The 10 best-selling cars of 2017
Official new car registration figures have been released for 2017 – and the Ford Fiesta continues to dominate
It was a tough year for the new car market in 2017 as registrations dropped for the first time in six years, driven in particular by a massive decline in the number of diesels sold.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as 2017 was still the third best year in a decade as more than 2.5 million vehicles were sold.
And the good news continued for many of the nation’s most popular cars, as the best-selling vehicles of the year featured many familiar faces – and a few falls from grace, too. Here, we run downlist the 10 most popular cars sold in the UK in 2017.
1. Ford Fiesta – 94,533
In what has become something of a given, the Ford Fiesta has taken the top spot yet again. Considering the market’s decline, it’s perhaps no surprise to see its overall registrations dip below 100,000 after hitting highs of 120,000 and 133,000 in 2016 and 2015 respectively.
However, despite lower overall numbers, the Fiesta’s dominance is assured, selling nearly 20,000 more units than its closest competitor, driven by the introduction of an all-new model in the summer.
2. Volkswagen Golf – 74,605
Another mainstay in the top 10, the Golf has managed to leapfrog from a steady fourth position in the past two years to nab second place on the best-selling podium.
The go-to family hatchback has built an enviable reputation for reliability and practicality, and actually defied the general decline to sell more units than in 2016, when it achieved sales of 69,492..
3. Ford Focus – 69,903
Another car that’s been steady at the top of the car sales tree is the Ford Focus, which holds on to third place for the third year in a row.
4. Nissan Qashqai – 64,216
The crossover that arguably started the crossover revolution, the Qashqai is the first name in affordable family motors.
It’s been hovering around the middle of the top 10 sellers for a few years now, and continues to see increased units being sold despite extremely capable rivals entering the market all the time. In 2016 62,682 units were sold, compared with 64,216 last year.
It’s perhaps helped by the fact it’ is built in the UK, and much of the design and development work was done here, too.
5. Vauxhall Corsa – 52,772
Despite having two cars in the top 10, it’s been a year to forget for Vauxhall. After being taken over by French firm PSA Groupe, which also builds Peugeot and Citroen models, it restructured shift patterns at its Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire and cut 400 staff through a “voluntary separation programme”.
All of this could have damaged consumer confidence and be behind a sharp sales decline – the Corsa was the second best-selling car in 2016 with 77,000 registrations, but that’s down about by some 25,000 for 2017.
6. Vauxhall Astra – 49,370
The Astra retains its sixth place in the standings, but sold 10,000 fewer units in 2017 compared with the previous year.
There are some positive signs that Vauxhall might not be in freefall, though, as the Astra was the fourth best-selling car for the month of December – the Corsa didn’t even make the top 10, but was replaced by the Mokka X, Vauxhall’s compact SUV, which sold just a few hundred less fewer than the Qashqai in the month.
7. Volkswagen Polo – 47,855
Another top seller for the German brand, which retains its seventh place in the standings despite selling about 7,000 fewer units than in 2016.
This sixth-generation model was introduced late last year, and despite relatively similar styling it’s been largely revised underneath. It’s bigger and better to drive than before, so keep an eye on 2018’s sales to see if that translates into increased sales and a march up the leader board.
8. Mini Hatch – 47,669
With a rich British heritage to draw from – despite now being owned by German brand BMW – Mini continues to see huge sales success with its three- and five-door hatchback models. In 2017, sales of 47,669 were only marginally worse than 2016’s figure of 48,328.
With cutesy styling, high- quality interior design and great driveability, it holds a well-deserved spot in the top 10.
9. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 45,912
The small executive saloon market is hugely competitive, particularly between the big German three – BMW has the 3-Series, Audi has the A4, and Mercedes the C-Class. The latter has won the battle once more, grabbing ninth spot for the second year in a row.
While it’s surprising to see a premium vehicle in a best-selling list – the C-Class actually sold nearly 2,000 more units in 2017 than 2016 –, sophisticated styling and attractive residuals make the C- Class an attractive prospect for fleet buyers in particular.
10. Mercedes-Benz A-Class – 43,717
Hot on the heels of the C- Class is Mercedes’ hatchback offering, which has nipped in as a new entry, bumping the Audi A3 off the list.
Again, Mercedes’ brand image and decent residuals make the A- Class highly desirable in the small car market.
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