Currently reading: UK new car registrations: Best-selling cars of 2020
New SMMT data reveals which cars were most popular overall with UK buyers last year
Felix Page Autocar writer
News
4 mins read
6 January 2021

What's hot and what's not? The SMMT's new car registrations data reveals all, and we've been studying the most recent figures to find out Britain's best-selling new cars. 

The latest figures revealed the 10 most popular cars in the UK throughout 2020, with some models retaining a market stronghold against the odds, and others fighting their way onto the best-sellers list for the first time.  

Best selling cars 2020

1. Ford Fiesta - 49,174

It's hardly a surprise to see Ford's supermini hold on to the top spot, because it has been the UK's best-selling new car every year since 2009. What is surprising is that demand for it hasn't slipped following a radical line-up reshuffle in 2019 that brought its entry-level price up by nearly £2000. Clearly, the Fiesta's ability to blend efficiency with dynamism and charm is still a winning formula for a large portion of UK buyers. 

2. Vauxhall Corsa - 46,439

The perennial runner-up to the Ford Fiesta in the supermini class finds itself in second place, and remains Vauxhall's best-selling model in Britain – still technically its home market. All-new PSA-developed underpinnings are sure to keep the nameplate in the top 10 best-sellers list, with a new pure-electric version bolstering its popularity.  

3. Volkswagen Golf - 43,109

Don't let the similar styling fool you: the eighth-generation Golf represents a more radical departure from its predecessor than any iteration since the fifth, and if our comprehensive road test - and the sales charts - are anything to go by, the evolution is welcome indeed. Improved dynamics and a radically overhauled interior are the headline changes, but economy and usability enhancements sweeten the deal. 

4. Ford Focus - 39,372

There's success for the Blue Oval in the hotly contested family hatchback segment, too. We like the Focus's playful chassis set-up, engaging driveline and improved ergonomics – plus points that continue to tempt buyers away from German, Spanish and Czech equivalents. Strong demand for the Focus in June helped it to overtake its VW Golf rival in the sales charts, but it's lost ground to the newer car over the past few months.

5. Mercedes-Benz A-Class - 37,608

A surprisingly premium entry here from Mercedes, but one that makes a lot of sense when you consider the sheer variety of drivers the A-Class would suit. With petrol, diesel and now plug-in hybrid options on the roster – as well as an overwhelming array of specifications and trim levels to choose from – the A-Class has become a real people pleaser. The new plug-in hybrid A250e variant - with its 42-mile electric range and super-low tax rates for fleet buyers - is sure to be a strong-seller, too. 

6. Nissan Qashqai - 33,972

When the Qashqai arrived back in 2006, it heralded the birth of the crossover class, which is now the most crowded and in-demand segment in the UK. Even now, 14 years later, and with nearly 30 well-rounded opponents to fend off, Nissan's mid-sized SUV remains the king. 

7. Mini - 31,233

Strong sales in early 2020 nudged the Brit-built Mini hatch into the top ten, and straight past best-selling stalwarts like the BMW 3 Series and VW Polo. And why not? There's plenty to like about the retro-styled runabout, including a spacious, well-put-together interior and a range of engines that offer pep and frugality. 

8. Volkswagen Polo - 26,965

The Polo has lost some ground in the past couple of years. It was the sixth best-selling car in 2018 and in December of that year was second only to the Fiesta. The fact remains, however, that it's our favourite supermini on the market today. According to our reviewers, the Polo is "at once roomier, plusher, more technology rich, more pleasant to use and more polished to drive than almost any supermini on the road".

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Vauxhall Corsa 2020 road test review - tracking front

Do PSA Group mechanicals herald a new era of success for Vauxhall's fifth-gen Corsa supermini?

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9. Ford Puma - 26,294

Well, what do you know? It turns out building a car for one of the UK's most popular segments with the underpinnings of the country's single most popular model was a shrewd idea. The Puma has been on sale for less than a year, but is already proving a hit with buyers, likely as a result of its attractive pricing and surprisingly keen dynamics. The ranks have swollen recently with the addition of automatic, plush Vignale trim and warm-blooded ST versions, too. 

10. Volvo XC40 - 25,023

There'll be champagne in Gothenburg as Volvo bosses celebrate the brand's baby SUV overtaking its formidable Volkswagen Tiguan rival in one of its most crucial markets. Volvo's intrinsic strong suits - strength, safety and dependability - play well in this segment, and though the diesel option was pulled from sale in mid-2020, the remaining petrol, mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrid and - soon - pure-electric versions help it cater to a wide audience. 

Read more

UK car sales tumble in 2020 to 28-year low

Autocar's best cars in every segment

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Comments
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Herald 5 October 2020

September's top 10 ..

1 Corsa; 2 Fiesta; 3 A-class; 4 Polo; 5 Golf; 6 Qashqai; 7 Puma; 8 Mini; 9 XC40; 10 Focus.

jagdavey 5 October 2020

Who is afraid of Brexit?

Lets take a look at the country of origin of the top 10 best sellers in the UK;

(1) Ford Fiesta......................GERMANY

(2) Vauxhall Corsa.................SPAIN

(3) VW Golf............................GERMANY

(4) Ford Focus........................GERMANY

(5) Mercedes A-Class..............GERMANY

(6) Nissan Qashqai..................UK

(7) BMW Mini...........................UK

(8) VW Polo.............................SPAIN

(9) VW Tiguan.........................GERMANY

(10) Toyota Yaris.....................FRANCE

So who is really worried by a no-deal Brexit............it's obviuos isn'i it!!!!!

HiPo 289 5 May 2020

Tesla a threat to traditional car makers

There have been some fascinating insights into Tesla recently, which explains why the rest of the industry, including Autocar, is trying to downplay them.

1. VW boss said that Tesla's half a million or so cars on the road form a massive interlinked network that feeds back info. This enables Tesla to build updates and deploy them across the fleet every 14 days via wifi. No-one else can do that, according to him.

2. Tesla have no dealers and an online ordering process, so have kept delivering cars throughout the current crisis. Again, no one else can do this.

3. The Supercharger network, which is prolific and reliable, gives Tesla an advantage over other car makers. It's also currently being upgraded to 250kw charging, so a Model 3 can charge to 80% in 15 minutes.These are all reasons why the mainstream tries to ignore Tesla, because they feel threatened.

And it's going to get a lot worse when Rivian arrive next year. 

Bob Cat Brian 5 May 2020

HiPo 289 wrote:

HiPo 289 wrote:

There have been some fascinating insights into Tesla recently, which explains why the rest of the industry, including Autocar, is trying to downplay them.

1. VW boss said that Tesla's half a million or so cars on the road form a massive interlinked network that feeds back info. This enables Tesla to build updates and deploy them across the fleet every 14 days via wifi. No-one else can do that, according to him.

2. Tesla have no dealers and an online ordering process, so have kept delivering cars throughout the current crisis. Again, no one else can do this.

3. The Supercharger network, which is prolific and reliable, gives Tesla an advantage over other car makers. It's also currently being upgraded to 250kw charging, so a Model 3 can charge to 80% in 15 minutes.These are all reasons why the mainstream tries to ignore Tesla, because they feel threatened.

And it's going to get a lot worse when Rivian arrive next year.

 

Also, they don't pay for advertising, which must be difficult for Autocar etc to ignore, even if they try to be impartial. 

Citytiger 4 June 2020

Bob Cat Brian wrote:

Bob Cat Brian wrote:

HiPo 289 wrote:

There have been some fascinating insights into Tesla recently, which explains why the rest of the industry, including Autocar, is trying to downplay them.

1. VW boss said that Tesla's half a million or so cars on the road form a massive interlinked network that feeds back info. This enables Tesla to build updates and deploy them across the fleet every 14 days via wifi. No-one else can do that, according to him.

2. Tesla have no dealers and an online ordering process, so have kept delivering cars throughout the current crisis. Again, no one else can do this.

3. The Supercharger network, which is prolific and reliable, gives Tesla an advantage over other car makers. It's also currently being upgraded to 250kw charging, so a Model 3 can charge to 80% in 15 minutes.These are all reasons why the mainstream tries to ignore Tesla, because they feel threatened.

And it's going to get a lot worse when Rivian arrive next year.

 

Also, they don't pay for advertising, which must be difficult for Autocar etc to ignore, even if they try to be impartial. 

They also have terrible aftercare, and ont dare buy one that might have been in an accident because Tesla might not support it, oh and remeber when a previous owner specifies a certain "software" pack upgrade, such as say autopilot, Tesla might just turn it off for the next owner, and expect them to pay for it to be reconnected, and it the original owner buys a new Tesla, that pack doesnt get added to his new car, it just vanishes and he has to pay again. 

Over the air updates work both ways, the vehicle can also be downgraded if Tesla wish or you have a disagreement with them.. 

xxxx 4 June 2020

Citytiger wrote:

Citytiger wrote:

Bob Cat Brian wrote:

HiPo 289 wrote:

There have been some fascinating insights into Tesla recently, which explains why the rest of the industry, including Autocar, is trying to downplay them.

1. VW boss said that Tesla's half a million or so cars on the road form a massive interlinked network that feeds back info. This enables Tesla to build updates and deploy them across the fleet every 14 days via wifi. No-one else can do that, according to him.

2. Tesla have no dealers and an online ordering process, so have kept delivering cars throughout the current crisis. Again, no one else can do this.

3. The Supercharger network, which is prolific and reliable, gives Tesla an advantage over other car makers. It's also currently being upgraded to 250kw charging, so a Model 3 can charge to 80% in 15 minutes.These are all reasons why the mainstream tries to ignore Tesla, because they feel threatened.

And it's going to get a lot worse when Rivian arrive next year.

 

Also, they don't pay for advertising, which must be difficult for Autocar etc to ignore, even if they try to be impartial. 

T....

Over the air updates work both ways, the vehicle can also be downgraded if Tesla wish or you have a disagreement with them.. 

Have you an example of someone disagreeing with Tesla and Tesla then downgrading their car?

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