Established brands and models dominate top 10 best-selling cars in the UK. However, the latest sales figures indicate that some newer additions to Britain’s roads are becoming more and more popular, perhaps foreshadowing a change in preferences among buyers.
1: Ford Fiesta – 43,162 registrations
The Fiesta has been a British favourite for decades and there is no sign of changing, despite the latest 8-year-old incarnation. Its sales figures are well ahead of its closest rivals’, even though it’s not the cheapest choice in the segment. Its sales performance is well deserved, though. The Ford supermini as hugely impressive, our four-star review proves that. We are impressed by its ride and handling, interior quality and smooth engine range.
2: Ford Focus – 27,307 registrations
The Focus has offered a noteworthy drive since its Escort was replaced with aplomb in 1998, bringing impressive road manners at a volume price. It has been so great, 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 has a strong, economical engine range and offers a lot of quality for its price.
3: Vauxhall Corsa – 23,765 registrations
The Corsa is another established doyen in the UK and Vauxhall’s perennial rival to the Fiesta. The latest generation arrived in 2014 and bring good news for most people with the 74bhp 1.4-litre petrol option and 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 hard to see it dropping far down this list anytime soon.
4: Nissan Qashqai – 23,501 registrations
Its blend of hatchback size and SUV pretensions have proved a big 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. There is no wonder why it’s maintaining stable in the sales charts.
5: Volkswagen Golf – 22,446 registrations
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 7th generation Golf, including newly introduced facelifted version, is a consummate all-rounder. With 4.5-star review, it is called the best hatchback in the world, and we’ll stand by that assessment.
6: Vauxhall Astra – 21,261 registrations
The Astra is something of an also-ran to the Ford Focus, but the latest generation, launched in 2015, is a thoroughly decent car in its own right. Thanks to its well equipped interior with sharp handling and economical engines, it earns a strong four-star review, although we had reservations about its ride and styling. Overall, though, it deserves to be considered as one of the best compact hatches you can buy.
7: Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 19,238 registrations
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 affect the latest version, which was launched in 2014. It’s an excellent offer that garnered a four-star review due to its high-quality interior and alluring looks. Good residual values do it no harm, either.
8: Volkswagen Polo – 18,253 registrations
Volkswagen’s supermini offers a touch more class and sophistication than the Fiesta and Corsa, albeit at a higher price. It’s more mature and conservative in its demeanour, but many of the British car-buying public embrace such traits, which is the reason why the Polo is a top 10 stalwart and scores four stars. Now in its 5th generation, it could easily be mistaken for a smaller Golf, which is no bad thing.
9: Mercedes-Benz A-Class – 15,855 registrations
Mercedes’ smallest model takes ninth place from Mini, and kicks the Nissan Juke out of the top ten in an increasingly premium-segment list. It’s tight, though, as the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series were both among the best-sellers of April 2017, but didn’t sell enough to nab a top ten place across the year.
10: Mini – 15,417 registrations
The Mini has ranked tenth place after the A-Class stormed into ninth. It’s a top-ten regular though; and who can blame buyers either? Charming looks, sharp handling and BMW quality are just three of its strong points, but now there’s also a five-door variant for added practicality.