus and VW Golf, this latest version is far more striking to look at. There’s also a whiff of SUV in the design, too, thanks to the chunky plastic bodywork cladding and higher ride height - the latter meaning you also get a better view of the road ahead than you would in a regular five-door hatchback.

An area where the new Citroen C4 stands out from many of its rivals can be found under the bonnet. On top of a range of efficient engine options (even the least efficient petrols can return 45mpg, which is strong for this kind of car), there’s also an electric version (badged e-C4) with a claimed range of more than 200 miles on a single charge.


2. Dacia Sandero

Dacia Sandero deals Limited stockDacia Sandero Stepway deals from £14,599
Monthly finance from £292*

As a value for money proposition, the new Dacia Sandero supermini makes a very strong case for itself. With prices starting from £7,995, it’s by far the most affordable new car on sale in the UK right now, and even the £14,595 range-topping model undercuts entry versions of rivals like the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa.

While the less expensive versions don’t come with vast amounts of kit, the new Sandero is far from being stripped-out and barren inside. Even the entry-level model comes as standard with electric front windows, LED headlights and emergency braking assist, and higher-spec cars can be fitted with cruise control, keyless entry and automatic wipers.

The rugged-looking Sandero Stepway was renewed for another generation, too, so drivers looking for a little more road presence may be interested in this.


3. Hyundai Bayon

Used deals Limited stock

Hyundai's SUV range was already extensive, including the small Kona, the family-friendly Tucson and seven-seat Santa Fe, but this new supermini-sized crossover slotted beneath these in 2021.

It shares many of its parts with the latest i20, including the familiar 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine. It's available with 100hp or 120hp, as well as manual and automatic gearboxes. Both use mild hybrid technology to help improve efficiency and reduce emissions. The interior is also modern and well equipped, with a 10.3-inch digital display behind the steering wheel alongside an eight-inch media display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.


4. Nissan Qashqai

Used deals from £21,995
Monthly finance from £0*

The previous Nissan Qashqai had been on sale since 2014, yet despite its age, it was comfortably the most popular new SUV in the UK even in its final year of production. As a result, there was a lot riding on this latest-generation Nissan Qashqai.

It has a more advanced interior and a subtly more striking exterior design over its predecessor, but it's still recognisably a Qashqai. The biggest changes happened under the bonnet, though. As well as a suite of mild hybrid petrol engines, it is expected that a form of range-extending hybrid will appear, although this wasn't released in 2021.


5. Renault Arkana

Used deals Limited stock

The Arkana's sloping roofline means it doesn't have the biggest boot or the best rear seat headroom compared with a conventional SUV, though it does make the Renault Arkana a very distinctive car - especially if you choose one of the brighter paint options.

Engine choice is pretty simple - there's a 140hp 1.3-litre mild hybrid petrol option that will make up the bulk of Renault's sales, or a 145hp 1.6-litre self-charging hybrid that promises almost 60mpg (10mpg more than the mild hybrid). Every version comes with all-round parking sensors, a reversing camera and a slick touchscreen media system, but you'll have to step up to more expensive trims for Renault's distinctive portrait-orientated touschreen.

6. Toyota Yaris Cross

Used deals Limited stock

As its name suggests, the Toyota Yaris Cross an SUV-style crossover version of the regular Toyota Yaris supermini. It faces competition from cars like the Nissan Juke and the Hyundai Bayon mentioned above.

While the Yaris Cross is very closely related to the standard car and uses the same 116hp hybrid engine that is available in the Yaris hatchback, Toyota says it’s more than simply a higher-riding Yaris. It’s a little bit longer and wider than the supermini on which it’s based, so there’s a bit more interior space, and - unlike the standard Yaris supermini - the Yaris Cross is available with an optional four-wheel-drive system. Expect this to help the Yaris Cross offer a bit more grip on slippery roads, rather than giving it any off-road ability.


*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.


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