New Cars on the Horizon

Keith Barry
·17 min read

There are a lot of interesting new cars just around the corner, from long-range EVs to practical family SUVs and everything in between. But are they worth waiting for? Our experts will help you decide with this early peek at some new or revamped models coming out in 2021 and early 2022. Consider keeping them on your “possible” list until we get them out to our test track for a deeper evaluation.

Click on the model names here to learn more about each of these new cars on the horizon:

Acura MDXAudi A3Audi Q5 SportbackBuick EnvisionChevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUVFord BroncoFord E-TransitGenesis GV70GMC Hummer EVHyundai TucsonInfiniti QX55Jaguar F-PaceJaguar XFJeep Grand Cherokee LJeep WagoneerMercedes-Benz E-Class All TerrainMitsubishi Eclipse CrossNissan AriyaNissan ArmadaNissan KicksNissan ZSubaru BRZVolkswagen GTIVolkswagen ID.4Volkswagen Taos

Acura MDX

The next-gen 2022 Acura MDX keeps much of what made the midsized three-row SUV a success but gains a nearly 3-inch-longer wheelbase, which has been used to increase passenger and cargo room, and a double-wishbone front suspension that should improve handling and ride comfort. Acura applied the attractive interior styling elements of the RDX and all-new TLX sedan to the larger MDX, but also added an unintuitive infotainment system that might be a deal breaker for some buyers. Most versions will get the same engine as the current model, and the newly added MDX Type S will feature a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine that Acura estimates will produce 355 hp. Both engines send power through a 10-speed automatic transmission with optional all-wheel drive.

Cost: $50,000 to $60,000*
On sale: Early 2021

Learn more about the new 2022 Acura MDX.

Audi A3

This redesigned version of Audi’s smallest sedan hits U.S. shores this fall as a 2022 model. It’s longer, wider, and more aerodynamic but also promises more headroom due to a higher roofline and lower front seats. Exterior styling is reminiscent of the latest A6 and A8 sedans. Inside, there’s the newest version of Audi’s MMI infotainment interface, with physical buttons for some key features. Front- and all-wheel drive will be offered, as well as a 48-volt mild-hybrid system.

Cost: $33,500 to $40,000
On sale: Late 2021

Audi Q5 Sportback

This is a four-door hatchback version of the excellent Q5 SUV. Audi calls it a “coupe,” but we just see reduced cargo space from a vehicle that rides as high as an SUV. Still, drivers who are willing to sacrifice some practicality in the name of styling should find it rewarding: We praise the Q5 SUV for its nimble, secure handling and compliant, controlled ride. A high-performance SQ5 Sportback will follow.

Cost: $45,000 to $55,000*
On sale: Summer 2021

Buick Envision

Buick’s luxury compact SUV is redesigned for 2021, getting a sharper front end, a sleeker side profile, and an updated interior. The Envision sits between the Encore GX and the larger three-row Enclave. The Chinese-built Envision uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. It comes in front- and all-wheel drive. We hope the redesign will address the previous Envision’s clumsy handling without changing the easy access and roomy rear seat. The Envision comes standard with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and blind spot warning.

Cost: $31,800 to $42,000
On sale: February 2021

Chevrolet Bolt and Bolt EUV

Both the Bolt EV and the Bolt EUV are built on the same platform, and feature a cleaner, more chiseled approach to the former Bolt EV’s styling. The Bolt EUV is more than 6 inches longer than the hatchback model, has a longer wheelbase, and is a tiny bit taller. The Bolt EUV has a bit less cargo room behind its rear seats, but rear passengers get more legroom. EPA range estimates aren’t available yet for the Bolt fraternal twins, but GM estimates that the driving range for the updated 2022 Bolt EV will be the same as for the 2021 model at 259 miles. The Bolt EUV, which is almost 100 pounds heavier, will have a slightly lower 250-mile range. Chevrolet says the Bolt EUV will be the first vehicle outside GM’s Cadillac division to get the automaker’s Super Cruise hands-free driver assist technology.

Cost: $31,995 (Bolt EV); $33,995 (Bolt EUV)
On sale: Summer 2021

Learn more about the Chevrolet Bolts.

Ford Bronco

Ford brought back the Bronco name for 2021 after a 24-year absence and has applied it to a rugged, go-anywhere SUV designed to compete with the Jeep Wrangler. With between 8.3 inches and 11.5 inches of ground clearance, depending on tires, and a 33.5-inch maximum water fording depth, the Bronco is clearly built for off-roading. Even the interior is designed to resist water, with rubber floors and drains. Two turbocharged engines are available: a 270-hp, 2.3-liter four-cylinder and a 310-hp, 2.7-liter V6. Both engines come with a 10-speed automatic transmission, but the four-cylinder can be paired with a seven-speed manual. Buyers can choose from seven trim levels, and two- and four-door versions. A cloth top is standard, an optional hard top can be taken off, and the removable doors don’t require owners to take off the side mirrors, as the Wrangler’s do. A smaller Bronco Sport is already on sale.

Cost: $28,500 to $59,305
On sale: Summer 2021

Learn more about the 2021 Ford Bronco.

Ford E-Transit, Transit

For 2021, an all-electric version of Ford’s popular work van called the E-Transit will get up to 126 miles of range per charge. Like the conventional Transit, three roof heights, three body lengths, and both chassis cab and cutaway models will be available. Buyers can choose from cargo and passenger versions, and they can also opt for an onboard power source that can provide 2.4 kilowatts. The gas-powered 2021 Transit gets new packages designed for custom applications. The Adventure Prep package adds all-wheel drive, a drivetrain setup designed for off-roading, and a host of driver assistance features. RV Prep and Motorhome Prep packages set up the Transit for duty as a home on wheels. Delivery and shuttle services will benefit from the Parcel Delivery and Livery packages, which open up interior aisles, change up shelving, and improve rear door access.

Cost: $25,000 to $42,000 ($45,000 for E-Transit)
On sale: Early 2021 (Late 2021 for E-Transit)

Genesis GV70

Sized like the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC, the 2022 GV70 is an entirely new SUV model positioned as a stylish alternative to the established European offerings. It has the same engine choices as the larger GV80: The base powerplant is a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which we think is one of the better engines in its class. The upgrade choice is a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 that delivered effortless acceleration in the GV80. The GV70 is based on a rear-drive platform, and it will be available in all-wheel drive. The interior is modern and colorful, with elliptical shapes, slim vents, and controls organized into specific clusters.

Cost: $40,000 to $55,000*
On sale: Mid-2021

Learn more about the 2022 Genesis GV70.

GMC Hummer EV

The Hummer badge was once antithetical to alternative fuels, representing hulking, gas-guzzling SUVs inspired by military vehicles. The new Hummer EV will be both hulking and green—a large, aggressive-looking four-door pickup with big power and undeniable off-road presence and capability. GM says the reimagined Hummer will come in a three-motor setup good for either 800 or 1,000 hp, or a two-motor version that will make 625 hp. Online preorders for the first of these trucks—dubbed Edition 1—sold out within 10 minutes. Lower-priced versions will roll out over time.

Cost: $79,995 to $112,595
On sale: Early 2022

Learn more about the 2022 Hummer EV.

Hyundai Tucson

The redesigned 2022 Tucson grows in size, adds hybrid and plug-in hybrid options, addresses some of the outgoing model’s shortcomings—including a bland interior and a lousy base engine—and gains significant infotainment and connected technology upgrades that are usually found on more expensive models, such as the ability to use a phone as a key and remote parking capability. Its daytime running lamps are integrated into the grille, and a minimalist interior replaces many hard buttons with flat touch screens. The base Tucson uses a 187-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder teamed with an eight-speed automatic transmission that improves power and fuel economy—the automaker estimates that a front-wheel-drive version will get 28 mpg overall. The new hybrid powertrain is based around a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, and it puts out a combined 227 hp. Fuel economy is estimated to be around 35 mpg overall. A plug-in hybrid model will have a 28-mile electric range. There will also be a sporty N Line model.

Cost: $24,000 to $37,000*
On sale: Spring 2021

Learn more about the 2022 Hyundai Tucson.

Infiniti QX55

This new model accentuates the “sport” in “sport utility,” prioritizing the driving experience and coupelike design over passenger space and cargo-toting ability. The 2022 QX55 looks like a coupe version of the QX50. The two cars have the same wheelbase and almost identical lengths and widths, but the QX55 emphasizes the front row over the rest of the vehicle. We experienced the same variable-compression turbocharged engine that will power the QX55 in our tested QX50, where it delivered quick acceleration with hardly any turbo lag. However, the continuously variable transmission allowed the engine to hold revs for too long, and the engine did not live up to its bold fuel economy claims.

Cost: $40,000 to $58,000*
On sale: Spring 2021

Learn more about the 2022 Infiniti QX55.

Jaguar F-Pace

The F-Pace is Jaguar’s best-selling model, and one of the best-handling SUVs on the market. It gets a restyled exterior, interior, and infotainment system for 2021. The base four-cylinder carries over, and a new turbocharged six-cylinder engine on high-end versions replaces the old supercharged V6. All-wheel drive is standard on all F-Pace models. The new infotainment system promises to be an improvement over the slow-to-respond, finicky setup found in prior Jaguar and Land Rover models.

Cost: $49,995 to $65,200
On sale: Early 2021

Jaguar XF

Jaguar discontinued the XE and put the XJ on pause, so the XF soldiers on for 2021 as the company’s only sedan. Despite its age, the XF is agile and fun to drive, but drivers will still enjoy its velvet-smooth ride. It has been repositioned as an entry-luxury model, with a starting price of $43,995, a new grille, a revamped interior, and an updated infotainment system. The outgoing sluggish, convoluted touch-screen setup was among the worst we’ve tested, so the new one can only be an improvement. The V6 engine option is gone, as is the Sportbrake wagon. All-wheel drive remains optional, and rear-wheel drive remains standard.

Cost: $43,995 to $49,995
On sale: Early 2021

Jeep Grand Cherokee L

Jeep is ushering in the next-generation Grand Cherokee starting with the three-row version Grand Cherokee L. It will be followed by a two-row version, as the current model is retired. The core powertrains carry over: 290-hp, 3.6-liter V6 and a 357-hp, 5.7-liter V8. Each is mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission. A plug-in hybrid version, badged 4xe, will be added later. There are three four-wheel-drive systems offered with varying degrees of capability. The interior configurations seat six or seven passengers. The SUV will include a generous roster of standard active safety systems. Hands-free driver assistance will be available during the year.

Cost: $40,000 to $60,000
On sale: Spring 2021

Learn more about the Jeep Grand Cherokee L.

Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer

Jeep resurrected a well-known name for its newest pair of SUVs. The three-row Wagoneer will be bigger than the Grand Cherokee L. Based on the Ram pickup truck, it will use an independent rear suspension for a more refined ride and more responsive handling. The flagship Grand Wagoneer promises to pamper with a more luxurious interior and the latest technology features—and a higher price to match. Four-wheel drive and a plug-in hybrid version also will be offered.

Cost: $60,000 to $100,000
On sale: Late 2021

Learn more about the Jeep Wagoneer.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class All Terrain

A replacement for the current E450 wagon, the 2021 E-Class All-Terrain gets a slightly lifted suspension and rugged-looking body cladding to give it a more SUV-like appearance. The wagon gets the updated grille and interior that debuted across the rest of the 2021 E-Class lineup. An air suspension is standard, as is all-wheel drive and a new six-cylinder engine with mild hybrid technology.

Cost: $69,000 to $88,000*
On sale: Late 2020

Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

There’s no 2021 model for this hatchlike SUV. Instead, Mitsubishi will refresh the model for 2022. The awkward double rear window is gone, and the front gets a new bumper and lights. The annoying touchpad infotainment control is replaced by a larger infotainment touch screen with separate knobs for volume and tuning. Powertrain choices are yet to be confirmed, but there’s a chance the Eclipse Cross will get the optional plug-in hybrid setup that’s offered in the larger Outlander SUV.

Cost: $22,995 to $26,995*
On sale: Early 2021

Nissan Ariya

A Nissan Rogue-sized SUV, the Ariya promises to be a formidable competitor to other battery-powered SUVs, such as the Tesla Model Y and the upcoming Ford Mach-E. Though more luxurious and substantial than the Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Kona, and Kia Niro EVs, the Ariya will be less expensive than the Model Y. Nissan says two versions will be available—a front-wheel-drive one-motor model with 215 hp and an all-wheel-drive two-motor model with 389 hp. Equipped with a long-range battery, the front-drive model has an estimated range of 300 miles.

Cost: $40,000 to $50,000*
On sale: Late 2021

Learn more about the 2022 Nissan Ariya EV.

Nissan Armada

Nissan’s big body-on-frame SUV gets a new look and mild updates for 2021. A revamped interior can sit up to eight, and a larger touch screen comes with standard wireless Apple CarPlay. The 5.6-liter V8 gets 10 extra hp, but the Armada’s abysmal fuel economy remains unchanged—the EPA estimates just 15 mpg combined for a four-wheel-drive model. New towing technology includes a trailer brake controller and sway control, which is part of upper-level trims.

Cost: $47,000 to $64,000*
On sale: 2021

Nissan Kicks

After just three model years, Nissan already has an update for the Kicks—a subcompact vehicle that has the ride height and access of an SUV but that lacks all-wheel drive. The freshened model gets the same grille treatment as other recent Nissan models, plus an updated rear and thinner exterior lights. Inside, there’s standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, an optional 8-inch touch screen, new upholstery and trim, and a center console with armrest.

Cost: $19,000 to $21,500*
On sale: 2021

Nissan Z

A preview of the next Nissan Z sports car, the Z Proto looks to edge the Z legacy forward, with a more modern style, new features, and increased power. But it doesn’t change the basic formula: two doors, six cylinders, manual transmission, and rear-wheel drive. The current Z has been in production for a decade, and we hope the redesigned model will bring its driving dynamics, safety, and features into a more modern era while retaining the Z’s driver-focused heritage. The new model will get a turbocharged six-cylinder engine, and a six-speed manual transmission will still be offered.

Cost: $40,000 to $50,000*
On sale: 2021

Learn more about the Nissan Z.

Subaru BRZ

The 2022 BRZ will be an upgraded version of the existing car, and that’s not a bad thing: We recommend and have long praised the current model for its agile handling and affordability. The new BRZ will get a naturally aspirated version of Subaru’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that’s good for 228 hp—a slight upgrade over the current 205-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The new engine delivers its maximum torque at lower engine speeds, which should help the BRZ feel quicker in day-to-day driving. The design—a low-to-the-ground, “2+2” sports car—is essentially unchanged. Yes, it’s about an inch longer and almost a half-inch lower than the 2012-2020 version, and it gets more prominent door sills and fenders, but the proportions are the same. Suspension and chassis upgrades promise to improve overall performance, and the cockpit has been improved with some nods to modernity.

Cost: $29,000*
On sale: Fall 2021

Learn more about the 2022 Subaru BRZ.

Volkswagen GTI

The redesigned Volkswagen GTI builds on the long-running tradition of elevating a mild hatchback into a fun-to-drive, yet sophisticated, practical alternative to sports coupes. Power from the turbocharged four-cylinder has increased from 228 hp in the current model to 242 hp in the eighth-generation 2022 GTI. True to form, the GTI comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is optional. VW promises better handling that significantly reduces understeer. Slightly lower than its predecessor, the new model has a more aggressive stance and LED fog lamps up front. The interior has gotten the luxe treatment, with a leather-trimmed steering wheel and personalizable displays. The GTI and subsequent Golf R will be the only Golf models offered in the US.

Cost: $30,000 to $40,000*
On sale: Fall 2021

Learn more about the 2022 Volkswagen GTI.

Volkswagen ID.4

With an estimated range of 250 miles, the ID.4 will be Volkswagen’s first “long range” EV. A sleek compact SUV, it will be slightly smaller than the Volkswagen Tiguan and will initially come with a 201-hp rear-wheel-drive setup. A 302-hp version with all-wheel drive will be available later in 2021. Volkswagen says that although the first run of ID.4s will be built in Germany, U.S.-market models will be built at the company’s factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., starting in 2022. Built to compete with sporty SUVs, such as the Tesla Model Y and the Ford Mustang Mach-E, the ID.4 will come with three years of free fast-charging through the Electrify America network of charging stations.

Cost: $39,995 to $43,695
On sale: Spring 2021

Learn more about the Volkswagen ID.4.

Volkswagen Taos

This new subcompact model slots beneath the Tiguan and is the same size as the Audi Q3 and Subaru Crosstrek. Volkswagen says it will have the company’s latest connectivity and infotainment systems, a more powerful version of the engine found in the Jetta sedan, and a comprehensive suite of advanced safety and driver assistance features. It’s 9.3 inches shorter than the Tiguan, with interior and exterior styling that borrows significantly from other VW SUVs. The automaker claims the Taos has only 1.6 cubic feet less passenger room than the Tiguan, but the cargo area is significantly smaller. Unlike the Tiguan, which has a 2.0-liter engine, the Taos features a smaller 1.5-liter engine that’s good for 158 hp. Front-wheel drive versions get a conventional eight-speed automatic transmission, and the all-wheel-drive versions use a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Cost: $20,000 to $29,000*
On sale: Summer 2021

Learn more about the 2022 Volkswagen Taos.

*Estimated cost.

Editor’s Note: A version of this article also appeared in the April 2021 issue of Consumer Reports magazine. For more information, see our 2021 Autos Spotlight page.

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