The most popular cars of May 2024

June 06, 2024 by

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The Kia Sportage was the best-selling new car last month, read on for the top 10 most popular models of May 2024.

The Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has revealed the top 10 best-selling cars of May 2024, with the Kia Sportage taking the top spot. It knocked the Ford Puma off the top spot compared to April, however that car is still the most popular model of 2024 so far.

The top 10 best-selling cars of May 2024 are:

  1. Kia Sportage
  2. Ford Puma
  3. Audi A3
  4. Volkswagen Golf
  5. Vauxhall Corsa
  6. Volkswagen Polo
  7. Nissan Qashqai
  8. MG ZS
  9. Hyundai Tucson
  10. Nissan Juke

1) Kia Sportage

  • Number sold: 4,202
  • Unique selling point: Reassuring seven-year warranty
  • Wowscore: 8/10
  • Average Carwow saving: £2,719*
Kia Sportage front

The Kia Sportage takes the top spot as the best-selling car of May 2024, and there’s a lot to like about this family SUV. It’s offered with a range of efficient engines, plenty of standard equipment and it has a brilliant seven-year warranty for added peace of mind.

The styling may not be to everyone’s taste, and a Volkswagen Tiguan is slightly more comfortable, but this is splitting hairs really. The Sportage is easy to drive and practical for everyday driving duties.

2) Ford Puma

  • Number sold: 3,812
  • Unique selling point: Great fun to drive
  • Wowscore: 8/10
  • Average Carwow saving: £2,171*
New Ford Puma

It may not have topped the charts for May, but the Ford Puma is still the most popular car of 2024. Over 23,000 of these funky little SUVs have found homes this year, and it’s easy to see why it’s proved so popular.

The Puma is properly fun to drive, has a massive boot and it’s well equipped. It’s a shame that the rear seats are a bit tight, and it’s not as comfortable as something like a Skoda Kamiq, but the Puma is still a great all-rounder.

3) Audi A3

  • Number sold: 3,017
  • Unique selling point: Properly posh
  • Wowscore: 7/10
  • Average Carwow saving: £2,398*
Audi A3

Us Brits love a posh German hatchback, so it’s no wonder the Audi A3 was so popular last month. You get a stylish, well-made cabin and loads of tech, all wrapped up in a handsome hatchback body shell.

A BMW 1 Series may be more fun to drive, but the A3 is more geared towards comfort and this is something it does very well. You also have a wide range of efficient engines to choose from meaning you’ll be able to find a model to suit you.

4) Volkswagen Golf

  • Number sold: 2,922
  • Unique selling point: A jack of all trades
  • Wowscore: 7/10
  • Average Carwow saving: £2,295*
Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf is all the car most people ever need. It’s spacious, practical, well-made and comfortable to drive. It might not be the most exciting proposition, unless you go for the sporty GTI or the bonker R models, but for ferrying the family around it’s hard to beat.

The Golf has recently been given a mid-life update, which could be what’s driven this boost in sales. The new version has an improved infotainment system which is easier to use, as well as tweaked styling.

5) Vauxhall Corsa

  • Number sold: 2,671
  • Unique selling point: Generous standard equipment
  • Wowscore: 7/10
  • Average Carwow saving: £3,735
Vauxhall Corsa

The Corsa has been a mainstay of the Vauxhall range for decades, and the latest version is a really well-rounded small hatchback. It’s decent to drive, well-equipped and practical enough for most, although a Volkswagen Polo is more spacious.

The Corsa may not be as stylish as the mechanically-similar Peugeot 208, but it’s still a smart-looking thing and the interior is well-made.

6) Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen Polo
  • Number sold: 2,669
  • Unique selling point: Small car with big car refinement
  • Wowscore: 8/10
  • Average Carwow saving: £1,816*

If you’re looking to downsize from something like a Golf, the Volkswagen Polo is the perfect candidate. It offers a lot of the same refinement, equipment and comfort, just in a smaller and more affordable package.

You want to avoid the weedy entry-level petrol engine because it’s lacking in power, but go for the 1.0-litre turbocharged unit and you have a great all-rounder with a big boot and plenty of interior space.

7) Nissan Qashqai

  • Number sold: 2,637
  • Unique selling point: No-nonsense practicality
  • Wowscore: 8/10
  • Average Carwow saving: £3,943
Nissan Qashqai

The Nissan Qashqai has been knocked down a few places compared to May, but this could be because a new one is on the way . Despite this, it remains one of the most popular cars in the UK.

It may not have the biggest boot in this class, but the interior is spacious enough for the whole family and you get loads of kit as standard. It’s also properly comfortable to drive.

8) MG ZS

  • Number sold: 2,630
  • Unique selling point: Great value for money
  • Wowscore: 5/10
  • Average Carwow saving: £3,570*
MG ZS

The MG ZS is one of the best-value small SUVs on the market, and the low starting price was likely to be a driving factor behind its popularity in May. It’s cheaper than a lot of small hatchbacks, but it offers a tall driving position and decent standard equipment.

It may not be the best car to drive, a Skoda Karoq is more comfortable, and the interior feels a bit cheap in places. These are the sacrifices you make though when looking at an SUV for under £20,000.

9) Hyundai Tucson

  • Number sold: 2,613
  • Unique selling point: Massive boot
  • Wowscore: 7/10
  • Average Carwow saving: £3,102*
Hyundai Tucson

You’re unlikely to lose the Hyundai Tucson in a supermarket car park with its bold design, and it’s not a case of style over substance. The Tucson has a huge boot, loads of interior space and it’s easy to drive in town as well.

The Tucson was recently updated with refreshed styling and a new interior, making it an even more appealing proposition. That said, it can’t match the Kia Sportage’s seven-year warranty.

10) Nissan Juke

  • Number sold: 2,468
  • Unique selling point: Stand-out styling
  • Wowscore: 6/10
  • Average Carwow saving: £3,545*
Nissan Juke

Sneaking in at number 10 is the Nissan Juke, a small SUV with a big personality. There are few small SUVs which are as distinctive to look at as the Juke, and it comes rammed with safety kit as standard.

It may not be as practical as a Peugeot 2008 thanks to a small boot and tight rear seats, however the Juke is pretty cheap to buy and for some the styling alone will be the deciding factor.

*Average savings correct at the time of writing

Best-selling cars of 2023 revealed: UK car market records its best year since the pandemic

Last year saw the UK market record its best 12 months since the pandemic according to SMMT data, with new car registrations up 17.9% in 2023 compared to the previous year. Sales still haven’t reached pre-pandemic levels, with new registrations still down by around 250,000 in comparison to 2019.

This growth was entirely driven by a spike in fleet sales, which grew by a whopping 38.7% compared to 2022. Private car sales actually fell by 0.1%, while business sales were 1.5% down in 2023.

Electric cars also saw a surge in popularity in 2023, with a 17.8% increase year-on-year and 314,687 EVs wafting off forecourts. Plug-in hybrid sales increased by a whopping 39.3%, and there was a 13.5% jump in the sale of petrol-powered models. Diesel cars appear to be falling out of favour though, with a 13.8% drop in sales for 2023.

The Ford Puma took the sales top spot last year, with 49,591 of these sporty small SUVs finding homes. Below is a list of the top 10 best-selling cars of 2023:

  1. Ford Puma: 49,591 sold
  2. Nissan Qashqai: 43,321 sold
  3. Vauxhall Corsa: 40,816 sold
  4. Kia Sportage: 36,135 sold
  5. Tesla Model Y: 35,899 sold
  6. Hyundai Tucson: 34,469 sold
  7. Mini 3-door Hatch: 33,385 sold
  8. Nissan Juke: 31,745 sold
  9. Audi A3: 30,159 sold
  10. Vauxhall Mokka: 29,984 sold

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