Despite the challenges faced in 2021, we have had another busy year reviewing 48 cars from 18 different marques. Many notebooks, photographs and time has been spent writing these real-world reviews and below we proudly present the best cars we have driven in 2021.
These cars were not all newly released in 2021, but we base our Car of the Year awards on the vehicles driven within the calendar year. The judging panel consists of our family, mum, dad and the kids, and as far as I know we are the only motoring magazine that includes children on the judging panel. So without further delay, here are our best cars of 2021.
My Daughter’s Car of the Year
Staying true to form, my daughter has once again chosen a Ford Mustang as her Car of the Year for 2021. This time around it was the Mach 1 because it goes fast and has a cool emblem. Building this kind of brand loyalty from a young age is something more car companies should aspire to.
My Daughter’s highly commended award goes to the Toyota HiLux Rogue, because it’s she likes utes as well.
My Son’s Car of the Year
My Son has selected the Kia Stinger GT as his Car of the Year because of the comfort on offer for rear seat passengers, which he compared to Rolls-Royce no less.
His Highly Commended award goes to the Toyota GR Yaris Rallye and he has already told me that he would like one as his first car.
SUV of the Year
Our SUV of the Year 2021 is the Volvo XC90 PHEV as it offers a supremely relaxing driving experience and comfort for all seven passengers, combined with Volvo’s known safety record, making it a great option for the whole family. This premium PHEV uses less fuel than a XC90 with an internal combustion engine and the battery power gives some added zing when you accelerate.
Our Highly Commended SUV awards go to the 21MY version of last year’s SUV winner, the Jaguar F-PACE SVR, and the newly released Renault Arkana.
Eco Car of the Year
Our Eco Car of the Year 2021 award goes to the newly released Kia Niro EV because it has a great real world range, funky interior features and the good rear passenger comfort.
Our Highly Commended awards go to equally impressive Hyundai Ioniq and the Toyota Camry hybrid, which provides a great stepping stone between internal combustion engine power and pure electric vehicles.
Fun Car of the Year
The objective of a fun car is to make you smile without necessarily having pure out and out performance and this year the Toyota Supra GTS did this the most. A few extra kilowatts and a sprinkling of Gazoo Racing magic has done wonders to the Supra if you ask me and this is why it has been chosen as our Fun Car of the Year 2021.
It was a close call to be honest with the equally smile inducing Toyota GR Yaris Rallye and the now departed fifth generation Honda Civic Type R who both took out Highly Commended awards for the fun car category.
Performance Car of the Year
A car so good that it brought me to tears, that’s how much I love the Jaguar F-TYPE R and why it is our Performance Car of the Year for 2021. This particular example is painted in one of the SVO colours, satin finish ultra-metallic Sorrento Yellow. Powered by a glorious supercharged V8 engine and with looks that make me weak at the knees, the Jaguar F-TYPE is one very special sports car indeed.
The Highly Commended award goes to a performance car you can share with the whole family, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio.
Driven Women Magazine’s Car of the Year 2021
As soon as I drove the Škoda Octavia RS I knew that it would be the Car of the Year and in the end it was a unanimous decision from the whole family. Practicality, looks and performance give the Octavia RS the whole package and it also has so many surprising features that you just think, why did not someone else think of that!?
Our Highly Commended awards go to the Mazda CX-5 GT SP, quite possibly the perfect sized SUV for the average family, and the family-friendly hatchback, the Kia Cerato GT.
We look forward of sharing more car adventures with you in 2022!
Happy driving and stay safe.
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.