When you’re buying a new car it’s sometimes nice to know you’re fitting in – so here are the UK’s best-selling cars of 2017 so far. Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that the UK new car market has suffered a 9.3% decline overall thus far in 2017. So far 426,170 cars have been registered, down from 469,696 during the same period in 2016.
With lots of negative publicity and scaremongering about higher taxes and pollution, it’s hardly surprising that sales of diesel cars are down by 21.7%. However, despite the lower sales overall, the number of alternative fuel cars (hybrids, EVs and hydrogen fuel-cell models) is up by 41%, suggesting more people are switching from traditional petrol and diesel models.
Check out our new car deals page to see how much carwow can help you save. For more help deciding what to buy, read our list of the 10 best family cars, the top 10 SUVs currently on sale and our rundown of the best small cars you can buy.
Here are the ten best-selling cars of this year so far:
1. Ford Fiesta – 75,814
It’s slightly unusual that a car is a best-seller just before being replaced, but the Ford Fiesta is good enough that it’s still comfortably the highest-selling car of the year. Over 75,000 have found homes in 2017 and, despite it being around since 2009, Ford probably didn’t need to refresh it this year. It’s safe to assume the new Fiesta will sell just as well.
2. Ford Focus – 57,526
Again, the Ford Focus is another model that’s starting to show its age in a competitive market, but with good looks, reasonable prices, enough practicality and a lovely driving experience, it’s not surprising the Focus is one of the best-selling cars on our shores.
3. VW Golf – 57,018
It’s very close between the Focus and the evergreen VW Golf – there are just over 500 sales between them. The Golf rightly has a reputation for bulletproof reliability, beautiful build quality and strong residuals, and it’s a stalwart of the best-sellers list. From frugal diesels and electric models to a blazingly fast 300hp hot hatch, it’s true that there’s a Golf for most people.
4. Nissan Qashqai – 53,197
The Nissan Qashqai started the SUV craze and it’s still at the top of the sales charts. It’s the only SUV on this list, despite the emergence of a number of capable, stylish and practical contenders for its throne. If you need family transport, the Qashqai should be on your shortlist.
5. Vauxhall Corsa – 46,600
L-plates should probably be an option in the Corsa brochure, but its reputation as a learner car doesn’t do it justice. It’s quiet, comfortable, economical and easy-to-drive, and it’s a bonus that the designers have chosen to give the car some styling flair.
6. Vauxhall Astra – 41,250
The Vauxhall Astra manages combines a stylish body with a roomy interior and an impressive 370-litre boot. Its slick cabin comes with an excellent selection of equipment including Vauxhall’s OnStar personal assistance system and an app that allows you to unlock the car from your phone.
You can choose from six different engines including an impressively quiet 1.6-litre ‘Whisper’ diesel unit and a three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol shared with the smaller Corsa. The latter can deliver excellent fuel economy of 67.3mpg.
7. VW Polo – 40,455
The outgoing Polo is still one of the best-selling cars in the UK and VW has had to work hard to improve it. The Polo’s build quality, space, image and drive all add up to one of the best all-round hatchbacks on sale. Its replacement is even more like the bigger Golf, so will sell by the bucketload.
8. Mercedes C-Class – 39,055
No doubt helped by business purchases, the Mercedes C-Class is the only saloon on the list and it has a very premium feel. In fact, it looks very similar and feels almost as luxurious as the more expensive E-Class and S-Class models. It’s also quiet and good to drive, and has sold more than the previous leader, the BMW 3 Series.
9. Mini Hatchback – 36,784
The Mini is usually on these lists because it’s so popular and this year is no different. Funky looks, a much-improved interior and being one of the best-driving cars around have all helped cement the latest Mini as a serious contender for some of the best hatchbacks on the market.
10. Mercedes A-Class – 34,547
The Mercedes A-Class shows that premium hatches definitely have a place on UK streets as it’s one of the best-selling cars. Its success is helped by fleet and business buyers, and there’ll be a new model coming soon which will be even better.
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