BEST NEW CARS 2022
What Car? UK|February 2022
Thinking about buying a new car in the next 12 months? Here’s our guide to all the models you’ll want to wait for
George Hill

Electric cars

LATE 2022

Audi Q6 e-tron

Can fast charging and 300 miles of electric range give this SUV the edge over BMW iX3 and Jaguar I-Pace rivals?

ONE OF THE biggest drawbacks of being part of a large family is having to put up with hand-me-downs. In the case of the Audi Q6 e-tron, though, hand-me-downs are a good thing, because the ones it gets are more Gucci than Granny’s jumper.

You see, the Q6 is a sibling model to the fully electric Porsche Macan (see p11), and both SUVs use an updated version of the mechanicals that underpin the brilliant Audi E-tron GT and Porsche Taycan performance cars.

As a result, you can expect the Q6 to have a 90-100kWh battery, giving it a range of around 300 miles between charges – in line with what you get from other large electric SUVs. The BMW iX3, for example, has an official range of 285 miles and the Jaguar I-Pace’s is 292 miles.

Like the E-tron GT and Taycan, the Q6 e-tron should feature 800-volt charging functionality, allowing it to take on electricity at speeds of up to 270kW. That’s fast enough to get the battery from 10-80% in around 20 minutes (if you can find a suitably powerful charging point, of course).

The looks of the Q6 will be heavily influenced by the E-tron quattro concept car, as well as existing electric Audis. That means it will have a large, closed-off front grille, strong rear haunches and a rear light bar running across the full width of the car. A coupé-styled Q6 e-tron Sportback model is expected in 2023.

There is also likely to be a high-powered RS variant at some point after launch, producing around 600bhp and getting from 0-62mph in less than four seconds.

The interior of the Q6 e-tron will feature sustainably sourced materials, including faux leather and natural fabrics. Those are likely to be combined with the 10.1in infotainment touchscreen from the E-tron GT. That’s one of the better systems of its kind, with swift responses, haptic feedback and high resolution.

Audi’s 12.3in Virtual Cockpit digital instrument display will be standard, giving the driver a wide range of customisation to alter what’s displayed and how it’s laid out.

The Q6 e-tron will sit above the Q4 e-tron but below the range-topping E-tron in Audi’s electric SUV line-up. It will be priced accordingly, so we expect it to cost from around £55,000. That will make it cheaper than its Macan relative.

LATE 2022

Hyundai Ioniq 6

Sleek looks and a plush interior are on the cards for this all-new four-door coupé

Darren Moss

LIKE GOLDILOCKS’S THIRD bowl of porridge, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 could turn out to be just right for electric car buyers – combining Instagrammable looks with a generous range and high-tech interior.

The all-new four-door coupé’s 77.4kWh battery – already in use in the closely related Kia EV6 – should result in a range of up to 330 miles. That’s less than the entry-level version of the rival BMW i4 but more than the equivalent Tesla Model 3, so it should be plenty for most buyers.

Expect entry-level versions to be powered by a single 226bhp motor driving the rear wheels, with a four-wheel-drive, dual-motor, 321bhp model sitting above it in the line-up. The range-topping Ioniq 6 N, meanwhile, is likely to have 577bhp.

The Ioniq 6 will feature the same fast-charging capability as the Ioniq 5 hatchback. That means you’ll be able to replenish its battery from 10-80% of capacity in as little as 18 minutes if you can find a powerful enough public charger.

The interior will be a far cry from the futuristic layout of the Prophecy concept car that previewed the Ioniq 6, and will instead be based on the Ioniq 5’s. Two 12.3in screens will handle instruments and infotainment, with buttons below taking you to commonly used features, such as the climate control and sat-nav.

Expect the Ioniq 6 to offer the latest driver assistance technology, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and blindspot monitoring.

Prices are likely to start at about £43,000 – roughly the same as the cheapest Model 3 but significantly less than the i4, which is priced from £51,905.

SPRING

Tesla Model Y

Essentially a Model 3 on stilts, the Model Y is Tesla’s take on the popular family SUV market. With a range of up to 315 miles between charges and access to Tesla’s super-fast and reliable charging network included in the price, it’s a compelling proposition for anyone looking to go green. It’s noisy for an electric car, though, and some rivals offer a smoother ride.

SPRING

Citroën Ami

Technically, the Ami isn’t a car at all; it’s an electric quadricycle, just like the rival Renault Twizy. Its top speed is restricted to 28mph and the official range is only 46 miles, but prices are expected to start at just £6000, making it an ultra-cheap proposition. It’s surprisingly spacious for two inside and so compact that it can fit into the tightest parking spaces.

SPRING

Volvo C40 Recharge

Essentially a coupé-styled version of the existing XC40 Recharge family SUV, the C40 is Volvo’s rival for the Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback. Power comes from two electric motors, each drawing power from a 78kWh battery. The result is a combined 402bhp and an official range of up to 273 miles between charges. We like its rapid performance and plethora of kit.

SPRING

BMW i4

Based on BMW’s 4 Series Gran Coupé, the i4 is an electric executive car with a large hatchback boot that’s designed to rival the Tesla Model 3. Our recent drive of the 536bhp M50 model showed that it definitely has the potential to match the best from Elon Musk’s stable. A 335bhp eDrive40 version will also be available at launch, priced from £51,905.

LATE 2022

Toyota bZ4X

Toyota is planning to launch a range of electric cars, but the bZ4X SUV will be the first to arrive. It’s apparently designed to offer comparable comfort and space to the existing Lexus LS luxury car, plus we’d expect the very latest driver assistance technology to be available. Power is drawn from a 71.4kWh battery, giving a range of around 280 miles.

LATE 2022

Fiat Centoventi

The Centoventi started life as a concept car in 2019, but it’s set to become a production reality in 2022 and could eventually replace today’s Panda. The concept was built to be upgradable, giving owners the chance to increase its range or power over time, but some versions will already be able to cover up to 310 miles between charges.

LATE 2022

Porsche Macan

Reinvented sports SUV borrows its electric motors and batteries from the class-leading Taycan performance car

Charlie Martin

THE PRESSURE OF trying to produce a follow-up to a hit first album is infamously immense. But as Porsche prepares to launch a new version of its best-selling model, the Macan, it isn’t playing things safe. This new Macan will go fully electric and attempt to blend the staggering performance of Porsche’s Taycan saloon with a relatively compact SUV body.

To this end, it’s likely to be powered by the same electric motors as the Taycan. In that car, they churn out between 322bhp and 617bhp (or 750bhp for brief spells). Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, which significantly improves handling by actively countering body lean, is also likely to be optional.

Expect a maximum official range of around 300 miles and the ability to rapid charge the battery from 10-80% in around 20 minutes if you specify the optional 800-volt charging functionality.

Despite the radical changes under the skin, you can expect an evolutionary exterior design, but with slimmer headlights and a closed-off front grille.

Meanwhile, spy shots reveal that the interior features a fully digital instrument panel and large central infotainment touchscreen, but with the latter mounted higher than it is in the Taycan so that you don’t have to take your eyes as far from the road to use it. In addition, Porsche appears to have added a control dial, which should further improve ease of use.

The existing petrol-powered Macan will continue to be sold alongside the new electric model for the time being. The electric model will be positioned above the regular one, though, meaning a likely starting price of around £70,000.

SPRING

Nissan Ariya Swoopy new family SUV aims to replicate the success of Nissan’s ubiquitous Qashqai, with a range of up to 310 miles

Charlie Martin

FROM THE QASHQAI and Juke SUVs to the electric Leaf hatchback, Nissan has a habit of changing the game when it enters a new segment. And that’s why its first electric family SUV, the Ariya, is such a big deal.

A smooth front end with ultra-slim LED headlights and a Nissan badge that lights up to welcome you make it look like a 22nd century Qashqai. And the futuristic feel continues inside, with dual 12.3in screens for infotainment and instrumentation that will automatically update their software, plus lots of advanced driver aids.

There are three motor options, producing 215bhp, 239bhp or 389bhp and offering between 223 and 310 miles of range. Rapid charging at up to 130kW will be possible.

Expect the Ariya to cost from around £40,000, placing it in competition with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, as well as the Volkswagen ID.4.

Smart SUV

Smart’s first SUV will use a large, 86kWh battery that’s capable of providing more than 300 miles of range. Facial recognition technology is expected to be included as standard, with this identifying registered drivers as they approach the car and automatically adjusting settings to their preferences – for example, the seating position and radio station.

Cupra Tavascan

We’ve already got the Cupra Born, but Seat’s performance brand is planning a second electric car: the Tavascan coupé SUV. An expected starting price of around £60,000 would see it undercut premium-badged rivals such as the Audi E-Tron Sportback and Jaguar I-Pace, while an official range of 279 miles between charges is competitive.

Ora Cat

With prices expected to start from just £25,000, this Chinese-made electric car will be one of the cheapest of its kind, and all versions will qualify for the Government’s £2500 grant for zero-emissions models. Power comes from a 169bhp electric motor driving the front wheels, and the Cat’s official range is up to 261 miles, depending on which battery you go for.

Volkswagen ID.5

The newest car in Volkswagen’s all-electric ID stable is a coupé SUV that’s closely related to the existing ID.4. Like its conventional SUV sibling, there’s just one (77kWh) battery option on offer, giving an official range of up to 323 miles. Entry-level versions are powered by a single 172bhp electric motor, while the sporty GTX gets 295bhp from dual motors.

Tesla Model S

Mid-life updates to Tesla’s luxury car will focus on the interior, with the portrait-orientated touchscreen infotainment system of today’s car ditched in favour of a 17.0in landscape unit that looks to be better integrated into the dashboard. Beyond the new interior, the big news is the introduction of a 1006bhp Plaid variant that can sprint from 0-62mph in 1.9sec.

Volkswagen ID.Buzz

The time has finally come for VW’s classic campervan to be reborn as an all-electric people mover or a commercial van

Ayisha Gharu

SHAKESPEARE’S PLAYS HAVE been reimagined countless times over the years to suit new audiences; there was even a gnome version of one of his works (Gnomeo and Juliet, in case you were wondering). And in much the same way, Volkswagen is planning to bring one of its own classics up to date, with the upcoming ID.Buzz an all-electric take on its iconic campervan from the 1950s.

Retro details include a two-tone paint scheme, (fake) vents on the rear window pillars and sliding rear doors on each side. Meanwhile, the boxy, upright design should help to maximise interior space, just as it did in the original.

On the other hand, the interior itself will be thoroughly modern, featuring the same digital instrument panel and touchscreen infotainment system as other Volkswagen ID models. The dashboard is likely to incorporate so-called ID Light strips, which can illuminate in different patterns to subtly alert you to everything from an incoming phone call to the direction in which the sat-nav system wants you to turn.

The ID.Buzz will be available as both a commercial van and an eight-seat people carrier, with the former expected to take loads of up to 800kg, compared with the 595kg of the conventionally powered Ford Tourneo Courier. For added convenience, it will also have a 230-volt power outlet at the back and a fold-out workbench.

Both single and dual-motor variants of the ID. Buzz will be available, with the latter bringing four-wheel drive, while versions with the biggest battery available should be able to cover more than 350 miles between charges. As strange as it seems, Volkswagen is even planning a GTX performance model, which is likely to have 369bhp, sports suspension and beefed-up looks.

Expect the entry-level passenger version to be priced at around £60,000, making it more expensive than Volkswagen’s plug-in hybrid T7 Multivan but a lot more affordable than the fully electric Mercedes-Benz EQV.

A version capable of autonomous driving is being developed in partnership with US firm Argo AI, with its sensors said to detect hazards more than 400 metres away. However, this won’t go on sale until 2025.

MercedesBenz EQE

Smaller, cheaper sibling of the EQS luxury limo is likely to have a 400-mile-plus range

George Hill

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