The Tesla Model Y was Europe’s best-selling car in 2023, becoming the first ever EV to top the chart - and the first car from outside of Europe to do so.
On sale since 2020 and built in the US, China and Germany, the crossover finished the year with 251,604 units sold, according to figures from industry analyst Jato Dynamics – a rise of 84% over 2022.
Tesla sold some 17,000 more examples of the Model Y than any other car, beating the likes of the Dacia Sandero (234,715) and the Volkswagen T-Roc (204,610).
It was also the only electric-only model to appear in the top 30, as the second-best selling EV, the Tesla Model 3 saloon, finished 32nd overall with 100,883 sales.
“The soaring popularity of the Model Y and price cuts across its range helped Tesla record its largest market share since arriving in Europe. Tesla has the right product in the right place at the right time,” said Jato global analyst Felipe Munoz.
It didn’t end there for the American EV brand: it's now the 16th most-registered brand in Europe, having surpassed Volvo and Nissan.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen finished the year once again as Europe’s favourite brand, with 1,343,740 cars sold, followed by Toyota with 819,544 and Audi with 730,690.
What about the other cars in the top 10? See if any of them surprise you below…
The top 10 best-selling cars in Europe of 2023
1. Tesla Model Y 251,604 sales, +84% YoY
Four years on sale and the Tesla Model Y is the best-selling car in Europe. Its healthy range figure and described performance all likely played a part in its gold medal position, and it was also likely helped by a wave of price cuts at the start of the year. Will it finish 2024 as the continent’s top seller, too?
2. Dacia Sandero 234,715 sales, +18% YoY
So close, yet so far for Dacia. The Sandero has finished in second place for the past two years, but that’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Its appeal is bolstered by its exceptional value for money, which will have resonated with buyers as the cost of living crisis continues to hit across Europe. That it’s also a competitive supermini with a spacious interior and decent handling makes it an especially compelling buy.
3. Volkswagen T-Roc 204,610 sales, +13% YoY
The Volkswagen T-Roc is always a popular choice in Europe, and that looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. It ranked third in 2023, and its sales even outnumber those of the venerable Volkswagen Golf. A recent facelift boosted its interior quality, addressing one of the few criticisms of this well-rounded crossover.