The five-star cars of 2021

The five-star cars of 2021

This year has been a rather big one for the automotive world, with a raft of important new cars reaching showrooms. 

From new supercars to state-of-the-art EVs, it’s been varied to say the least, and at Car Keys we’re proud of just how many different cars we’ve been able to test and review this year. 

But what have been our favourite cars from 2021? Here are all the five-star cars we’ve tested this year. 

Skoda Octavia vRS

Skoda’s Octavia vRS has been famed for all of its all-round ability in previous generations, and we were very pleased that the latest car remains just as good as ever. Its combination of value, performance and practicality remains unmatched. 

We tested the petrol model but customers have more choice than ever, with diesel and plug-in hybrid versions also available. Read the full review here.

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Mercedes-AMG A45 S

Not so long ago, the thought of having 300bhp in a hot hatch seemed ludicrous, but these days many are pushing out far more than that – and the most powerful of the lot is the Mercedes-AMG A45 S, which packs a monstrous 415bhp from its 2.0-litre petrol engine. That means go from 0-60mph in an astonishing 3.7 seconds. 

But there’s a lot more to the A45  than just its performance as it’s huge fun to drive, while the interior is the best of any car in its class. Read the full review here.

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Audi e-tron GT

The e-tron GT launched earlier in 2021 and it needed to make a statement. Thankfully it did just that, with its striking design, brilliant powertrain and remarkable refinement really helping to showcase the future of electric Audi models. 

With an electric range of up to 295 miles, as well as the option of a high-performance RS version, it’s safe to say electric cars don’t get much more desirable than this. Read the full review here.

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There was a lot riding on the new BMW M3, but it certainly lived up to all expectations, with this sports saloon being remarkably good to drive, and even building on its successor. It’s now not quite soi much of a handful to drive, and greatly improved if you want to use it on a day-to-day basis. 

With its monstrous 503bhp 3.0-litre engine and everyday practicality, the M3 continues to lead the way in the performance saloon class, and it’s most certainly a highlight of 2021. Read the full review here.

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Mercedes E-Class

The executive car class has moved on in recent years, really tightening the gap between this and ‘luxury cars’. But the Mercedes E-Class is a model that’s verging on the upper echelons, with its remarkable refinement and stunning interior. 

We tested the updated version earlier in the year, which brings a more stylish design and technology gains, and were blown away by its all-round ability. Read the full review here.

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When the BMW M4 is so closely aligned to the M3, it really shouldn’t have come as any huge surprise that it was also deserving of a top five-star rating. 

Like the M3, it would be a terrific everyday sports car, while arguably that bit more stylish than its saloon sibling too. Since we reviewed the rear-wheel-drive, BMW has introduced an all-wheels-driven model, as well as a stylish Convertible version. Read the full review here

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Skoda Enyaq iV

The Skoda Enyaq helps to usher in a new electric era for the firm, and there was a lot resting on the brand’s first bespoke SUV. But it has truly exceeded all expectations, with the Enyaq retaining Skoda’s best strengths – versatility and value. 

Offering style, a high-quality interior and a long electric range, the Skoda Enyaq is a terrific all-rounder, and is actually even better than sibling models from Audi and Volkswagen. Read the full review here

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BMW 5 Series Touring

Though many buyers favour SUVs over more traditional estate cars these days, there’s still a lot to be said for these practically-minded models. And the ultimate wagon on sale today is the BMW 5 Series Touring. 

Now available with a sharper look and tech-laden interior, the 5 Series manages to be a notch above its already-excellent rivals from Audi and Mercedes. Read the full review here

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Hyundai IONIQ 5

Hyundai is a brand that’s improved immeasurably in recent years, and it arguably launched the most exciting EV of anyone in 2021 – the IONIQ 5. With a design like no other car on the road today, it has a remarkable ability to turn heads. 

There’s a lot more to like than just the way it looks, though, as the IONIQ 5 also has a ridiculously roomy interior and the ability to charge at 350kW – allowing for ultra-rapid charging times. Read the full review here

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BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

BMW launched its standard 4 Series last year to critical acclaim, and the same has been given to the brand’s new Gran Coupe model. 

Bringing a set of extra doors, it’s far more practical and easy to live with. It’s still just as fantastic to drive as the standard car, and with the same premium interior too – making it the pick of the 4 Series range. Read the full review here

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Kia EV6

Like sibling brand Hyundai, Kia is really pushing on with its electrification plans. The EV6, launched earlier this year, heralded the start of a range of new electric cars from the firm, with the EV6 built on a bespoke platform specifically for EVs. 

With its smart interior, wild styling – especially at the rear – and long electric range of 328 mils, this Kia is a very desirable choice, and undoubtedly one of our favourite cars to come out of 2021. Read the full review here

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