The Car and Driving guide to the latest ‘71’ plate cars

Jonathan Crouch takes you through the latest models you can have with the new ‘71 plate, available from September 1st

New car news - segment-by-segment

Superminis

Skoda has an all-new fourth generation version of its Fabia supermini about to enter showrooms. Two VW Group models that share that Czech model’s same engines and MQB-A0 platform (Volkswagen’s Polo and SEAT’s Ibiza) have also just been significantly revised. And budget brand Dacia has announced new generation versions of its popular Sandero and Sandero Stepway models.

Family Hatchbacks

We’ve got two all-new PSA Group models, the new generation Vauxhall Astra, Peugeot 308 and the DS 4.

Mid-to-Large Segment Executive Models

BMW has launched its all-new 4 Series gran Coupe GT-style 5-door. And Kia has updated its GT-style Stinger model.

Small SUVs

This is the real market growth area at present and two more contenders, Hyundai’s Bayon and Toyota’s Yaris Cross, will shortly be launched. There are also now updated versions of the Dacia Duster and the SEAT Arona.

Mid-Sized SUVs

If you need a family-sized crossover, there’s the all-new third generation Nissan Qashqai, the car that originally started the Crossover craze. It competes against new versions of the Vauxhall Grandland, the Hyundai Tucson, and the Volkswagen Tiguan. There’s also an all-new version of the Kia Sportage due for imminent launch. If you need 7-seats, there’s the updated Skoda Kodiaq. If you want a sporty coupé like look, there’s Renault’s new Arkana. If you want a premium mid-sized model, BMW has updated its X3 and X4 SUVs – and added M Competition variants too. There’s also an all-new Lexus NX.

Large SUVs

Jeep’s new generation Grand Cherokee aims to re-establish the brand in this segment. Land Rover has announced heavily revised versions of its popular models, the Discovery Sport, the Range Rover Sport and the Range Rover.

Sporty Cars

Fancy something sporty? Let’s start with the new BMW 2 Series Coupe. Other new hot hatches include Volkswagen’s ID3 GTX (an EV), the CUPRA Leon and the BMW 128ti. Or if you want something more serious, there are new-era versions of the BMW M3 Competition (saloon) and M4 Competition (coupe) models.

Super saloon buyers will want to try the new BMW M5 CS. If you can afford a junior supercar, there’s the new Maserati MC20 and the Lotus Emira.. As for fully-fledged supercars, there’s the McLaren Artura and 765LT Spider models. Plus Ferrari has completely rejuvenated its range, with models like the new Roma, the 812 GTS, the F8 Spyder and the SF90 Stradale.

Boardroom-Level Luxury Saloons

There’s an all-new Mercedes S-Class now in showrooms. And an all-new Rolls-Royce Ghost too.

Pick-ups

The big news here is the arrival of an all-new third generation version of Isuzu’s D-Max. and a completely revised version of Toyota’s Hilux.

Eco-Friendly models

Full-Hybrids

Lots of brands offer mild hybrid engines these days, but that’s not a real Hybrid. A real Hybrid can run independently on electric power some of the time – like a Toyota Prius does. Cars like that are called ‘full-Hybris’ or ‘Self-Charging Hybrids’. News with cars of that type sees the launch of a new Honda HR-V/eHEV model. Ford has announced full-Hybrid versions of its S-MAX and Galaxy large MPVs. And there are also three new family mid-sized SUVs, the new Ford Kuga Hybrid family SUV, a Hybrid version of the new Hyundai Tucson and the new Nissan Qashqai ePower.

PHEV Plug-in Hybrids

It seems like everyone’s launching a PHEV at present. There’s Volkswagen’s Golf eHybrid (a more affordable alternative to the Golf GTE); plus Skoda’s Octavia iV and SEAT’s Leon e-Hybrid; plus Audi’s A3 40TFSIe and 45 TFSIe models. If you want a compact to mid-sized SUV with PHEV tech, there’s the new MG HS PHEV, the SEAT Tarraco e-Hybrid, the new Kia Sorento Plug-in, the new Hyundai Tucson Plug-in, the Volkswagen Tiguan e-Hybrid, the Audi Q3 45 TFSIe, the Toyota RAV4 PHEV and the Suzuki Across. Plus for the first time, JLR now offers PHEV versions of the Jaguar E-PACE, the Jaguar F-PACE and the Land Rover Discovery.

If you want an SU-VIP Plug-in, there’s the new Bentley Bentayga Hybrid. And if you want a sporty PHEV, there’s the CUPRA Leon e-Hybrid and the Skoda Octavia VRS iV, plus the Volkswagen Touareg R. Executives are now offered Recharge PHEV versions of the Volvo V90 and S90. And the new Mercedes E300e and E300 de, plus the new BMW 545e.

Full-EVs

Plenty of full-EVs are now hitting the market. There’s the tiny new generation Fiat 500 EV. Or in the compact class above, there’s the new Citroen e-C4, the MG 5 EV and the Mercedes EQA. And of course there are plenty of new compact Crossover EVs – like the the VW Group’s offerings (the Skoda Enyak iV, the CUPRA Born and the Volkswagen ID.4); plus the new Vauxhall Mokka-E, the Lexus UX300e, the Tesla Model Y, the new Ford Mustang Mach-E, the Volvo XC40 P8, the Kia EV6, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and the MG 5 EV. You can have luxury sports saloon EVs too, like the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo. And supercar EVs like the Audi e-tron GT.

People Carrier EVs

The EV craze has also hit the MPV market. Well the large van-based segment of it anyway. Mercedes now has its EQV, plus there are three new PSA Group models, the Vauxhall Vivaro-E Life, the Citroen E-SpaceTourer and the Peugeot e-Traveller. If you need a smaller MPV, there’s the Citroen e-Berlingo, the Peugeot e-Rifter and the Vauxhall e-Combo Life.

Overall, it’s hard to remember when there was a wider choice of new models for a registration plate change. Research your chosen car carefully, make time for more than the odd test drive and enjoy the buying process. 

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