A total of 2.54 million cars were registered in 2017. So which were the ten best-selling models?
The figures are in for January 2018 - which cars have you been buying more than anything else?
Established brands and models dominate the top 10 list of best-selling cars in the UK and the hatchback rules supreme. However, the latest sales figures show that some newer additions to Britain’s roads are growing in popularity, despite an overall slowing down of market sales.
The Fiesta has been a British favourite for decades and that shows no signs of changing, even though the latest incarnation is now eight years old and its replacement is soon to arrive. Its sales figures are well ahead of the closest rivals', even though it’s not the cheapest choice in the segment. The Fiesta's sales performance is well deserved, though. The Ford supermini as hugely impressive, as our four-star review proves. We particularly like its ride and handling, interior quality and smooth engine range.
The Golf is another classic name in motoring that attracts legions of diehard fans to keep it riding high in the charts, even with Volkswagen’s recent scandal. Emissions concerns aside, the seventh-generation Golf, including newly introduced facelifted version, is a consummate all-rounder - so much so that it was actually June's best-selling car. In our 4.5-star review, we called it the best hatchback in the world, and we’ll stand by that assessment.
The Focus has delivered an outstanding drive since it replaced the Escort with aplomb in 1998, offering impressive road manners at a volume price. It has been so good, in fact, that we were slightly disappointed by the diluted dynamics of the latest version. However, as our review notes, it’s still a very appealing, complete car. It looks good, has a strong, economical engine range and offers a lot of quality for its price.
Vauxhall's Mokka X occupies the hotly-contested small SUV segment, along with the likes of the Seat Arona and Nissan Juke. The Mokka has always been one of Vauxhall's strongest cars in the UK, appearing in the lower half of the monthly top ten frequently, although sales are never strong enough to keep it there over rivals from overseas. It's currently the best-selling car in its segment in the UK, though, with the top SUV, the Nissan Qashqai, occupying the market segment above the Mokka X.
Mercedes' smallest model climbs from tenth last year to sixth so far in 2018, stretching its lead over rivals like the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series close behind. There's a new model arriving in showrooms later this year, which can both help sales with the excitement of a new model and deals available on examples of the outgoing car, and hinder them, with the changeover period required to introduce a new car to market.
Is it really a decade since Nissan’s now ubiquitous crossover first arrived? Its blend of hatchback size and SUV pretensions have proved a huge draw for customers and it’s now the best-selling small SUV in the country, leaving a trail of imitators in its wake. The second-generation model, released in 2014, keeps dynamic, economic and interior standards high, garnering a 4.5-star review from our road test team. No wonder it’s holding firm in the sales charts.
Britain's fourth-best-selling SUV, and ninth best-seller overall is the Kuga, as Ford's hold on the UK market strengthens in 2018. It's decent-handling, refined and rides well, as well as having that magic combination of being an SUV and having the blue oval on its snout and rear, so it's little wonder it's sold so well, so far. Just seven cars separated the Kuga from the Vauxhall Corsa in January.
Testament to the strength of the SUV in 2018 is the Kia Sportage - a new entry into the top 10, and a rival to the Nissan Qashqai. It's the second-best-selling SUV on the market, in a top ten more populated by the high-riding models than ever before. Sales are buoyant after exactly two years of being on forecourts, although at such an early stage of the year and with several direct rivals arriving in the coming months, whether it retains its lofty position is yet to be seen.
It’s unusual for a premium car to find itself in the top 10, but it’s testament to the C-Class’s appeal, particularly among fleet customers, that it’s shifting so many units for Mercedes. Looking like a miniature S-Class doesn’t hurt the latest version, which was launched in 2014. It’s an excellent offering that garnered a four-star review from our test team, who fell for its high-quality interior and alluring looks. Good residual values do it no harm, either.
The Corsa is another established doyen in the UK and Vauxhall’s perennial rival to the Fiesta. The latest generation arrived in 2014 and offers something for most people, from the 74bhp 1.4-litre petrol option to the 202bhp snorting VXR version. It’s competitively priced, drives and rides well and is designed and specced to please the car's large fan base. It's slid from fifth overall last year to eighth this year, although a facelifted version - overdue in the average product life cycle - should spruce up sales.
The Mercedes W212 E Class was originally launched in 2009 to replace the well-built W211 version, which itself had helped recover Mercedes reputation at building reliable, long lasting cars after the quality control issues of the late 1990s/early 2000s. There was no doubt that both the car and Mercedes engineers had big shoes to fill but thankfully the gamble paid off as the new model was able to build on the good reputation of its forbearer. The W212 was not only bigger than the previous model it was also more refined.
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I intended to find out by test driving the new MG3 which is a new small hatchback and designed to bring the MG back to the masses. The MG3 I had on the test drive was the top of the range Style model with a price tag of £11,695. With any new car in this highly competitive sector first impression count and the MG3 does not fail to disappoint.