Figures issued by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show the UK new car market enjoyed its best January for 11 years
4 February 2016

The Ford Fiesta continued its dominance at the top of the UK new car registrations chart as the domestic market started 2016 with its best January performance in 11 years.

New car registrations increased by 2.9% last month compared with the same month in 2015, with a total of 168,678 cars registered during the month. That’s the highest total for January since 2005, when 181,474 cars were registered.

A total of 8353 new Fiestas were registered, eclipsing the second-placed Nissan Qashqai by 3514 units.

The market growth was fuelled by an increase in registrations of private cars, which enjoyed an 8.2% year-on-year rise. The total of 73,061 was the highest number of new cars registered to private buyers in January for 12 years.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “January’s solid performance puts the new car sector in a good position to start the year. Providing consumer confidence remains strong, we expect a more stable 12 months ahead, broadly similar to 2015 which was, of course, a record year.”

Alternatively fuelled vehicles continued to follow the recent trend of growing in popularity, with registrations up by 32.1% compared with January 2015. Hybrids and EVs commanded 3.6% of the total new car market, an increase of 0.8% over this time last year.

Diesel remained the most popular fuel type among buyers, but only by the slenderest of margins. A total of 82,311 oil burners were registered during the month, compared with 81,292 petrol-powered cars.

New car registrations for January 2016

1 Ford Fiesta 8353 units

2 Nissan Qashqai 4839

3 Vauxhall Corsa 4803

4 Ford Focus 4285

5 VW Golf 3813

6 Nissan Juke 3446

7 VW Polo 3298

8 Audi A3 3227

9 Vauxhall Astra 3185

10 Mercedes C-Class 3022

Our Verdict

Ford Fiesta
Fiestas sold in Europe are ostensibly the same as those sold in America and Asia

The seventh-generation Ford Fiesta is the UK's best selling car, helped by frugal engines, handling verve and a big car feel

Join the debate

Comments
9

4 February 2016
At this rate Volkswagen will soon be selling more A3s than Polos. These figures do not tell the whole story. Autocar does not tell us that Golf and Polo are in Top 10 but the diesel scandal is biting into the VW brand sales.

4 February 2016
I thought the figures for the revised Corsa would be much better than this. Its been considerably refreshed, and no doubt there are some pretty good deals, but its still a long way behind the Fiesta.

4 February 2016
Given the recent news concerning Ford finances in Europe, one wonders if they'll have another go at trying to sell cars at a profit rather than just piling them high and selling them cheap so they can top the monthly sales figures?

4 February 2016
No wonder Ford don't seem in any hurry to replace the Fiesta.

5 February 2016
Just goes to show that if Ford built all their cars like the Fiesta they'd have no problems. Well priced, RELIABLE, modern looking clean lines, nice to drive, efficient 3 cylinder turbo engine, RELIABLE. Aging inside is the only downside

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

5 February 2016
xxxx wrote:
Just goes to show that if Ford built all their cars like the Fiesta they'd have no problems. Well priced, RELIABLE, modern looking clean lines, nice to drive, efficient 3 cylinder turbo engine, RELIABLE. Aging inside is the only downside
If you care to look at Wharcar real mpg figures the Fiesta in 1.25 litre 82 hp guise only does 34 mpg compared to the 1.6 diesel giving 57mpg. They have no figures for the 1 litre 3 cylinder engine in the Fiesta but in the Focus it only gives 27 mpg.

5 February 2016
I had one of the first 125PS Focus's and it returned 39.2 average on the lifetime (over 9000 miles), and that was in estate trim. I have had friends who have driven it to and had lower figures; you need to get used to how to shift with it. Needs have changed and I have a Fiesta ZetecS in the 140PS version. I drive it harder but it's currently at 39.7. Just my 0.02

5 February 2016
xxxx wrote:
Just goes to show that if Ford built all their cars like the Fiesta they'd have no problems. Well priced, RELIABLE, modern looking clean lines, nice to drive, efficient 3 cylinder turbo engine, RELIABLE. Aging inside is the only downside
I had one on hire a while ago for a few days and loved it so much I traded in my BMW for one. The BMW wasn't getting used that much anyway so it made sense . It's great fun to drive (much more so that my F31 320d) and the 1.0 ecoboost engine is superb. It has been 100% reliable and is well built. As for the mpg mentioned by somebody else, I get an easy 38mpg around town (not helped by the addictive nature of the engine which loves to be revved) and 50 plus mpg on a run.

5 February 2016
Qashqai in 2nd place. Why not, it fits it's market perfectly, but it's anything but cheap. What I find amazing is most 65 plate Qashqai's I see are NTEC or NTEC+ with an average price of about £22k. The top 5 is almost exclusively dominated by pile'em high sell them cheap models, this must be one of the most expensive cars ever to make it in to the top 3.

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