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Here Are the 11 Most Notable All-New Models We Reviewed in 2021

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Auto123 picks the 11 most notable all-new vehicles we reviewed for the first time in an “eventful” 2021 for the automotive world.

As Managing Editor of Auto123, I don’t actually get to drive every car we review over the course of the year. But I do get to read every review, several times over! And edit them, and revise them, and translate them and occasionally get into arguments over them. I get to know those reviews pretty well, you might say…

As the end of what can safely be called an “eventful” year for the automotive world approaches, I took a breath to look back and see what the heck actually happened. More specifically, to see which among the dozens of all-new models unleashed unto the world were most striking for us.

Here are the 11 biggest fusses of the year as far as new models that we got to drive for the first time were concerned. Presented in roughly chronological order, these are the models that will likely dominate discussions and attention at dealerships over the next year.

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Ford Mustang Mach-E

Ford Mustang Mach-E
Photo: B.Charette
Ford Mustang Mach-E

We actually drove this for the first time in very late December 2020, but the Mustang-badged all-electric crossover is really a creature of 2021.

From Benoit Charette:

The debate has been going on since day 1 when Ford unveiled its plans for its first electric vehicle. Why call this vehicle a Mustang? How does that iconic V8-equipped muscle car correlate with a green SUV powered entirely by electricity?

In any event, whether you approve or not, here it is. And it, is a model that looks more like a concept than a production car. It has pretty sleek lines for an SUV, there no door handles, and the front and rear styling create a clear connection with the Mustang. Frankly the Mustang Mach-E is a real looker, and if it sticks in your craw to pronounce the word Mustang in its regard, well it’s your right to just call it the Mach-E. That's what Ford originally intended to do, apparently, but to ensure the Mustang name would live on in the longer term, Ford included it in a new family of vehicles.

For its first foray into the world of all-electric mobility, Ford has done its homework and presents a vehicle that is physically attractive and fun to drive and delivers a range sufficient to make it practical as an everyday vehicle. All this while keeping the price competitive. Beyond the name that some people hate, the vehicle itself is worthy of serious consideration.

Ford Mustang Mach-E, front
Photo: D.Heyman
Ford Mustang Mach-E, front

And from Dan Heyman:

I’ll be darned if the Ford Mustang Mach-E isn’t one of the most controversial vehicles we’ve seen in many a year, if for no other reason than its name.

After all, “Mustang” is one of the most recognizable and long-running nameplates in the car world, and it’s always meant two doors, a long hood and rear-wheel-drive (RWD). In short, it’s always meant “pony car”. Or maybe muscle car. But never EV power and most definitely, never “crossover sports utility vehicle”. But that’s exactly what the Mach-E is: an battery-electric vehicle (BEV) of the CUV persuasion.

Of course, with a nameplate as popular as this has, you’re going to have legions of folks taking a sharp interest in anything to do with it. These folks tend to harbour a very distinct view of what they cherish and you’re loathe to upset that apple cart too heavily, lest you upset a great many fans.

Ford was undoubtedly well aware of that long before they announced the Mach-E about two years ago, but they pressed on nevertheless and unleashed on the braying masses the vehicle you see here.

See: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E First Drive: Creative Appropriation

See: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Review: What’s in a Name?

See: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E pictures

 

Ford Mustang Mach-E, profile
Photo: D.Heyman
Ford Mustang Mach-E, profile
Ford Mustang Mach-E, interior
Photo: B.Charette
Ford Mustang Mach-E, interior