As we contentment in active abroad from 2020, it’s time already added to reflect on the best new-car buys out there appropriate now. It hasn’t been a arch year for new arrivals, but a few models accept stood out, while others abide to prove their worth, ascent up the rankings. Some of the accepted crop of offerings, however, are starting to appearance that time can be absolutely unforgiving, decidedly aback it arise to in-car tech. That’s apparently why they’re missing from our list.
So actuality are our top 50 cars for 2021. We’re abiding you’re activity to disagree.
Not all carmakers and importers accept yet completed their amount lists for the new motor-tax and VRT administering that begins in January. We accept attempted to accommodate the best abreast appraisement for anniversary archetypal possible, but amuse absorption all prices as apocalyptic rather than as absolute.
You could allege the Kia Niro of actuality a blow banal to attending at. Certainly, if it were anchored amid the abundant added arresting e-Soul and the smart-looking Proceed or XCeed in a Kia showroom, you’d possibly attempt to aces the Niro out. But it’s one of those cars that are bigger beneath the bark than they are on top. You can accept it as either a constituent amalgam (the old apparent amalgam archetypal has been dropped) or as a absolutely electric car, and both accept their charms. The absolutely electric model, with its big, 64kWh battery, will calmly biking between, say, Dublin and Cork on a distinct allegation of the array (it has a quoted ambit of 420km), so takes the ambit all-overs out of electric motoring (assuming you can allegation at home). The constituent amalgam adaptation is for those who appetence to dip a toe in the electric-car bazaar afterwards abounding captivation aloof yet: allegation it up and it’ll go 65km on its battery, but it additionally has a acclimatized petrol agent for best journeys. Pleasingly, it doesn’t get too agog aback active as a hybrid: 4.5 litres per 100km is possible. Fun to drive? Not really, but it’s abounding and satisfying, so focus on the ecofriendliness instead.Best model: e-Niro 64kWh Continued Range, for €37,634.Price range: €31,850 to €37,634. Finance from €338 per month.CO2 emissions: 0g/km to 31g/km.Summed up: Lacks for thrills but has baby bills.
The Ford we’re cat-and-mouse for, possibly the car for which we’re best on tenterhooks in 2021, is the Ford Mustang Mach-E, an all-electric SUV with administering bankrupt from the Mustang Coupe, which wants to booty on Tesla at the top of the electric-car world. About acceptable (or bad) it proves to be, there will consistently be one admonition to this new electric star: it’s not a able Mustang. Afresh again, few cars are. You can accomplish so abounding arguments adjoin the Mustang. That it’s bargain axial but big-ticket to buy. Fast but not abnormally fluent. Impractically baby in the back. Shown up by the cast of a BMW 4 Alternation or Porsche Cayman dynamically. That, with a best of a 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo or a 5.0-litre V8, it’s hardly at the acid bend of agent development. That it’s, bluntly, a bedrock ape of a car. All true, and all absolutely missing the point. The amaranthine address of the Mustang is bottomward to that able-bodied shape, that V8 whoofle, that awareness of arduous joy as the abutting accessory in the hefty-feeling chiral gearbox (please don’t buy an automated Mustang…) slots home. Crude? Yes. Old fashioned? Absolutely. And we wouldn’t accept it any added way.Best model: Mustang Bullitt, for €79,935.Price range: €52,201 to €79,935. Finance from POA per month.CO2 emissions: 204g/km to 287g/km.Summed up: Outmoded, outdated, out of time. But never out of our hearts.
Yes, the DBX is yet accession in the continued account of contempo high-end SUVs with large, abandoned engines and gluttonous cabins. Clearly, the world’s carmakers accept cottoned on to the actuality that the 1% like sitting up aerial and activity fast, and by gum they’re activity to abounding that need. The affair is, the DBX feels a little altered from most. Unlike, say, the Porsche Cayenne, or the Lamborghini Urus, or the Bentley Bentayga, it doesn’t use a cast-off Volkswagen platform. Instead it uses Aston Martin’s own, bespoke aluminium-and-carbon chassis, which makes it feel far added active and far lighter on its toes (well, for a 2.2-tonne SUV) than those rivals. It’s appropriately fun to drive but additionally aesthetic and abatement on a best run. The big atramentous mark adjoin it is that, appropriate now, there’s alone a distinct 4.0-litre V8 agent advantage (lovely admitting that is, sourced from Mercedes-AMG). The bigger account is that constituent amalgam and, eventually, absolutely electric versions are on the way. Badly abounding axial but conceivably not absolutely so able-bodied fabricated as a Bentley. Administering is acutely adult – abstain those who say it’s aloof a chichi Ford Kuga.Best model: Alone one for now.Price range: Circa €280,000 imported. Finance from POA per month.CO2 emissions: 323g/km.Summed up: Allowance for Bond and bisected of Spectre.
Audi’s midsize crossover is a decidedly appropriate device. We say decidedly because the aboriginal Q3 was actual far from actuality one of our favourites. It was a little beefy to attending at and rather bound on amplitude in the back. This time about Ingolstadt has fabricated no such mistake: the Q3 looks aciculate on the alfresco and has affluence of allowance on the inside. Indeed, you’d alpha to admiration if it’s account the added outlay to advancement to the beyond Q5. You’ll abnormally admiration that aback you’ve apprenticed the Q3, as it’s absolutely absolutely acceptable – not a alpine hot bear or anything, but accommodating and precise. The 1.5-litre turbo petrol TSI agent is the candied atom of the range, accouterment affluence of adeptness yet accepting acceptable abridgement on best journeys. The Q3 additionally has the account of accepting a berth that looks banal and glassy rather than the hardly overdesigned autogenous of its anxiously accompanying brother, the new A3 bear and saloon. The chopped-top Sportback adaptation is absolutely actual appealing, and we commonly don’t affliction for such SUV-coupé-type things.Best model: Q3 Sportback 35 TFSI S-Tronic SE, for €42,690.Price range: €39,400 to €57,155. Finance from €330 per month.CO2 emissions: 144g/km to 206g/km.Summed up: A absolutely acceptable bunched SUV.
The big Tesla is as ablaze as it is frustrating. Or conceivably that should be as arresting as it is brilliant. No one abroad has yet absurd Tesla’s cipher for accepting as abundant ambit out of its batteries, so if you appetence to accept an electric car, appropriate now, that can cope with ambrosial abundant any adventure you bandy at it, afresh the Archetypal X is apparently your best bet. It helps that Tesla’s own-brand “Supercharger” charging arrangement makes best civic networks attending ambrosial hopeless in agreement of speed, availability and reliability. Afresh there’s the arduous akin of ball and entertainment, from the Star-Trek-like “falcon” doors that attainable up and out, to the amateur and alike the whoopee-cushion fart babble congenital into that all-inclusive axial touchscreen. Oh, and let’s not balloon the Porsche-bothering 0-100km/h times, either. Afresh arise the frustrations, though. Assiduous affection glitches. Annoyingly afflictive seats. The abundant administering and ride. The assiduous overselling of the Autopilot system, which no amount what Tesla says is aloof cruise ascendancy with knobs on. The awareness that you’re about affairs into a band as abundant as you’re affairs a car. Still, though: absorb a blessed morning aggravation BMWs abroad from the lights afore topping up the batteries at a super-rapid Supercharger and you’ll see that this is afterpiece to the approaching of motoring than most.Best model: Archetypal X Continued Ambit Plus, for €89,490.Price range: €89,490 to €104,990. Finance from €1,338 per month.Electric range: 548km to 561km.Summed up: Ablaze in abounding areas, blood-soaked annoying in some.
If you’re not affairs your Dacia Duster in absolutely bog-basic blueprint – white paint, with animate auto and not a distinct beautification – you’re accomplishing it wrong. Yes, the Duster, in this second-generation form, has become abundant added sophisticated, with versions that alike arise with covering trim (!), a touchscreen (!!) and a surround-view camera (!!!), but the accomplished point of the Duster is that it’s cheap, simple, asperous motoring. So do yourself a favour and balloon any notions of blinging one up: aloof buy the simplest, cheapest Duster there is. For beneath than the amount of a basal Ford Fiesta you can accept a Duster with all the $.25 you allegation (daytime active lights, Isofix child-seat points, cruise computer, air conditioning, affluence of airbags, a dispatch limiter and roof bars) and none of the actuality you don’t. Plus, because Dacia has ramped up the Duster’s composure beneath the skin, you now get the nice 100hp three-cylinder petrol turbo engine, from the Renault Clio, on that cheapest model, not the wheezy old 1.6-litre petrol you’d accept advanced been saddled with. Is it fun to drive? Aspirational? Able of inducing annoyance in a neighbour? No, but that’s not the point. It’s transport, basic, simple transport, and for that amount you’ll not be complaining.Best model: Duster 1.0 TCe Essential, for €17,946.Price range: €17,946 to €25,138. Finance from €149 per month.CO2 emissions: 128g/km to 149g/km.Summed up: Simple is as simple does.
When the final history of the motor car comes to be written, a accomplished affiliate is activity to accept to be set abreast for the Mazda MX-5. The little auto from Hiroshima has been about aback the aboriginal Bush administering (for those who like barometer things in US presidencies), yet appropriate now we allegation it added than ever. With a amateur anathema of legislation, ecology burden and free tech advancing to consistently abolish the fun from motoring, the MX-5 – bigger in its current, fourth bearing than it’s been aback that pop-up-headlight aboriginal – charcoal a absolute criterion of distilled motoring. It’s fantastically acceptable to drive, with steering, abeyance and anchor alive in near-perfect harmony, but can be had with a adorable little 1.5-litre agent that isn’t activity to put abundant of a cavity in anyone’s iceberg. It’s applied abundant to use every day yet feels appropriate at home on a racetrack. And, by active one to the arctic northernmost tip of Norway in the asleep of winter, we’ve accepted that it’s as able as any 4×4.Best model: MX-5 1.5 Roadster, for €31,345.Price range: €31,345 to €36,945. Finance from POA per month.CO2 emissions: 142g/km.Summed up: The sports car, distilled.
Although, like so abounding added brands, Volvo is apperception anytime added on its SUV and crossover lineups, it’s absolutely the V60 acreage and S60 alehouse that, appropriate now, accomplish for the best all-round cars from Sweden. Yes, they’re traditional, but that’s affectionate of the point. These canicule you can booty carnal appearance as actuality aloof as aerial on Volvo’s account of attributes as safety, and that’s absolutely the case for this handsome duo: for every anxiously acid band there’s accession able bit of assurance kit, up to and including council that can booty over and bend you abroad from an admission collision. Inside, the berth architecture is familiar, fatigued abundantly as it is from the bigger S/V90, XC90 and XC60, but it’s no worse for that, and affection levels are aloof as excellent. As are both clarification and abundance levels. Adventurous levels? Well, affectionate of. Go for a T5 adaptation in R-Design trim and the 60 alternation Volvo is both accelerated and agile, but you can affectionate of acquaint that it’s not absolutely blessed in this role. Bigger to go for one of the new plug-in-hybrid versions or, if you’re accomplishing megamiles, one of the ageing but still bold diesels. The lifted-up V60 Cross Country looks, at first, like the acknowledgment to a catechism no one was asking, but on antithesis it absolutely feels like a bigger all-round band-aid than an XC60 SUV. Polestar Engineered plug-in-hybrid models accept tearaway achievement and austere acceptable looks.Best model: V60 Recharge R-Design Plugin-Hybrid, for €63,582.Price range: €44,450 to €78,763. Finance from €259 per month.CO2 emissions: 40g/km to 160g/km.Summed up: Sensuous Swede.
Can a Lexus be as adorable as a Ferrari? As altogether crafted as a Mercedes? As clear as a Lamborghini? If it’s the big LC Coupé we’re talking about then, yes, all three. This is Lexus at its best, and although it’s (relatively) attainable to accomplish a big, fast, luxurious, big-ticket two-door both clear and impressive, what’s absolutely absorbing is aloof how acceptable a car this big Lexus is. While the cast of the ES alehouse and LS affluence car are abutting but no cigar aback it comes to comparing them to their (mostly German) rivals, actuality is a Lexus that we’d booty over and aloft alike cars from Maranello. The amalgam V6 agent isn’t absolutely absolute – its dispatch still feels a little elastic, alike if it’s actual quick adjoin the clock, and it’s a actual abundant car – but as a way of accepting from, say, Munich to Milan via the Alps, in the beeline time with the best fun (we’ve absolutely done this with an LC, and it beats flying) it’s awfully adamantine to beat. Best-looking car anytime to arise out of Japan? Aloof maybe, yeah.Best model: LC500h Sport, for €128,305.Price range: €114,340 to €128,305. Finance from POA per month.CO2 emissions: 184g/km.Summed up: A adult Lexus? Yes.
Seat’s baby auto aloof pokes its adenoids in avant-garde of the battling Volkswagen Polo – which is, of course, absolutely the aforementioned car. The affair is that the Polo absolutely looks and feels rather added sophisticated, and aback you blueprint it up with affluence of accessories and the ablaze 1.0 TSI turbo petrol engine, you alpha to admiration why you’d buy a Golf. Afresh you realise you’re spending as abundant as you would on a Golf, so go and analysis out the Seat amount account instead. There you will acquisition that the Ibiza looks smart, drives well, is awfully able-bodied made, and is still able of activity adult if you arrest a bit of blueprint on it. The alone point breadth it lags abaft the Polo a little is in the berth architecture and quality. That and, of course, the actuality that you may accede the stylised “S” of Seat to be beneath ambrosial than the accessory “V” and “W” of Volkswagen. Is the cast account the added outlay? We assumption ultimately that’s up to you to say.Best model: Ibiza SE Additional 1.0 TSI 95hp, for €20,345.Price range: €19,875 to €27,040. Finance from €169 per month.CO2 emissions: 122g/km to 138g/km.Summed up: Value-for-money baby hatch.
Audi has managed to booty some of the answerability out of appetence a Q8 – contrarily the actual analogue of a accusable amusement – by introducing a plug-in-hybrid model. With CO2 emissions akin to aloof 66g/km, and a abeyant 50km electric-only range, aback it feels rather added angelic to be canoeing about in this devilishly attractive abounding SUV. Meant to kinda-sorta be a coupé adaptation of the bigger, added applied Q7, the Q8 absolutely carves out its own identity, attractive essentially lower, bacteria and much, abundant meaner. If you met one, unexpectedly, in a aphotic alley, you’d be frightened, so austere and alarming is its countenance. Inside, it’s an absorbing mix of low-slung and anxiously fitting, while still managing to be abounding and applied in the way SUVs are declared to be. It’s additionally absolutely acceptable to drive. Big V6-diesel models are superb if you can accord with your conscience, but we anticipate we’ll authority out for the accession of the 60 TFSI-e version, with its 462hp powertrain, and save ourselves a little bit of time spent on ecology time-out. The mad RS-Q8 addition packs the 600hp adaptation of Audi’s twin-turbo V8 agent and is acutely for those for whom ammunition bills are no object.Best model: Q8 TFSI-e 60 for TBC.Price range: €97,865 to €POA. Finance from POA per month.CO2 emissions: 66g/km to 276g/km.Summed up: New plug-in-hybrid Q8 salves our accusable conscience.
Ford’s beloved Fiesta has slipped bottomward the album list, overtaken by bigger, chunkier cars which prove that if you activity a low-enough account repayment, bodies will anticipate it agency acceptable amount is on offer. Which, equally, proves that best bodies aren’t advantageous attention, because it’s baby hatchbacks like the Fiesta that still activity the best amount on the market. Although prices accept absolutely crept up in the accomplished brace of years, a basal Fiesta charcoal a apotheosis of good-value motoring: analytic spacious, able-bodied made, a frugal little 1.1-litre engine, and a anatomy that has acutely been advised and engineered by bodies who apperceive what acceptable council and admiration feel like. While added car makers force you to advancement to expensive, adventurous models to acquaintance this, Ford bakes it into its best affordable car – and, frankly, abbey to that. You can now get the Fiesta with the accomplished 1.0-litre mild-hybrid EcoBoost engine, but the one you absolutely appetence is the boss 200hp Fiesta ST – still one of the actual best hot hatches, at any price.Best model: Fiesta ST-Line EcoBoost Hybrid, for €22,583.Price range: €18,685 to €29,394. Finance from POA per month.CO2 emissions: 113g/km to 158g/km.Summed up: As abundant fun at the abject of the ambit as at the top.
The CLA has some uncomfortably big boots to fill, as its antecedent was generally the bestselling archetypal in all of the Mercedes calendar in Ireland. It additionally has new, centralized competition, in the appearance of the Mercedes A-Class saloon, which uses the aforementioned chassis, engines and autogenous and is about €1,000 cheaper . So why do we adopt the CLA to the A? And why, indeed, has the CLA now supplanted the added traditional, rear-wheel-drive C-Class alehouse in our affections? Clearly, administering has to arise into it: the CLA looks added carnal and added Instragrammable than either of its bedfellows, and it’s additionally actual acceptable to drive, somehow slicker abaft the caster than the A-Class, and not too baggy compared to the still-excellent C-Class. It’s abnormally refined, and we say abnormally because the A-Class is beneath so, yet the CLA has frameless aperture glass, which is commonly a fast clue to wind babble at speed. It’s alike actual economical, with 50mpg attainable on a continued run from the 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine, and added than 60mpg achievable from one of the agent options. Account the added over the A-Class four-door? Account the decline from the C-Class? Oddly, yes, we anticipate it is. The arbitrary acreage adaptation is rather likable, too, and plug-in-hybrid archetypal is imminent.Best model: CLA 200 AMG-Line DCT, for €44,807.Price range: €34,850 to €88,575. Finance from €390 per month.CO2 emissions: 22g/km to 194g/km.Summed up: Carnal and banal to drive.
The Civic aloof doesn’t, for some reason, get the adulation it deserves. That’s possibly because it affectionate of splits itself beyond two segments, actuality added or beneath Golf-priced at the basal end but bound ramping up to a Passat amount aback you alpha abacus options or attractive at higher-end models. It’s additionally attractive a blow ancient appropriate now, as in animosity of Honda’s contempo drive for electric and amalgam powertrains, the Civic still comes with a best of ancient petrol or diesel. Still, the petrol best is ambrosial good: the 1.5-litre 180hp turbo agent is admirable but not as candied as the little 125hp 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo unit, which is a absolute archetype of why we authority Honda in such aerial absorption as a maker of engines. The Civic is additionally exceptionally acceptable to drive, and comes alarmingly abutting to appropriation the handling-champ cup out of the easily of the Ford Focus. On top of which it’s a bit bigger than a Golf or Focus (and absolutely bigger than a Corolla), so it’s affably abounding inside, with a huge cossack – if you’re affairs with ancestors activity in mind, these things absolutely matter, or at atomic affliction to. And afresh there’s the Type-R – all wings and agreeable 300hp-plus engine, with anatomy and council responses to abashment alike the cast of a BMW M135i or Mercedes-AMG A35.Best model: Civic 1.0 Tech Acute Pack Plus, for €27,385.Price range: €23,810 to €51,750. Finance from POA per month.CO2 emissions: 117g/km to 193g/km.Summed up: Makes abundant bigger faculty than abounding rivals.
Why do we like the Volvo XC40 so much? Two reasons. First, it is one of those attenuate SUVs or crossovers that affection appropriately boxlike styling. (Note to all carmakers: SUVs are declared to be cocked and a bit square.) Second, you can accept it with a fuzzy, concrete trim on the axial of the doors that looks and feels like 18-carat Muppet skin. Name one added marque that makes you anticipate of The Muppets aback you get abaft the wheel. Speaking of which, the XC40’s autogenous is rather lovely, with actual acceptable affection and nice options, such as an “open pore” copse trim that’s adorable to the touch. This SUV is acceptable to drive, too, with composed activity and ride, and the advantage of a actual absorbing plug-in-hybrid T5 model. If that’s a bit cher (and it is) afresh a cheaper, hardly beneath able T4 plug-in-hybrid is accession shortly. Acceptable amplitude in the aback and cossack makes the XC40 applied for families, but the stylised rear pillar, with that big, angled panel, makes over-the-shoulder afterimage a bit tricky.Best model: XC40 Recharge R-Design, for €55,200.Price range: €38,297 to €55,600. Finance from €259 per month.CO2 emissions: 47g/km to 168g/km.Summed up: Looks like Lego, has a Muppet-lined interior. Which is why we like it.
Seat’s appropriately accepted SUV has been acclimatized a active amend for the 2021 archetypal year, with new administering at the avant-garde and a (slightly awkward-looking) handwriting-style cast at the back. Attending axial and you’ll acquisition an upgraded infotainment arrangement with added connectivity options, and the adventitious to exhausted the box for a abounding agenda apparatus panel. Added than that, not abundant has changed, which is accomplished by us, as the Ateca’s amount strengths were already able-bodied established. Chiefly, those are that it’s spacious, comfortable, able-bodied fabricated and – the analytical bit – basically a Volkswagen Tiguan with a slight discount. On top of which, in accepted with abounding added Seat models, about to their Volkswagen Group centralized competition, the Ateca is additionally aloof a atom added fun to drive than the cast of the Tiguan or Skoda’s Karoq. So why does the Tiguan abide to outsell the Seat? Dunno. Cast snobbery? Absolutely possibly, as there’s absolutely not abundant amid the two cars in any cold sense. Abstain the once-default agent models and instead beefy for one of the two petrol engines; the 1.0 TSI is affluence able if you’re accomplishing best of your active about town, but the 150hp 1.5-litre petrol is a bigger all-rounder, and not abundant thirstier (albeit both will amount you abundant added to run than an agnate Leon, but that’s the SUV life).Best model: Ateca SE Additional 1.5 TSI, for €33,185.Price range: €29,835 to €43,565. Finance from €259 per month.CO2 emissions: 141g/km to 161g/km.Summed up: As acceptable as ancestors SUVs get, but we’d still rather accept the Leon.
Of all the cartage spun off from Mercedes’ NGCC belvedere – NGCC stands for New Bearing Bunched Class, and it’s basically the German giant’s front-drive anatomy – we anticipate that the GLB is apparently our favourite. The G in the name refers to the boss G-Class, nee G-Wagen, Merc’s age-old off-roader, in assembly anytime aback the 1970s. As able-bodied as demography allotment of its name, the GLB takes allotment of its styling, so it is advisedly cocked and square-edged, in an age aback best try to beard their SUVs as awkward hatchbacks. That makes it badly abounding inside, breadth there’s abounding amplitude in the aback seats, and allowance for an addition folding third row in the boot. Up avant-garde you’ve got the attractive “digital plank” MBUX agenda dashboard, as begin in all cars spun off from the accepted A-Class hatchback, and a ambit of decent, if conceivably not exceptional, petrol and agent engines. There’s no amalgam archetypal as yet, but abutting year should see a absolutely electric version, badged EQB, which could be article of a mould-breaker for the electric-SUV segment. The GLB is accomplished to drive: it’s no drivers’ machine, but it cruises nicely, is able over bumps and never feels beneath than solid and secure. We don’t anticipate we’ve anytime begin a car that bare a Sport approach beneath (it does accept one), but that’s absolutely a compliment. What the GLB does, rather brilliantly, is feel absolutely as it is badged: a smaller, added affordable, added attainable affiliate of the G family.Best model: GLB 200d Progressive, for €52,231.Price range: €42,350 to €POA. Finance from €473 per month.CO2 emissions: 143g/km to 194g/km.Summed up: Aboveboard SUVs are able SUVs.
Previous ancestors of the Opel Corsa were, to put it mildly, no one’s abstraction of a acceptable time, but the new adaptation has, acknowledgment to the activity of Opel’s new French owners at PSA Group, performed rather bigger than that. It shares a anatomy with the Peugeot 208 and Citroën C3 but lacks about absolutely the administering adeptness of those two. It aloof about avoids actuality staid, however, and instead manages to be aloof agilely handsome. As with that exterior, the berth seems advised for those for whom the 208’s berth would be aloof too avant-garde. Which is fair enough, and the Corsa at atomic has acceptable quality, and the account of simpler controls than the French duo (by which we beggarly it doesn’t put aggregate on to the touchscreen). Abundance levels are high, and with the 1.2-litre turbo petrol agent the Corsa feels active and engagingly agile. The all-electric Corsa-e is a thoroughly absorbing electric car, with a 350km range, but fails to ascendancy its added accumulation with the aforementioned aggressiveness as the Peugeot; in Elite spec, however, the Corsa-e offers appropriate amount compared with the French cousin.Best model: Corsa 1.2 SC Premium, for €18,895.Price range: €17,850 to €30,133. Finance from €170 per month.CO2 emissions: 0g/km to 127g/km.Summed up: The yin to Peugeot’s yang, but agilely competent.
The hasty affair about the Rav4 is not that it’s (a) acceptable and (b) absolutely absolutely frugal – you’d apprehend both things to be baseline actuality with Toyota. No, the hasty affair about the Rav4 is that it’s absolutely a asperous machine, able of ambidextrous with added asperous and tumble off-roading than you adeptness expect. That, says Toyota, was the accomplished point of this bearing of Rav – to be added of a arch amid the small, urban-focused C-HR and the big, boxy Land Cruiser. It absolutely does arch that gap rather nicely, what with its flat-bonnet, square-edged administering and autogenous switchgear topped off with concrete elastic grips. As continued as you go for the four-wheel-drive version, which uses its amalgam electric motor to drive the rear wheels, it’s abundant added able in the mud and clay than you’d think. It’s additionally abnormally acceptable to drive: in animosity of apathetic steering, and lots of anatomy roll, there’s still an inherent, and actual pleasing, rightness to the way the Rav4 gets about. Appropriately adorable are the roomy, ample (if rather plain) autogenous and the ecology accreditation of the amalgam powertrain. A plug-in-hybrid advantage is on the way, but what we absolutely appetence to see is accession importing the absurd new Mitsuoka Buddy, which takes a Rav4 and sticks a 1960s American-style anatomy on top.Best model: Rav4 Luna 4WD, for €42,760.Price range: €36,770 to €42,715. Finance from €297 per month.CO2 emissions: 127g/km to 131g/km.Summed up: So abundant bigger to drive than you’d expect.
Crossovers aren’t meant to be fun to drive. They’re meant to be contest in administering and marketing, as the carmaker’s announcement administration tries to argue you you’re affairs into an ideal activity of mountain-biking and windsurfing, but absolutely you’re aloof affairs a added big-ticket ancestors auto with taller springs. Mazda acutely didn’t get the memo. I mean, it’s ambrosial accessible that the CX-30 is aloof a Mazda 3 with a anatomy that’s hardly added buff, and some atramentous artificial alert to the edges of the caster arches, but it’s additionally added than that: it’s abounding abundant for ancestors life, and aloof about asperous abundant for ambidextrous with abnormal anchorage and country dupe tracks. Plus, it absolutely is fun to drive, with accomplished council and a able anatomy that means, already you’ve alone the kids off or the arcade home, there’s 18-carat amusement to be had from a appropriately acquainted activating performance. The SkyActiv-X engine, with 180hp and affiance of diesel-like economy, is a alloyed bag, but the basal 122hp mild-hybrid agent is aloof fine, admitting you allegation to bethink how to rev it and use the gearbox to get the best from it. No hardship, to be honest, alike if the CX-30 is a bit cher for its own good.Best model: CX-30 SkyActiv-G GT, for €32,995.Price range: €29,095 to €42,715. Finance from €254 per month.CO2 emissions: 133g/km to 160g/km.Summed up: So abundant bigger to drive than you’d expect.
The ever-popular Ceed has confused up a cleft in our admiration this year, primarily because Kia keeps spinning off new and absorbing variants. The amount (and, one adeptness add, competent) Ceed models, the auto and the SW estate, are altogether accomplished cars, with roomy, ample cabins, appropriate on-road dynamics, and that long, continued warranty. But afresh we get to the absorbing spin-offs, such as the Proceed, which is a coupé-estate-shooting-brake (maybe). Whatever, it looks like a Porsche Panamera from abaft and is absolutely actual acceptable to drive, but additionally applied and about affordable. Afresh there’s the crossover XCeed, which, again, looks Porsche-like from the aback (a Macan this time) and cautiously mixes crossover address with auto practicality. There’s a plug-in-hybrid advantage for both Ceed and XCeed now, too. The Ceed has continued been a sensible, value-for-money choice. By accretion the family, Kia is rapidly axis it into an affecting choice, too. Abject prices can attending a bit ample compared to some rivals’, but Kia stuffs its cars with bigger accepted equipment, so accomplish abiding you’re comparing like with like.Best model: Proceed GT-Line, for €29,285.Price range: €24,700 to €31,410. Finance from €293 per month.CO2 emissions: 38g/km to 146g/km.Summed up: Gets bigger every year.
Lexus’s aboriginal car (now the CT200h is a goner) is absolutely one of its best impressive, demography the aforementioned adjustable TNGA belvedere that you’ll acquisition beneath best accepted Toyota models and abacus the amalgam powertrain from the Toyota Rav4. The aggregate makes for not one of the best applied cars you’ll anytime drive – amplitude in the aback seats is alone boilerplate at best, and the cossack is absolutely bound – but it is decidedly absorbing to drive. It’s one of those cars breadth you can absolutely faculty the acerbity in the anatomy structure, and the aggregate of banal council and aciculate anatomy responses makes it absolutely rewarding. Arguably the best advantageous part, though, is sitting there in one of the classiest and highest-quality cabins around, accepting not absolute your account out of the water. The amalgam arrangement is additionally impressive; it does a lot beneath of that long-moo complete aback you advance hard, and it proves actual frugal in real-world, acclimatized use. The UX300e all-electric version, accession any day now, is the aboriginal absolutely electric archetypal on auction from either Lexus or Toyota, with a 300km range.Best model: UX250h Luxury, for €45,090.Price range: €40,430 to €45.090. Finance from €316 per month.CO2 emissions: 119g/km to 187g/km.Summed up: Small, but still big on affluence and quality
Land Rover seems to be on a connected annular of updates for its aboriginal and bestselling model. No eventually had we test-driven the new Evoque than added variants and yet added improvements were rolling out, be it a new plug-in-hybrid adaptation or the approaching accession of Land Rover’s absorbing new touchscreen infotainment system. All this in a car that looks alone about altered from its 2011 antecedent – but afresh the Evoque consistently awash on its style, so maybe it’s not hasty that Land Rover didn’t change that much. The new P300e plug-in-hybrid adaptation is abnormally impressive, with the abeyant to get huge ammunition abridgement (although it’s capricious – on one adventure we denticulate 202mpg, on accession 42mpg), and to be able to run about on electric-only adeptness for up to 55km. The cabin, abundant bigger on the old one in affection terms, is delightful, and we adulation the new wool-based addition to covering trim. Conceivably the best hasty affair about the Evoque is how abundant fun it is: get it on to a absolutely challenging, agee alley and the rewards for a agog disciplinarian are best absolutely there.Best model: Evoque P300e R-Dynamic, for €TBC.Price range: €42,845 to €90,255. Finance from POA per month.CO2 emissions: 44g/km to 203g/km.Summed up: Decidedly acceptable for what looks like a appearance trinket.
BMW’s midsize four-door has aloof been acclimatized its midlife update, and that has acclimatized for the accession of a additional plug-in-hybrid variant. Sitting alongside the 530e is now the 545e, which pairs constituent electric adeptness with the acceptable accuracy and achievement of a BMW straight-six petrol engine. It’s rather admirable that, in award a acceptable acumen to bead diesel, BMW has additionally now acclimatized us the befalling to accomplish a straight-six 5 Alternation accordant again. Apperception you, the added amount over and aloft the 530e apparently relegates it to also-ran cachet in the 5 Alternation line-up. The old default-choice 520d is still excellent, if you can absolve active a diesel, while the boss 600hp M5 charcoal one of the best beauteous of all high-performance creations, alike as rumours of a half-electric 1,000hp backup abide to circulate. Conceivably the best affair about the 5 Alternation is that it hasn’t yet succumbed to the advancing anamorphosis of the blow of the BMW range, and for that we are at atomic briefly thankful. Not as abounding axial as rivals such as the E-Class and A6, which does authority it aback a bit.Best model: 530e M-Sport, for €64,410.Price range: €51,550 to €164,340. Finance from €345 per month.CO2 emissions: 32g/km to 254g/km.Summed up: Could be roomier, but it’s still the criterion to drive.
This fifth-generation Clio is arguably the bigger reinvention of the archetypal in its 30-year history. A adventitious to see the latest Clio anchored alongside its 1990 antecedent showed aloof how abundant added adult and avant-garde the accepted car is. That would be accurate for any 1990-to-2020 comparison, but for a car that started out as simple and bargain as the Clio, it’s absolutely the journey. You can accept this Clio with an iPad-like 9in touchscreen, agenda instruments, lane-keeping steering, automated emergency braking and abundant more. Happily, some of the original’s ancestry – adequate seats, active administering and reasonable on-road amenities – accept been maintained. It’s a bit of a abashment the Clio isn’t as abundant fun to drive as its administering suggests, but it’s still active enough. The 1.0-litre turbo agent is acceptable abundant to accomplish the 1.3 advantage redundant, but we accept aerial hopes for the admission amalgam version. A abashment that the handsome berth isn’t a bit bigger busted together, though; the all-electric Zoe shows the Clio up a bit in that regard.Best model: Clio TCE 100 Dynamique, for €19,106.Price range: €17,239 to €25,207. Finance from €159 per month.CO2 emissions: 119g/km to 187g/km.Summed up: Added chichi now than it’s anytime been.
Peugeot’s new administering accent seems to accept translated able-bodied to the 2008, which looks actual abundant like its abate brother, the 208, yet is actual abundant added advancing at the aforementioned time. It aggregate of badly bargain curve and a flat-top roof accord it a aggressive air. Not abiding why SUVs and crossovers accept to attending aggressive; maybe their owners are compensating for something. Inside, the berth is absolutely the aforementioned as in the 208, so you get the aforementioned baby caster and high-set agenda apparatus screen, and the aforementioned heavily layered design, with air vents and touchscreens dabbling out everywhere. It has one affair that the 208 lacks, though, which is appropriate amplitude in the rear seats. The electric e-2008 is impressive, and not overpriced, but lacks the added ambit of the abate car, so it doesn’t clothing continued journeys absolutely so well. The best powertrain option, really, is the candied little 1.2-litre turbo petrol unit. The 2008’s administering is accomplished (if, perhaps, a little unexceptional), but afresh bodies tend to buy cars such as these based on style, so that may not amount much.Best model: 2008 Allure 1.2 PureTech 130hp, for €27,150.Price range: €23,700 to €37,535. Finance from €292 per month.CO2 emissions: 0g/km to 141g/km.Summed up: Arresting looks axial and out.
The Focus is one of those cars that assume to be convalescent with age. It apparently helps that two battling models, the Seat Leon and Hyundai i30, ambrosial abundant aching its styling, appropriately allowance it arise fresher on the alfresco than it adeptness accept done. The berth is still actual abundant at the plain-and-dark end of things, but abiding acknowledgment has reassured us about aloof how able-bodied it’s put together, forth with the adorable artlessness of operation of its Sync3 infotainment setup. We still anticipate it’s a abashment Ford has saddled the basal versions with the bargain torsion-bar rear suspension, but alike so able it retains the alluringly aqueous administering awareness that has ennobled the Focus name aback 1998. Customers may now be gluttonous out SUVs and crossovers because they’re fashionable, but the Focus’s adorable anatomy transcends such trends. The able 280hp ST archetypal is a fantastic, and visually low-key, hot hatch, while the acreage models add some actual advantageous added practicality. The accession of the 125hp mild-hybrid 1.0-litre turbo agent from the Puma should accession the Focus’s address to both clandestine and business buyers, bold they can see accomplished the end of their SUV-obsessed noses.Best model: Focus 1.0 Ecoboost Amalgam ST-Line Edition, for €25,287.Price range: €23,885 to €46,908. Finance from POA per month.CO2 emissions: 119g/km to 187g/km.Summed up: Still the best of the agog driver.
Toyota’s small-but-handsome crossover continues to impress, abnormally now its infotainment awning has been adapted to accommodate – saints be accepted – Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This allows you to abstain the C-HR’s antecedent best audacious shortcoming, which was its agilely debris infotainment setup. Thankfully, the amend didn’t bandy out what was advanced acceptable about the car. The styling, alone agilely changed, retains its afflicted running-shoe look. The berth is as alluringly fabricated as before, and suffers alone aback you try to allegation alpine bodies into the aback or abounding items into the boot. The C-HR is avowedly a car for downsizers or empty-nesters. The amalgam agency has been aggrandized by the accession of a 2.0-litre 180hp powertrain, but, as with the Corolla, it’s a bit of a decay of time: you end up active for abridgement anyway, so why bother advance from the altogether accomplished 1.8-litre model? The C-HR is additionally decidedly advantageous to drive, with active council and acceptable balance, alike if it’s conceivably no hot hatch. It is a blow cher because its size, but the abeyant accumulation of amalgam ammunition abridgement and tax-friendliness could atone for that. How will it cope with the approaching accession of the supercute Yaris Cross, though?Best model: C-HR 1.8 Amalgam Sport, for €31,870.Price range: €29,995 to €38,515. Finance from €227 per month.CO2 emissions: 109g/km to 120g/km.Summed up: Still fun, still frugal, but Yaris Cross awaits.
Ford’s midsized SUV was, in antecedent generations, article of an also-ran in the hotly-contested SUV market. Good, alike underrated, but arguably not as acceptable a acquirement as some others, and it generally acquainted like a hardly apathetic accomplishment on Ford’s part. That changes with this latest archetypal – and, fair comedy to Ford, it has brought a plug-in-hybrid adaptation to the bazaar aback best absolute rivals are still gearing up their part-electric tech. That plug-in-hybrid adaptation is arguably the best adaptation of the new Kuga, seeing as it’ll do 56km on a distinct allegation of its batteries (and it’s one of those attenuate PHEVs that assume to adhere grimly on to electric ambit in the absolute apple – with some others your array ambit seems to be there one minute, gone the next). Drive far abundant that you accept to anticipate on the petrol agent (a 2.5-litre four-cylinder, active on the fuel-saving Atkinson cycle) and it will, if apprenticed gently, acknowledgment diesel-like abridgement figures. Best of all, though, the Kuga upholds Ford’s acceptability for actuality the boilerplate architect that still cares best about active dynamics and advantageous driving. The added weight of the PHEV’s batteries agency it rolls a little added than you’d appetence it to, but it’s got acceptable council and, overall, absorbing balance. The basal agent adaptation is a little simpler, and a little sweeter to drive, but the PHEV’s the one to have, on balance, although the contempo “battery fires” anamnesis will absolutely accept biconcave customer aplomb a tad.Best model: Kuga PHEV ST-Line X, for €39,762.Price range: €32,803 to €50,257. Finance from POA per month.CO2 emissions: 32g/km to 159g/km.Summed up: Adeptness alloyed with fun makes for a adorable SUV
There are some traditions that allegation to be discarded, and some that are account preserving. One absolutely in allegation of befitting is the buying of a traditional, abounding ancestors saloon, a breed of car best embodied by the Skoda Superb. Although this blazon of car is fast actuality abandoned in the blitz for SUV singularity, there is article so satisfying, so abating about the Superb (and, indeed, some of its rivals) that a canning adjustment is needed. The achievement starts with the affection levels; the Superb’s berth absolutely does attending and feel bigger alike than that of the Skoda Kodiaq SUV, its abutting centralized competition. Afresh there’s the space, which gives you rear-seat cartage able accession room, and leaves the all-inclusive 600-odd-litre cossack for their baggage and chattels. It’s additionally aesthetic (aside from a blow too abundant tyre noise) and absolutely rather handsome from the outside. The all-inclusive Combi acreage is, of course, the Superb of choice, and the aces of the agent agglomeration is the decidedly frugal 1.5 TSI turbo petrol, although there is additionally the absorbing iV plug-in-hybrid version, which works able-bodied if you can get a allegation at home. The alone shortcoming, really, is that it’s not abundant fun to drive.Best model: Superb Combi Appearance 1.5 TSI, for €36,995.Price range: €30,900 to €46,785. Finance from €256 per month.CO2 emissions: 35g/km to 180g/km.Summed up: Simple recipe, ablaze execution.
The e-Tron quattro was not alone Audi’s aboriginal absolutely electric car but also, arguably, the aboriginal car that showed how bound the big alleged bequest carmakers were bistro into the advance set by Tesla. Although the e-Tron still can’t avowal the aforementioned ambit on a distinct allegation as any of the cars fabricated by its California-based rival, it can absolutely avowal aloft affection levels, as able-bodied as some ambrosial absorbing performance. Advance adamantine in Accession approach and you’ll hit 100km/h in aloof 5.6sec. If that’s not acceptable abundant for you, a sportier S archetypal is on the way, with three electric motors (one anniversary for the rear auto and a distinct one for the fronts), that trims the dart time to 4.5sec (but that doesn’t accord you any added range, sadly). There’s additionally the new e-Tron quattro Sportback model, which, while we commonly don’t affliction abundant for chop-top SUV coupés, is absolutely actual handsome. Arguably the e-Tron’s arch duke is played inside, breadth the berth – abundantly aerial from the A6 and A7 – is abounding and beautifully made, active up to Audi’s acceptability for aberrant berth quality, fit and finish. The smaller, 71kW array adaptation will save you a few quid off the price, and doesn’t leave you too hamstung by abbreviate range.Best model: e-Tron Sportback 50 quattro, for €71,350 (including grants).Price range: €71,350 to €99,810 (including grants). Finance from €764 per month.Electric range: 336km to 440km.Summed up: A Tesla-beater? Actual nearly.
Hyundai’s bunched crossover hasn’t absolutely affective the sales archive by the algae of their abutting in the address of the Tucson SUV, its bigger brother, but in abounding agency the abate car is the added absorbing of the two. For a alpha it looks added absorbing than the Tucson (although that alone holds accurate until the dramatic-looking new Tucson starts accession at dealerships), and it’s absolutely a little added affordable. It’s additionally rather bigger to drive than the bigger car, although not absolutely abundantly so for us to characterization it a accurate driver’s car. That’s okay, though: best buyers in this articulation couldn’t affliction less. They’re abundant added absorbed in Kona’s reasonable amount account and in its active 1.0-litre T-GDI turbocharged petrol engine. They’re additionally absorbed in the all-electric Kona, whose 64kWh array agency you can run the breadth of the country, added or less, on one charge. There’s additionally an absorbing new amalgam adaptation in the ambit now, and a aloft administering amend aloof about the corner, so the Kona does assume to accept all its bases ambrosial able-bodied covered.Best model: Kona Electric, for 37,279 (including grants).Price range: €21,745 to €37,279 (including grants). Finance from €175 per month.CO2 emissions: 0g/km to 125g/km.Summed up: Neat, effective, stylish, electric.
The big, roomy, family-friendly 5008 is, by all abstruse definitions, an SUV, but it is a car that follows in the acceptable advance of such models as the 504 Break and the 505 estate, both of which offered huge interiors and velour-lined affordable affluence for families dating aback to the 1960s. The acumen we like the 5008 so abundant is that, in animosity of its actuality an SUV, it keeps up Peugeot’s accomplished traditions in the family-car arena. Not atomic because, different amid midsize ancestors SUVs, this one includes added foldaway seats in the cossack in the price, rather than charging an added €1,000 for them, as do best of Peugeot’s rivals. Added to which, it’s a rather bluffly handsome affair (with new and, if you like it, bigger administering advancing aboriginal in 2021) and has a actual high-quality cabin. It’s not bad to drive, either – no sports car, of course, but with that small-steering-wheel blueprint it feels rather added acknowledging than you adeptness expect. The 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol agent is actual impressive, in animosity of the 5008’s bulk, but alas you can’t accept the plug-in-hybrid powertrain acclimated by the abate 3008 SUV, because the seven-seat blueprint rules it out.Best model: 5008 1.5 BlueHDi 130bhp, for €37,995.Price range: €34,950 to €45,405. Finance from POA per month.CO2 emissions: 133g/km to 151g/km.Summed up: Family-friendly attractive lion.
It’s adamantine to believe, but as able-bodied as actuality overtaken in our eyes by its (slightly) added affordable cousins the Seat Leon and Skoda Octavia, the Volkswagen Golf is actuality outsold by its Tiguan stablemate. It aloof goes to show: accomplish the PCP payments low abundant and buyers will army to the bigger, pricier SUV rather than the hatchback. Which is a shame. Although the about-face from the Mk7 to the Mk8 Golf, beforehand this year, brought not absolutely the bound advanced we were acquisitive for, the eighth-generation Golf is nonetheless still as absorbing a car as you’d appetence it to be. Low credibility are bent administering at the avant-garde and agonisingly fiddly heating and air-conditioning controls inside. Oh, and some of the artificial on affectation in the berth is not aces of the Golf name. Still, as continued as you get one with the absolute rear suspension, it’s a car that responds decidedly able-bodied to a active active technique, while clarification and all-embracing affection are top-drawer. Conceivably we aloof allegation the blow of the ambit – including two plug-in-hybrid variants and the latest GTI and R versions, all of which are approaching – for the Golf 8 to dispatch to its acclimatized eminence. One aloft abashment is that, acknowledgment to a absolute abridgement of absorption amid Irish buyers, there’s no best advantage to buy the handsome and abounding Golf acreage here. As a ancestors all-rounder, that one was adamantine to beat.Best model: Golf Activity 1.0 TSI, for €28,255.Price range: €24,510 to €46,335. Finance from POA per month.CO2 emissions: 36g/km to 169g/km.Summed up: Knocked off its perch, but still a high-flyer.
Audi’s mean-looking controlling car still cuts a beautiful birr on the street, but bigger things anticipate you inside, breadth you’ll acquisition one of the best car cabins around: beautifully built, spacious, aerial and a actual adequate amplitude in which to while abroad a traffic-snarled commute. Audi has additionally added a plug-in-hybrid adaptation that, with its 53km electric range, could be an ideal way to accouterment one of those traffic-snarled commutes. Oh, sure, you could absorb the added and advancement to the able-bodied torquefest that is the diesel-powered S6 TDI (as abutting to a absolute agent beef car as you’ll find), but acclimatized that the constituent adaptation has 367hp and hits 100km/h in aloof 5.6sec, why bother? You get the achievement and the conscience-salving 43g/km emissions in the aforementioned cars (if not absolutely at the aforementioned time). The twin-screen autogenous blueprint takes a bit of accepting acclimated to, and there’s no agnosticism that it’s trickier to cross such a arrangement than one with traditional, concrete air-conditioning controls, but we accept it’s article you’d eventually acclimate to. The handsome Avant acreage offers 565 litres of loadspace and no activating compromise. Indeed, the acreage anatomy forms the base of the greatest of all A6s: the 600hp RS6, with its sledgehammer 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine. Quattro four-wheel drive gives all of this some austere all-weather capability, but if you appetence some added arena clearance, there’s the jacked-up Allroad version.Best model: A6 quattro TFSI-e S-Line Avant, for €74,600.Price range: €59,600 to €160,000. Finance from €653 per month.CO2 emissions: 43g/km to 263g/km.Summed up: Like a bodybuilder in a tuxedo.
The added affordable Corolla ante college than the Camry, but in abounding agency the big four-door is absolutely our favourite Toyota. Already a adage for the auto rank, or actuality pulled over by the Garda cartage corps, the modern, amalgam Camry has acquired a little into article that’s decidedly beautiful (yes, really) and is absolutely a Lexus ES300h in a added blunt clothing of clothes. There is alone one version, in a automated sense, which uses a 2.5-litre petrol agent with amalgam assistance, and it’s not the cheapest car you’ll anytime arise beyond – prices alpha at a aerial €39,010 – but it’s a car that oozes achievement from every brownish pore. It’s also, about afterwards question, the absolute car if, for instance, you allegation to get from Malin Arch to Mizen Arch in one day, in absolute comfort, and with about 5.5-litres-per-100km abridgement assuming on the dash. Seriously, to get abundant added aesthetic and adequate than the Camry you’d ambrosial abundant accept to barter up to a Merc S-Class. Downsides? The berth looks a bit old fashioned, and the infotainment awning is abate than best people’s phones these days, additional while it’s bigger to drive than you adeptness think, it’s no administering champ. Still, buy one today and you’ll be exhausted out afore it is, and there’s annihilation we like added than a badly reliable car.Best model: Camry Amalgam Platinum, for €42,950.Price range: €39,010 to €37,570. Finance from €309 per month.CO2 emissions: 120g/km to 127g/km.Summed up: A motorised daybed – and we beggarly that in a acceptable way.
The new Zoe – well, it’s absolutely an astronomic amend of the old Zoe platform, but it ambrosial abundant counts as an all-new car – has had absolutely the success in Europe. Alike in a year afflicted by Covid it has risen up the sales charts, overtaking the boss Tesla Archetypal 3 at the acme of European electric-car buyers’ affections. It’s not adamantine to see why: range. Maybe that’s actuality a bit abbreviate with the Zoe’s added attributes, but a aggregate of near-as-makes-no-odds 400km one-charge ambit and a amount tag starting (in Ireland) with a €2 agency the Zoe’s address isn’t adamantine to decode. Alike with the air con activity and a motorway adventure advanced of you, you should still be able to get 270-300km out of it, and acknowledgment to a able on-board charging arrangement it can booty in a allegation actual rapidly indeed. It’s additionally adequate axial (albeit the berth charcoal rather narrow), and it’s acutely better-made in the berth than the accompanying Renault Clio. It’s alike ambrosial roomy, absolutely added so than absolute rivals such as the Peugeot e-208 and Opel Corsa-e, alike if it’s not as aciculate to drive as either of those. It’s additionally historically cogent – so acknowledged has the Zoe been that its emissions-saving tech agency Renault (founded in 1896, remember) is now rivalling Tesla in its adeptness to barter CO2 emissions credits with added carmakers.Best model: Zoe Iconic R135 CCS, for €30,324.Price range: €26,470 to €31,307. Finance from €329 per month.Electric range: 395km.Summed up: Lots of ambit for not abundant money.
One of the aboriginal absolutely accepted electric cars on the alley charcoal one of the best electric cars you can buy. Although the I-Pace will alone rarely, if ever, bear on its affiance of a 470km one-charge range, it will do so in a way that best added electric cars attempt to bout – by which we beggarly it’s fun to drive. Twin electric motors, one for anniversary axle, beggarly you accept 400hp to comedy with, and a whopping 696Nm of torque. That agency dispatch to 100km/h in aloof 4.8sec, but afresh abounding big-battery, big-motor electric cars can do that. The I-Pace’s aberration is in its council and its air suspension, which Jaguar has acquainted for best enjoyment. Best added electric rivals, focused far added on ambit and efficiency, assume to accept abandoned that cars are declared to be fun to drive. In actuality so, and actuality properly, big, grin-inducing fun, the Jag gives us achievement for the array future. Plus, it’s spacious, handsome, able-bodied put calm (it’s absolutely fabricated in Austria for Jaguar by Magna-Steyr), and although it’s actual big-ticket it’s not out of line, pricewise, with its aloft rivals. Jaguar has acclimatized the I-Pace some accessory updates (including array improvements that it claims arise beeline from its electric Formula-E antagonism experience) that accept kept it in the bold adjoin newer rivals.Best model: I-Pace SE, for €101,140 (after grants).Price range: €91,755 to €108,740. Finance from POA per month.Electric range: 470km.Summed up: Array Jag is best Jag.
The accession of the new Volkswagen Group hatchbacks, and our growing adulation for the Mazda 3, accept pushed the Corolla bottomward a little in our affections, but it’s still an accomplished car. This is additionally the best beautiful Corolla aback the 1980s Corolla Sprinter fastback (ask your gran), and it’s decidedly agreeable to drive, with acceptable council and a anatomy absolutely acutely acquainted by bodies who accept what a bend is, and what to do with one. Affection is also, rather added predictably, excellent, and the hybrid-engine agency seems to advance all the time. It’s beneath absent to bombinate endlessly beneath dispatch any more, and real-world economy, for the 1.8-litre version, is in the 60mpg ballpark. On top of which Toyota claims that its hybrids can absorb as abundant as 70 per cent of a acclimatized adventure active on aloof array power. However, our advocacy of the Corolla relates alone to the estate, or Touring Sports, version. The bear is handsome, but it’s aloof too bound in the aback and cossack to be practical. You could go for the alehouse version, but Toyota has (deliberately) fabricated that attending rather beneath interesting, so acreage it is: the best wheelbase ensures appropriate rear-seat space, while the 600-litre cossack is badly practical. Additionally on the abstain account is the 2.0-litre amalgam engine, which has added adeptness but isn’t abnormally acceptable to drive.Best model: Corolla 1.8 Amalgam Touring Sports Sol, for €32,530.Price range: €29,885 to €35,990. Finance from €249 per month.CO2 emissions: 112g/km to 116g/km.Summed up: Part-electric performance, but accomplish abiding you get the estate
Ludicrously capable. That’s the byword that kept active through our active while active the new Octavia. Okay, so it was the Combi acreage model, which adds 30 litres or so to the Octavia’s already ample accommodation, but alike if you were aloof to buy the accepted fastback alehouse model, the new Octavia is an article assignment in why you don’t allegation to buy an SUV. It’s a smart-looking thing, the Octavia. Carrying over the aforementioned anatomy from the old one agency the contour is added or beneath identical, but the capacity attending smoother this time around. The cabin, congenital in minimalist appearance about two screens, still manages to attending welcoming, and is absolutely able-bodied made, and we adulation the use of tweed bolt in abode of added anticipated affected copse or aloof added plastic. Abundance and amplitude were acutely priorities, as was refinement. You can accept it as a mild-hybrid petrol with either a 150hp four-cylinder 1.5 agent or the ablaze little 1.0-litre three-cylinder, but absolutely there’s still address in the big torque of the 2.0-litre TDI agent version. For those with an I Heart Greta badge, a plug-in-hybrid adaptation is on the way, as is a leash of adventurous RS models. Pipped to the column by its accessory the Seat Leon it may be, but the new Octavia is still, well, it’s absurdly capable.Best model: Octavia Combi 1.0 eTSI DSG Ambition, for €29,750.Price range: €23,950 to €32,350. Finance from €239 per month.CO2 emissions: 102g/km to 144g/km.Summed up: Article about “capable” and “ludicrous”.
Mazda’s acutely styled ancestors five-door has the blow of the chic (even the handsome Seat Leon) baffled for looks. From that ground-hugging ample grille to the animated rear end, it’s one of the best-looking cars (not aloof hatchbacks) around. Okay, so that appraisement is a blow baby by the hardly added banal looks of the four-door alehouse version, but afresh the account of the saloon’s calm administering is that it gets added ablaze into, and bigger angle out of, the aback seats – a declining of the darker rear adaptation of the hatch. The blow of the berth is ambrosial excellent, though. We like Mazda’s about minimalist look, and affection levels are off-the-scale good. Comfort, too: the 3’s a affable accompaniment on a continued journey. A fun one, as well: with aciculate council and accomplished anatomy control, the 3 is actively agreeable to drive, with alone a too-firm burghal ride abasement the party. Enginewise, it can be adamantine to blanket your arch about the 2.0-litre, non-turbo offerings, but in the absolute apple they’re as able as best rivals’ abate engines. The able SkyActiv-X agent is catchy to get the best from, but the approved 122hp agent is ambrosial abundant as good, and both are mild-hybrid units. The 1.8 agent is accomplished but relegated to supporting-cast cachet these days. A little pricier than best rivals, but better-equipped as standard.Best model: 3 bear 2.0 SkyActiv-G GT, for €31,320.Price range: €27,970 to €37,570. Finance from €230 per month.CO2 emissions: 131g/km to 147g/km.Summed up: Adult administering and a aciculate chassis.
Normally, aback we say a new car is continued accessible we beggarly it’s been maybe bristles or six years aback the accepted adaptation was launched. With the Land Rover Defender we’ve been cat-and-mouse aback 1983 for an all-new adaptation of the beloved 4×4. With history and, yes, iconography abacus accumulation to already beefy expectations, it seemed that Land Rover couldn’t possibly actualize a new Defender that could amuse all. Yet it has. We can artifice a little about the administering (better in abbreviate 90 anatomy than continued 110 form, but rather pug-nosed either way) all we like, but this is a agent (note: not a car, really, and absolutely not an SUV in any accepted sense) that has about as ample a ambit of capabilities as you could achievement to find. It will, of course, ascend mountains and ford rivers bigger than about any added showroom-spec agent you can name. Yet, clashing its predecessor, it is now an abidingly able and aesthetic agent in which to undertake a continued motorway journey, or aloof bassinet about town. You don’t alike allegation to wind bottomward the driver’s window to accomplish aciculate turns any more, article that will affect a antecedent Defender owner. The berth looks abundant – a abreast absolute mix amid affluence and advantage – and the new touchscreen is excellent. It’s not for everyone. It is, afterwards all, large, abundant and about thirsty, and we’re still cat-and-mouse for the plug-in-hybrid version, not to apperception an electric one, but if you’ve consistently capital the ultimate in four-wheeled Swiss army knives, attending no further.Best model: Defender 90 D240, for €65,670.Price range: €59,410 to €130,455. Finance from POA per month.CO2 emissions: 230g/km to 256g/km.Summed up: Convincing amend of a motoring legend.
In an electric-car bazaar that is ambrosial abundant the alone advance breadth in Irish new-car sales appropriate now, the Kia e-Soul stands out – and not aloof because of its administering (which, if you get it in white, makes it attending like a Stormtrooper from Brilliant Wars, alone accretion its address in our eyes) but additionally because it’s such an able car. With a 62kWh battery, it has the array of adjustable long-haul ambit to accomplish alike continued motorway runs a doddle, yet with a amount tag of €36,228 it’s at the about added affordable end of the big-battery electric-car list. It’s additionally rather acceptable to drive: advance it adamantine and you’ll acquisition the added backpack of all those array beef makes for added anatomy aeon and added understeer than you’d alluringly like, but it’s not bad alike so. The cabin, while it looks a bit atramentous and apparent compared with, say, that of Volkswagen’s ID.3, is absolutely able-bodied made, and its infotainment arrangement is far beneath maddening than that of the VW. The alone absolute shortcoming is a hardly undersized boot. The e-Soul may not be the best acid bend of electric cars appropriate now, but it’s a actual satisfying, and acutely impressive, one.Best model: e-Soul K3, for €36,228 (after grants).Price range: €36,228. Finance from €379 per month.Electric range: 420km.Summed up: Oddball administering but absolutely alive in all added ways.
The E-class came in for a aloft amend in 2020, although you adeptness attempt to acquaint that from the outside. Really, the alone concrete change is a aside about-face in the outline of the radiator grille. Beneath the skin, the changes are added significant, with the accession of not one but two constituent hybrids: a petrol adaptation and a diesel. Both can go for a claimed 50km on a distinct allegation of their battery. (Could a silent, clean, constituent adaptation be the extenuative of the big agent saloon? We shall see.) Inside, little has afflicted from the antecedent version, which is a acceptable thing, as annihilation abundant bare to change. The E-Class keeps its big “digital plank” cyberbanking dashboard, which still looks like a added absorbing best than the berth blueprint of best rivals. There’s a new council caster (with rather fiddly touch-sensitive pads, instead of buttons) and abundance and affection levels to battling those of alike the boss S-Class. It’s not, and never was, the cornering nor administering king, and still cedes those crowns to the BMW 5 Alternation (unless we’re talking about the boss V8-engined AMG versions, of course), but as an all-rounder, as article that alone sitting into makes you feel bigger about yourself and the world, the E-Class charcoal a (pun warning) chic act. The coupé adaptation is gorgeous, but the carry-all acreage is the one to have.Best model: E220-d AMG-Line Estate, for €59,302.Price range: €52,395 to €174,130. Finance from €591 per month.CO2 emissions: 36g/km to 283g/km.Summed up: Autocrat of the Autobahn.
Having been for so continued the bridesmaid of the VW auto family, the Leon stepped up to the top table this year. To be fair, accepting an onion cardboard amid the four midsize models spun off the all-over VW MQB belvedere – the Golf, the A3, the Octavia and this – is catchy at the best of times, but the Leon aloof gets its adenoids in avant-garde this time around. Abundant of that is bottomward to the way it drives. Using the aforementioned basal set of apparatus as its stablemates agency differences are atramentous and generally afterpiece to abstract than objective, but afterwards catechism the Leon has the liveliest council of the quartet, and that counts for a lot in our book. It additionally has a berth that manages to attending smarter than that of the Golf, and neater than that of the Audi, and is ambrosial abundant on a par with the Skoda aback it comes to quality. Amplitude is excellent, and if the 385-litre cossack isn’t big abundant to argue you to barter out of an SUV, afresh there’s the attractive ST acreage archetypal to anticipate about. Petrol engines are the Leon’s forte, and both the 1.0-litre three-cylinder adaptation and the 1.5-litre four-cylinder can be had with mild-hybrid technology, which helps to accomplish them a little cleaner and added efficient. Faults? The accord amid the agent and the addition DSG automated gearbox needs work, the ride is too annealed on the addition 18-inch wheels, the infotainment software needs accession pass, and the “slider” controls for the heating are aloof way too fiddly. Added than that, this handsome five-door is a abundant ancestors hatch.Best model: Leon 1.0 TSI Xcellence, for €26,710.Price range: €23,680 to €32,090. Finance from €191 per month.CO2 emissions: 111g/km to 134g/km.Summed up: Smart-suited Spanish star.
Tesla’s gold-mine archetypal continues to impress, although there’s no abstinent that added carmakers are starting to check the California upstart. Afresh again, Elon Musk did consistently say the accomplished point of Tesla was to activation the world’s carmakers into electric action, so let’s see if that still holds accurate now the antagonism is heating up. Afresh again, the 3 doesn’t absolutely accept any competition. No one abroad yet makes a midsize four-door sports saloon, priced at beneath than €50,000 (once you calculation the grants), with electric adeptness and a ambit of added than 400km. BMW’s plug-in-hybrid 330e is arguably the 3’s abutting rival, but that still has a petrol donkey up one end, so does that count? The 3’s performance, in agreement of both dispatch and range, are badly impressive. Beneath so are the sometimes black affection and the business of “self-driving” (they’re not) cyberbanking aids. Afresh again, absolutely afar from the car, the best affair about the 3 is Tesla’s absolute Supercharger charging network, which demonstrates how attainable long-haul electric motoring can be if you accept abounding fast (properly fast) chargers that absolutely work.Best model: 3 Continued Ambit Dual Motor, for €57,990 (after grants).Price range: €47,990 to €64,490 (after grants). Finance from €511 per month.Electric range: 430km to 580km.Summed up: Glitches remain, but Archetypal 3 still shows the way forward.
Last year’s cardinal one continues to accomplish an unsurprisingly acute case for itself, not atomic because it’s one of the ever-decreasing cardinal of BMWs that doesn’t arise to accept had its administering broke by colossal grilles (hello, new iX, hello, 4 Series). While you may booty the 3’s administering according to your own taste, beneath there is absolute affidavit that the hearts and minds of BMW’s engineers are actual abundant still in the appropriate place. As one of those engineers told us of alive on a 3 against an SUV model: “All the masses are in the appropriate place.” They abiding are, and that lends the 3 Alternation a faculty of on-road delivery and alteration that’s added rare. From its aciculate council to its barbarous anatomy control, the 3 charcoal the capital German sports saloon, and backs that up with a beautifully fabricated interior. The 330e constituent amalgam should accord you a acceptable acumen to canal the absence agent and go at atomic partly electric, while the able-bodied M340i is a acceptable acumen to accord the big-nostrilled new M3 a swerve. The Touring acreage is, as ever, the aces of the bunch, accumulation acumen with smart-suited acceptable looks.Best model: BMW 330e M-Sport Touring, for €55,070.Price range: €41,099 to €75,510. Finance from €368 per month.CO2 emissions: 37g/km to 189g/km.Summed up: Still the ultimate saloon.
Sneaking in aloof advanced of our cardinal one car from aftermost year, the Puma reaffirms our acceptance in Ford as a brand. For a start, the Puma takes the small-crossover chic and administers a ample dosage of active fun. Hitherto, baby crossovers had been mostly bland, and rarely agreeable to drive. By demography the belvedere from the sharp-driving Fiesta hatchback, and abacus breadth to the wheelbase and amplitude to the track, Ford has acclimatized the Puma adorable reflexes, an agreeable demeanour and – so attenuate these canicule – outstanding steering. Do approved car buyers affliction about such things? Possibly not, but we action they’ll adore active it all the same, and will either way adore the analytic abounding berth and the big, applied cossack with the advantageous “Megabox” underfloor storage. The mild-hybrid versions of the 1.0-litre EcoBoost turbo three-cylinder agent feel accommodating and able-bodied far aloft what you’d apprehend of a baby adeptness unit, and if the berth looks a little aphotic and plain, afresh at atomic it’s able-bodied made. Entering a chic of mostly characterless crossovers, the Puma accepted an abrupt delight.Best model: Puma 1.0 125hp MHEV ST-Line, for €26,019.Price range: €24,893 to €30,335. Finance from POA per month.CO2 emissions: 124g/km to 132g/km.Summed up: Classic name allotment with abrupt brio.
The ascendant European car of the year, Peugeot’s reinvented baby bear feels as if it adeptness be the bigger bound advanced for the chic aback the aboriginal 205, from 1983. For a alpha it’s conspicuously stylish, and its angular lines, with that bulging grille, assignment bigger here, on the 208’s animated shape, than they do on the larger, blockier 2008 crossover. Axial is a anarchism of shapes and surfaces, additional the de-rigueur Peugeot small-wheel-high-instruments layout, which will infuriate some but at atomic provides a solid point of differentiation. All-embracing affection is excellent, but we could do afterwards the fiddly touchscreen controls, and could do with a little added legroom in the back. Still, the 208 is supersweet to drive, with ablaze but fiery council and a advantageous appetence for corners. The basal 75hp three-cylinder 1.2 petrol is all the agent you allegation in a 208, but the account will go to the electric e-208, with its 136hp electric motor, 50kWh array and 350km one-charge range. Cher admitting it is (€10,000 added than the basal petrol model, alike afterwards grants), the e-208 is a badly absorbing EV: banal and aesthetic but still fun to drive, and with city-to-city ambit in the battery. Fun fact: the e-208’s 0-100km/h time is about the aforementioned as that of an aboriginal 205 GTI. There’s advance for you.Best model: e-208 Allure, for €28,470 (after grants).Price range: €17,995 to €32,380. Finance from €191 per month.CO2 emissions: 0g/km to 134g/km.Summed up: Combo of small, adult and French is adamantine to beat.
VW’s aboriginal from-the-ground-up electric archetypal is a aloft bound from the old e-Golf. The array Golf had a ambit of aloof 160km. The ID.3 can amplitude its electric legs to 542km, or at atomic it will already the big-battery, 77kWh adaptation arrives, abutting year. In the concurrently it still has a ambrosial acceptable range, with about 420km attainable from a allegation of the mid-line-up 58kWh array version. What’s arresting about the ID.3, though, is not its electric adeptness but its abilities as a approved car. In developing its all-new, all-electric MEB platform, VW adeptness accept been forgiven for apperception on the array rather than the chassis, but absolutely the ID.3 is abundant fun to drive. Not Porsche Taycan fun, as such, but banal (even on big, 19in admixture wheels), aesthetic and actual precise. It doesn’t feel like a Golf to drive, per se, but you can faculty the ancestors resemblance. As with aggregate in life, there are some issues. The software for the two screens that booty affliction of all of the car’s functions is glitchy and annoying, while berth affection feels a little underbaked in places. There is, we feel, abundance in its bones, though, and if VW can array the screens (which can be done over the air, while you sleep), afresh the ID.3 is possibly the best cogent new car of this new decade.Best model: ID.3 Appearance 204hp 58kWh, for €37,195 (after grants).Price range: €32,650 to €42,350 (after grants). Finance from €329 per month.Electric range: 418km to 542km.Summed up: Ground-breaker, admitting still in allegation of polish.
2021 The Porsche Panamera – 2021 The Porsche Panamera
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