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".