What will the Stuff Top Car be for 2021?


So right now you’re probably wondering where our traditional Top Cars selections are for this year.

And you’re right to ask, because we’ve generally revealed them by now. But, of course, this year has been different, with this ongoing pandemic delaying our access to road test cars and ongoing stockouts disrupting the entire auto industry as well.

So we decided to make some changes this year, some temporary, others more permanent.

The best car for 2020 was the Toyota Yaris. Who will be the winner of 2021?

The biggest and most obvious temporary change is that we pushed our announcement back to early next year, to allow us to put away all those cars that we had to postpone during Auckland’s four-month lockdown.

* Celebrate the best cars of 2020
* The big winner: the 2020 Stuff Top Car is the Toyota Yaris
* Tesla Model 3 crushes Hilux in September sales
* Top Cars: the rest of the best

So to that end, we’ll be announcing the winners during the week starting January 9, in just under a month, so don’t wait long now!

The Toyota Yaris took first place for 2020, as well as the Top Compact / Small Car and Top Hybrid categories.


The Toyota Yaris took first place for 2020, as well as the Top Compact / Small Car and Top Hybrid categories.

The other big change is more permanent – we’ve also overhauled the categories in depth.

The fragmented nature of 2021 has meant that we’ve decided to cut down on the number of different categories by combining a number of them to keep things simple.

But another factor was that the increasingly blurry lines between cars, SUVs, and even waist segments made us look at things from a different perspective. For example, whereas before, having separate categories for small, medium and large cars and SUVs made sense, the literal extinction of the traditional large – and even midsize – mainstream car, and the SUV’s dominance in every segment often made it an exercise in frustration.

So we’re taking advantage of the unusual circumstances of 2021 to turn things around – give Top Cars a Casino Royale– grainy reboot style, if you will – and try out a whole new range of categories.

The Toyota RAV4 was the Top Car of 2019, will Toyota continue its successful run in 2021?


The Toyota RAV4 was the Top Car of 2019, will Toyota continue its successful run in 2021?

While we still have the overall Top Car winner, this year our reduced number of categories will be based on a more ‘why someone might buy this car’ approach.

Our previous Top EV and Top Hybrid categories are an example. The absolute prevalence of electrified powertrains and the rapidly increasing percentage of battery-electric vehicles quickly mean that these separate categories are becoming unnecessary – virtually everything will be hybrid for much longer, and we’ve increasingly seen EVs winning categories. that weren’t specific to EVs (the Mercedes-Benz EQC released our Top Medium SUV category in 2020, for example), so why have a separate category?

Instead, this year we will have a “Top Car for the environment” category. This will take into account a wider range of concerns, such as the overall carbon footprint and overall durability of a car and the company’s approach to making it. However, due to the lack of transparency across the industry on this matter, it makes things a bit more difficult, but if a company isn’t particularly transparent it probably doesn’t deserve to earn this category of award. anyway…

Previous Top Car winners also include the Holden Spark, Skoda Kodiaq, VW Polo, and Volvo XC90.


Previous Top Car winners also include the Holden Spark, Skoda Kodiaq, VW Polo, and Volvo XC90.

Here are the categories for Top Cars 2021:

Top Car

The big winner. Any car we’ve driven and written on in 2021 is eligible, but only one will make it to the top. Even if it’s often quite close …

Top Car for the environment

As detailed above, this takes into account a wider range of considerations than just “an EV is good for the planet”. Again, everything is eligible, but you really don’t see a V8 taking this one …

Top Car for families

Space, ease of use, smart practicalities, value for money – a particular vehicle segment does not have a monopoly on these qualities, so we will choose this one over how a particular vehicle handles day-to-day family tasks.

Top Car for commuters

Again, no particular vehicle segment ticks all the boxes for the commuter, but does an SUV’s ride height make it better? Or the agility of a small city car? What about the zero emission silence of an EV? Or the high-tech semi-autonomous capabilities of a high-end luxury car?

Top Car for a budget

This one is pretty self-explanatory – which vehicle gives you the best experience for the least money.

Top Car for fun

Again, pretty self-explanatory – good value on the fun scale! But that doesn’t necessarily mean fierce straight-line speed or sharp handling – we also include off-road fun in this category – the winner could be a supercar, hot hatch or even a 4×4 SUV or ute. As long as it’s extremely fun and engaging …

Top Car for work

Okay, so it’s unlikely that a traditional “car” would win this particular category, but for consistency we’ll just call it that – this one is for vans, utes and anything that can. perform serious work tasks.

Top Car to have fun

Are you successful in life and want to treat yourself to something a little bit special? This is the category for you then. It could be a premium sports sedan, a supercar or a luxury limousine. Or maybe even something that combines several of these things.

Top car brand

Which brand of car do we think has stood out above all others in the past year? Whether it’s shaking up the industry, introducing a bunch of awesome new models, or just spending a year in general.

This is what Top Cars 2021 will look like. Keep in mind that this contracted version is a response to a weird and broken year, and we’ll be happy to expand it again, so let us know what you’d like to see happen. produced in future Top Cars awards.

Do you like the new take on things or do you think the old categories were more useful? What categories would you like to see? And what would you like to see disappear? We want your contribution to help us shape the future of Stuff’s Top Cars.