2021 will likely be remembered for all things COVID, but good things happened during the year too. For starters, there were several new car releases that are worth looking at again as you gear up for business and leisure in 2022.
Here’s a summary of the top new car releases from 2021:
Business fleet favourites
When car manufacturers stopped making wagons, SUVs filled the void thanks to their large boots and increased space when the back seats are folded down. Two of the most popular in this class are the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson, both of which launched brand new models in 2021. They both look amazing and have won hearts around the country.
The van market had a revival in 2021 with a new Transporter T6.1 and Caddy 5 from Volkswagen. To most people, these dependable workhorses don’t appear to deviate from their predecessors. However, a closer look reveals their point of difference; they represent the next generation in safety for van fleets.
In complete contrast in terms of appearance, Hyundai has launched the futuristic-looking Hyundai Staria-Load to replace the ageing iLoad. The design is inspired by its people mover sibling and introduces a whole new level of safety and comfort to the van market.
EVs are coming
Sales of electric vehicles soared in 2021 (albeit from a very low base) thanks to the new policies announced by the NSW Government to incentivise and provide fleet buyers with the confidence to start the process of electrification.
While prices are still high compared to similar combustion engine models, manufacturers did start to tease us in 2021 with highlights of things to come.
The vehicles popular with fleet buyers were the Hyundai IONIQ 5, the Kia Niro, which is available as an EV or PHEV, and the Nissan Leaf e+, which has Vehicle to Grid (V2G) capabilities.
If there are no budget constraints to your electric motoring dreams, each of the major European brands has options available. BMW released the fully electric iX3, which is a similar size to the popular X3 and is being called a Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV).
The Porsche Taycan comes with performance figures that could sway the most diehard petrol head and owners are already testing its limits on racetracks around the country.
Audi launched the e-Tron in Australia back in 2020 but it only caught the country’s attention in 2021, when it won Best EV in a local motoring award. This year, Audi will be launching the e-Tron GT and RS, which should create some excitement to accelerate the adoption of EVs in Australia.
It was a busy year in this category with the new Toyota Landcruiser 300 Series stealing the spotlight later in the year. The outgoing model was launched in 2007, so there have been loads of new technology additions and improvements to off-road capability in the new model.
With the drought over and positive economic signs in regional NSW, the release has been timed perfectly for the traditional Landcruiser customer.
Toyota also launched a hybrid Kluger in 2021, which was a first in the large SUV segment. Kia followed later in the year with the Sorrento PHEV. Both vehicles will be popular with buyers due to their lower fuel consumption – making them cheaper to drive.
Subaru launched an all-new Outback that saw some spectacular sales results in early 2021, despite removing the six-cylinder engine from the range, which had been popular in previous models. It’s considered a large SUV by VFACTS and is a big five-seater wagon with the silhouette of an SUV and a legion of loyal followers thanks to Subaru’s reputation for safety and reliability.
One of the last models to be released in 2021 was the Mitsubishi Outlander. The Outlander has always been a value-packed SUV with the option of five or seven seats, and comes in a PHEV model for fleet buyers. This latest version has reached new heights in terms of safety features, technology, and value – which saw it running out of showrooms late last year.
So, on the new car front it looks like some good did come of 2021 after all. And you now have the insider’s look into the best of the best if your business is looking to invest in some new wheels in 2022.