Choosing a new car has become almost overwhelming as technology has evolved; not only are the brands remarkably similar in terms of tech, specs and cost, the styling and sizes of car have become homogenous. It’s as if everyone decided that a medium-length goatee was the most efficient type of beard, and then that’s all there was.
To express your individuality without going to the expense of a customised, classic or obscure car can feel a little tricky, therefore. Even if you don’t care about your car, you still want something that’s going to be reliable and cost-effective. The good news? The results of the Parkers’ New Car Awards 2021 are just in! Parkers is one of the industry leading review sites, and their annual awards highlight the best in class for all drivers and lifestyles – including value and reliability.
How to choose the right car for you
You’ll have a budget in mind, of course, and that’s where to begin – but if you’ve previously bought secondhand cars, used them until you got bored or repair bills got too high, then sold them, think about how much per year that car cost you. It may be better value to get a new car on lease or finance after all, and you’ll have the peace of mind of a warranty and of course, a car’s lifetime of driving ahead of you.
If your lifestyle involves outdoor pursuits and adventures, don’t be afraid to go for a 4×4 or pickup; if you’re happy to cycle or walk short distances, you can offset the higher fuel bills and have a vehicle that really supports your lifestyle. Likewise, if you live in the city, it really is time to think about electric cars.
Do you need to carry things often, or is it just you and a friend? In town an EV can often be recharged easily, is kinder to the local environment, and will cost you less to run. What is important to know after you have decided on your idea of a dream car? Try to get as much detailed information about its technical condition as possible using a vin decoder. This will allow you to feel confident on the road in any situation.
Which cars are the best for my lifestyle?
The adventurer – Land Rover Defender
You’re not surprised, are you? The Land Rover Defender is an all-new model with the refinement and handling you’d expect of a modern SUV, but with the off-road talents to deserve the classic Land Rover name. It’s flexible, with lifestyle accessories to suit every job or hobby, and it’s good looking too.
You could also consider the Ford Ranger. It’s a commercial vehicle, but as a double cab luxury 4×4 pickup you’ll be amazed by how smooth the ride is even unladen, and how quiet the cab is thanks to active noise cancelling tech. It can go anywhere, and no-one will be in any doubt as to your commitment to getting away from the daily grind.
At home in the urban landscape – the Fiat 500 Electric
The baby Fiat has grown up and evolved. With the spark of electricity, the 500 has a 200 mile range and a surprisingly spacious cabin, but still has the cheek and style of the original 500. Clever material choices, such as recycled sea plastics in the interior trim, make it one of the greener options overall, but it’s the delightful, responsive handling that makes it so appealing.
If you live further out, you might feel at home with the Ford Puma. Parkers’ small family car of the year, it is a small SUV, but it doesn’t have that bloated, over-inflated look that so many suffer from. Based on the Fiesta it inherits sharp, fun handling and there’s even.an ST version for true hot-hatch thrills; the car may be dad-bod sized, but there’s a boy racer waiting to escape. [https://www.parkers.co.uk/car-awards/2022/small-family-car-of-the-year/]
Track and field – the Ford Transit Custom
Getting away for group activities, or blending work and pleasure? The Ford Transit Custom’s much-loved versatility means it’s had a place in the hearts of campers, bands and tradespeople for decades, but it hasn’t stood still. The latest Transit includes PHEV plug-in hybrid technology in some models, and also offers trendy ‘Active’ and robust ‘Trail’ models for tackling event fields and mild off-road tracks. Not only is it great to drive, it looks good too – and you’ll love that view over the traffic jams.
If you don’t need the size of a Transit, but van-life appeals, the Toyota Proace City is a hardy little van with refinement and style – and the benefit of a ten-year warranty. You’ll never look like you’re trying too hard here.
These are just some of the options you can choose from to ensure you’ve got the best, most distinctive new car for your lifestyle and needs. Check out all the winners – and the shortlist – here, for more inspiration.