WHICH ARE Britain’s most popular new cars? In an ever-changing market, where trends come and go and drivers like to know which models outsell their competitors, it’s a question many motorists ask before choosing their next car.
In 2018, there has been an overall decline in UK new car sales, year-on-year, of 5.5%. According to the most recent figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, roughly 1.5m new cars have been sold in the first seven months of the year. That equates to roughly 1,015 cars being sold in the country per day in 2018 so far — or about one car sold every 85 seconds.
However, July has seen a modest improvement in the fortunes of the motor industry, with a gain of 1.2% over 2017’s volume.
Though plenty of cars are being purchased, some prove perennially more popular than others. The Ford Fiesta has topped the charts every month so far this year, outselling its arch Volkswagen Polo and Vauxhall Corsa rivals. Premium brands are also creeping into the higher echelons of the sales charts, with Volkswagen, Audi and Mercedes-Benz being represented by five cars in July 2018’s top 10 sellers list.
Here are the UK’s 10 best-selling cars in July 2018.
1. Ford Fiesta: 6,222 examples sold in July 2018
The Ford Fiesta has long been a favourite with UK motorists, and the all-new, eighth-generation model looks like it’s already picked up where its predecessor left off. Better still, despite getting bigger with each new version, the Ford Fiesta remains a delight to drive, with the extra improvements in interior space and build quality over the old car and a great range of engine options further helping to make the Blue Oval’s best-selling offering a tempting buy.
You can read our review of the range-topping Ford Fiesta ST here.
2. Volkswagen Golf: 5,582 examples sold in July 2018
Like the Ford Fiesta, the Volkswagen Golf has long been a popular car in the UK, but only recently has it been consistently placed this far up the sales charts. Not that it’s hard to see why Volkswagen’s sold so many of them: few cars in the family hatchback class can beat the Golf for interior fit and finish, or comfort and refinement. There are plenty of engine options too — including a rare-in-this-class plug-in hybrid model, if you crave low fuel consumption but have been put off diesel engines by the emissions crisis.
You can read our review of the Volkswagen Golf GTE plug-in hybrid here.
3. Volkswagen Polo: 3,847 examples sold in July 2018
Want something like the Golf, but a bit smaller? The Volkswagen Polo could be the car for you. It distils the essence of the excellent Golf into a more compact package. Interior space is pretty good by class standards, and more powerful Volkswagen Polo variants are brawny enough to not feel out of their depth on motorways. If you crave the trappings of a Golf and can’t stretch your budget far enough, the Volkswagen Polo is definitely worth a test drive.
You can read our review of the Volkswagen Polo here.
4. Vauxhall Corsa: 3,670 examples sold in July 2018
It may be getting on a bit now but the Vauxhall Corsa still ranks as one of the country’s most popular cars – likely influenced by the fact many UK motorists learned to drive in one. Being such an omnipresent learner car, the Vauxhall Corsa is also unsurprisingly easy and straightforward to drive, with the turbocharged petrol engines in particular being very flexible in the city and on the motorway. If you’re only looking around for new cars at the moment, however, it may be worth holding out for the brand new Vauxhall Corsa that should go on sale sometime next year.
You can read our review of the Vauxhall Corsa here.
5. Nissan Qashqai: 3,470 examples sold in July 2018
Ever since the first incarnation of the vehicle was introduced a decade or so ago, the Nissan Qashqai has long been a popular family car, with the third-generation vehicle’s fifth place spot in the July charts underlying how many drivers are fans of the SUV. Even more impressively, despite there being way more rivals to contend with now, the Nissan Qashqai remains one of the stronger overall cars in this segment, no doubt helped by the fact it’s very comfortable and spacious family transport.
You can read our review of the Nissan Qashqai here.
6. Audi A3: 2,867 examples sold in July 2018
The likes of the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra used to occupy spots in this part of top 10 lists in years gone by, but increasingly drivers want a posh badge on the bonnet of their family hatchback. As well as the premium image, the Audi A3 also boasts one of the best-finished interiors you’ll find at this price point, with running costs and residual values also being competitive in this class.
You can read our review of the Audi A3 here.
7. Mercedes-Benz A-Class: 2,840 examples sold in July 2018
The Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class are extremely closely-matched cars, and that reflects in their sales figures for this month: the Audi only outsold the Mercedes by 27 units. This parity also extends to the attributes the Mercedes-Benz A-Class has, with a plush cabin, posh image and plenty of tech. If you’re in the market for a premium hatchback, it wouldn’t surprise us if you used a coin toss to decide which one to buy.
You can read out review of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class here.
8. Ford Kuga: 2,776 examples sold in July 2018
You probably wouldn’t have thought so, considering how relatively infrequent a sight they are on the road, but the Ford Kuga is currently the UK’s eighth most popular new car (both for July and the year so far). Its understated styling and impressive driving experience (a result of being based on the platform that underpinned the outgoing Ford Focus hatchback) undoubtedly woo drivers. Other cars are more spacious, but there’s still good amounts of cabin and boot space on offer in the Ford Kuga.
9. Volkswagen Tiguan: 2,687 examples sold in July 2018
As further evidence that SUVs are all the rage, the VW Tiguan makes the top 10 sellers yet it costs from £23,485, making it one of the most expensive cars here. It’s a very comfortable, easy-to-drive and efficient SUV with a level of technology that helps toward offsetting the high starting price. Though the Volkswagen Tiguan model featured here is the five-seater model, there is a seven-seater option available if you need more seats or boot space and can afford the price increase.
10. Kia Sportage: 2,442 examples sold in July 2018
The Kia Sportage has long been one of the Korean firm’s most popular cars in the UK, so it shouldn’t be too surprising to see the car in this list. Some customers will have been won over by Kia’s market-leading seven-year/100,000-miles warranty. Yet with smart styling, fuel-saving mild hybrid systems and more coming to the SUV in a mid-life facelift soon, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Kia Sportage remains in the top 10 list for a good while to come.
You can read our review of the Kia Sportage here.