Words by Ian Plummer
Unsurprisingly, SUVs and electrified cars will continue to dominate the sales charts as we head into 2020, with drivers looking for practical cars that are also (relatively) kind to the environment.

Ever at your side, Auto Trader looks 12 months ahead to preview what’s coming your way in 2020. There’s a new car out there for everyone, whatever your budget and lifestyle.

Best large SUVs

Mercedes GLE
Now with the option of seven seats, this is a game changer for Mercedes. The new infotainment system is ahead of most rivals’, with augmented-reality satnav and a choice of dreamy engines mated to a smooth nine-speed automatic gearbox.
Mercedes GLE driving round a bend in a sunset
Land Rover Discovery Sport
It may look almost the same as its predecessor but the new Disco Sport feels altogether posher inside with great safety features and room for seven. Plus, as always, the best off-roading credentials on the planet.
Orange Land Rover Discovery Sport preparing to go off-road
Porsche Cayenne Coupe
Competing with BMW’s X6, the Cayenne Coupe gives the SUV a sleek new rear. There’s an adaptive spoiler at the rear that rises at high speed, some amazing paint colours on offer and room for four adults in comfort on long-long-distance journeys.
Bright orange Porsche Cayenne Coupe parked in a garage
Aston Martin DBX
The wait is finally over. Built in Wales, Aston’s SUV takes on the some sporty styling of cars like the Lamborghini Urus and the Porsche in this list. Front engined and all-wheel drive, with a 4.0-litre V8 engine, it promises serious style with pitch-perfect dynamics.
Red Aston Martin DBX driving beneath a blue sky
Lexus RX-L
Blink and you’ll miss the design changes for the latest version, but this is a big seven-seat SUV with amazing reliability and a very quiet, refined cabin at high speeds. It remains one of the original hybrid SUVs, with a clever “self-charging” system aboard.
Lexus RX-L driving through a wooded area
Jaguar F-Pace
We’re promised a design rethink for the new F-Pace SUV. Not that it needed it: the original is still a fine looking car, and one that handles well under pressure. There should be new hybrid powertrains on offer - both diesel and petrol.
Jaguar F-Pace driving on a hill top against a gentle sunrise

Best small SUVs

Audi Q3 Sportback
Good levels of standard equipment, and surprisingly decent boot capacity, the Sportback version of the Q3 gives this chunky little crossover a sleek outline to add to its already strong kerb appeal.
White Audi Q3 Sportback SUV parked in a well-lit showroom
Ford Puma
What was a sleek coupe has been reborn as, yes, you’ve guessed it, a small SUV. It’s a bit taller and wider than the Fiesta, with a higher seating position. There are also zip seat covers for easy cleaning.
Blue Ford Puma parked on a city rooftop
Nissan Juke
The second Juke is a big improvement on the original, stylish SUV that shook up the market when it first appeared on the scene back in 2010. It's better to drive, roomier and nicer inside, and its engine emits lower emissions too.
Red Nissan Juke driving through suburban streets
Volkswagen T-Cross
Possibly the best-looking compact SUV you can buy. It blends compact dimensions with generous cabin space and a high driving position, and that's pretty much every box ticked for a small SUV buyer.
White Volkswagen T-Cross parked in front of colourful apartments


One of the biggest surprises for 2020. Great value for money, looks excellent in pastel blue, smart fabrics inside and funky colour-colour-coded touchscreen. Good, firm driving dynamics, plenty of space for passengers and a smooth charging experience for this electric wonder.
Blue MG ZS EV parked in from of modern white building
Mercedes EQC
Well-priced for a premium electric SUV, and well-appointed, with a 260-mile range. The electric powertrain gives it lots of performance, low running costs and a quiet and comfortable driving experience.
Silver driving over shallow water in a grey coastal region
Peugeot e-208
The quickest of the new 208s on sale, the electric version has a real-world a 211-mile range and charging time on a domestic wallbox of about 7.5 hours. Some snazzy new colour options bring this chic little car to life.
Blue Peugeot e-208 parked in a dark room
Mini Electric
Some electric cars go all-out on futuristic styling but the electric Mini looks just like a normal one, which will suit many buyers. With a range of about 140 miles, it will more than cover the 26-mile average daily commute in the UK. Add the funky Mini interior and you have a fab package.
White and yellow Mini Electric parked in a showroom
Honda E
The sublime retro styling of this electric Honda is a stroke of genius - everyone has fallen in love with it before they’ve driven it. A claimed range of 136 miles puts it on the same par as the Mini Electric, so it will be down to hearts over minds…
Concept art of a Honda E parked in a blue and green cityscape
Volvo XC40
It’s been around for a year in petrol and diesel form but now here’s Volvo’s first fully electric car. Not only that but this popular premium SUV comes with the new generation of Google connected services which you’ll also see in the Polestar 2.
White Volvo XC40 parked in front of a white and red building
Porsche Taycan
It costs a fair bit, but in return you get wowzers Porsche performance in a sustainable package, with a rapid charging time and extraordinary acceleration. We’re looking at sub three seconds.
White Porsche Taycan parked in front of a snowy mountain
Nissan Leaf
It’s been with us a while, and is still the best-selling electric car in the UK. Its one-pedal mode means the regenerative braking is so hard that all you need to do to stop the car is come off the throttle. Fully charged at home in about seven hours.
White Nissan Leaf driving through mountain range
Tesla Model Y
With a 336-mile range and rapid acceleration, the next car from Elon Musk will have mass-mass-market price appeal. It will also recover 75 miles of charge in five minutes from a Tesla supercharger.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
This sporty looking crossover is a five-seater that's accessed with a smartphone key. At entry level it is rear-wheel drive, with a battery good for 280 miles. The more powerful version promises 370 miles.
Red Ford Mustang Mach-E driving through a wooded mountain path

Best plug-in hybrids (PHEVs)

Bentley Bentayga Hybrid
Ok, so it’s not within most people’s budgets, but we couldn’t overlook this gargantuan monument to luxury. Good for 26 miles on electric power alone, you might be able to save the planet and look svelte in the process.
Orange Bentley Bentayga Hybrid driving through Mediterranean roads
BMW 330e
With electric power available at up to 87mph and an all-electric range of about 25 miles, this 3-Series is a good proposition for commuters. It’s quiet and comfortable on the move and you can flick between electric, hybrid and sport mode, which fully engages the petrol engine.
Silver BMW 330e driving through a snowy forest
Alfa Romeo Tonale
The compact SUV should look pretty much like the sexy concept that preceded it, so thumbs up already. A drive mode will allow customers to shift between powertrains, and of course you get that famous Alfa styling…
Close up of a red Alfa Romeo Tonale
Kia Niro PHEV
Fuel and tax savings, and Kia's great seven-year warranty make this an attractive offering. Every version comes with a generous list of safety features and here’s a comfortable interior.
White Kia Niro PHEV parked on a highland moor
Mini Countryman PHEV
It’s nippy, and more spacious than the standard Mini, with more room for both passengers and luggage inside. Mini offers up to 26 miles on electric power only, which will be fine for trips into town every day of the week. Great bespoke styling options inside and out.

Best city cars

Renault Clio
It’s a mystery why the Clio doesn’t sell better in the UK. The new version deserves to be challenging Ford’s Fiesta for the top spot, with a very composed ride and, in top trim level, a large infotainment screen. New headlights and paint colours bring a sharp edge to this French favourite.
Orange Renault Clio parked in front of a modern house
Volkswagen Golf
Now on its eighth take, the Golf remains a byword for build quality, German engineering and value for money. The main changes are the electronics, connectivity and interfaces. The instrument dials and all functions are now fully digital. Goodbye buttons.
Green Volkswagen Golf parked in front of modern office blocks
Hyundai i10
Now with smartphone connectivity, the i10 has a wealth of generous kit including generous safety features, wireless charging and a rear-rear-view camera.
Hyundai i10 interior, close-up of steering wheel
Vauxhall Corsa
It’s fine to drive, with a good balance of comfort and sharpness, while its engines are impressive in both their perkiness and their efficiency. There’s lots of technology on offer and it’s also reasonably practical.
Red Vauxhall Corsa parked in front of a pale blue sky

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