Best New Cars For 2021

By

Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - February 11, 2021

With SUVs and pickup trucks reigning supreme, cars continue to disappear from the market. While consumers have fewer small cars to choose from, the available small cars on the market are some of the best ever made.

To keep consumers interested in small cars, automakers have packed them with more features and better performance, while keeping prices down and improving fuel economy. Small cars have even started to go upstream with high-end features and stunning designs.

Whether you’re searching for an efficient commuter, an affordable vehicle for ride-sharing or a car with peppy performance, these three best new cars for 2021 are sure to impress.

Best Small Car: Hyundai Elantra
2021 Hyundai Elantra

Why it's a top pick: The 2021 Hyundai Elantra is all-new for the model year. Hyundai’s ditched last year’s ho-hum design for something far more distinctive while adding impressive tech features, a host of standard safety features, and more interior space. With an extensive lineup that consists of an efficient hybrid variant, a high-performance N-Line model, and value-packed lower trims, there’s an Elantra out there for every consumer.

Worth knowing: Hyundai offers some of the most technology in the small-car class. Two 10.3-inch screens (an infotainment screen and a digital instrument cluster) are available, while the standard 8-inch touchscreen comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Up until recently, these have only been found on luxury vehicles.

Honorable mentions: Toyota Corolla, Mazda Mazda3

Best Midsize Car: Kia K5
2021 Kia K5

Why it's a top pick: For Kia’s midsize sedan, the K5, the automaker has taken some cues from the Stinger. The K5, which replaces the Optima, features a slick design, a first-class interior, and impressive performance. One of the K5’s strengths is just how upscale the cabin feels for the segment. The interior looks like it’s been plucked from a real luxury vehicle and it offers spacious accommodations in both rows. With 16 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk, the K5 offers one of the largest trunks in the midsize class.

Worth knowing: While the K5 is offered with all-wheel drive, the powertrain is only available on two trims: LXS and GT-line. On the LXS, it’s a $2,100 option and a $3,700 option for the GT-Line. With its sportier design and a longer list of features, the GT-Line with all-wheel drive is a good option for the majority of consumers.

Honorable mentions: Mazda Mazda6, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata

Best Sporty Car: Mazda Mazda3 Turbo
2021 Mazda Mazda3

Why it's a top pick: For 2021, Mazda has added a new turbocharged engine to the Mazda3’s lineup. The turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder produces a mighty 250 horsepower on premium fuel. The powerful engine makes the small Mazda3 feel like a hotrod – incredibly fast in a straight line and peppy off the line. While the Mazda3 isn’t the sportiest car on the market around corners, the way it flows around corners is similar to a luxury vehicle. The turbocharged motor brings standard all-wheel drive, which ensures the engine is putting all of its available power down without any hiccups.

Worth knowing: If performance isn’t your thing, Mazda introduced a new base 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine for the model year. While the engine’s 155-horsepower rating may seem small, the real advantage with the engine is a combined fuel economy rating of 31 mpg.

Honorable mentions: Honda Civic Type R, Hyundai Veloster N

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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