Best-selling cars in the UK

2 months, 3 weeks ago - 8 November 2022, autocar
Nissan Qashqai
Nissan Qashqai
The Nissan Qashqai deposes the Vauxhall Corsa, which had held the top spot for most of the year

What's hot and what's not? The SMMT's latest new car registration data reveals which cars are capturing the hearts and wallets of British buyers – and which are slipping down in the popularity stakes. 

Here, we look at the top-selling cars of 2022 so far. The form book shows the Vauxhall Corsa topped the rankings last year during an unusual 12 months when the market was hit hard by the semiconductor shortage and the pandemic.

How that will influence the cars in the top 10 for 2022 remains to be seen, but at the end of October, the Corsa was finally displaced by the evergreen Nissan Qashqai. Read on to see what else has made the top 10.

The best-selling cars of 2022

1 Nissan Qashqai, 33,562 cars sold so far this year

The Qashqai is officially the UK’s best-selling car, taking the top spot from the Vauxhall Corsa. The British-built Nissan crossover appeals to buyers because of its excellent practicality, and its attraction is no doubt bolstered by the addition of electrified powertrains for this generation. The question is: can it stay at the top until the end of the year?

2 Vauxhall Corsa, 32,126

After almost an entire year at the top, the Corsa finally drops a place after being toppled by the Nissan Qashqai. It’s narrowly in second place with 32,162 units sold. The revamped Corsa supermini had a successful 2021, finishing as the UK’s best-selling car. Its continued success in 2022 partly reflects the ability conferred on it by its PSA-developed underpinnings and mix of petrol, diesel and electric powertrains.

3 Ford Puma, 30,898

Another positive month for Ford’s popular compact crossover means it stays in third place for the third consecutive month. Its driving dynamics and attractive pricing are the key draws for owners, and the range has more recently swollen with the addition of a plush Vignale trim and a warm-blooded ST version.

4 Kia Sportage, 26,393

The new Sportage stays ahead of the Mini to finish the month in fourth place. The fifth-generation SUV is once again proving a smash hit for the firm, thanks to its eye-catching design, on-trend powertrains and strong value for money.

5 Mini 3dr/5dr, 25,756

Despite its age, the fifth-placed Mini hatchback remains extremely popular. It finished 2021 in third place, ahead of superminis such as the Volkswagen Polo and Toyota Yaris. With a versatile line-up of petrol, electric, convertible and John Cooper Works performance variants, the Mini can always be relied on for drivability and alluring looks. A new Mini is set to arrive in 2023.  

6 Hyundai Tucson, 24,326

The fourth SUV in the top 10, the Hyundai Tucson regularly appeared in the top 10 last year. It continues to stake its claim to be one of the best-selling SUVs in the country and was renewed in 2021 with a fresh front end with a unique, eye-catching lighting set-up. 

7 Ford Kuga, 22,824

We’re used to the Fiesta being Ford’s second entry into the top 10, but this year that role has been taken by the larger Kuga crossover. The model is the American firm’s entry into a crowded segment that also includes the Qashqai, Volkswagen Tiguan and Peugeot 3008. It was updated in 2020 with a softened design, a more spacious interior and economical plug-in powertrains. 

8 Volkswagen Golf, 22,683

Now well into its eighth generation, the Volkswagen Golf retains a place among the top-selling cars in the UK. Its latest line-up features pure-ICE, mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, with performance models ranging from the Golf GTE to the four-wheel drive Golf R. Volkswagen has sold 22,683 of them in the UK this year so far.

9 Kia Niro, 21,456

The Niro stayed in ninth place in October, leap-frogged by the Volkswagen Golf. It’s still proving to be one of the best ways to dip your toe into electrification, with competent hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants and a class-leading electric version. Kia has renewed this popular crossover recently, making it slightly larger and giving it updated powertrains and a new exterior design.

10 Tesla Model Y, 20,658

Tesla’s influence on the UK car market continues, and the Model Y is the driving force. The SUV first went on sale in February on our shores in a long-range specification, and a rear-wheel-drive model is now available as the entry point to the range. No doubt it will greatly add to the growing number of Model Ys on our roads. 

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