A total of 2.54 million cars were registered in 2017. So which were the ten best-selling models?
Ford Fiesta - 8335 registrations
Volkswagen Golf - 4310 registrations
Ford Focus – 4105 registrations
Nissan Qashqai – 3851 registrations
Vauxhall Mokka X - 3767 registrations
Mercedes-Benz A-Class - 3358 registrations
Kia Sportage – 2622 registrations
Vauxhall Corsa – 2587 registrations
Ford Kuga - 2580 registrations
Mercedes-Benz C-Class - 2478 registrations
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.
Britain's best-selling cars of 2018:
1: Ford Fiesta – 8335 registrations
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.
2: Volkswagen Golf - 4310 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 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.
3: Ford Focus – 4105 registrations
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.
4: Nissan Qashqai – 3851 registrations
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.
5: Vauxhall Mokka X – 3767 registrations
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.
6: Mercedes-Benz A-Class - 3358 registrations
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.
7: Kia Sportage – 2622 registrations
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.
8: Vauxhall Corsa – 2587 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 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.
9: Ford Kuga – 2580 registrations
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.
10: Mercedes-Benz C-Class - 2478 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 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.