Top 10 best-selling cars

Last updated: Jul 19, 2016

Britain's new car market shrank slightly in June compared to the same time last year, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). In all, over 255,000 new cars were registered in the UK last month, with the majority of the growth in the new car market being driven by fleet buyers, with both private and business sales down compared to June last year.

In total, the fleet market contributed over half of last month's new car registrations, with private sales down about 3% and business sales were down by just over 20%. Also, the market for alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs), which include hybrids, hydrogen fuel cell and fully electric vehicle, didn’t grow as much as we’ve come to expect, with just a 12% increase. This is lower than last month – which saw a 26.8% increase year-on-year, while so far in 2016, AFV registrations have gone up by over 22%.

In terms of what makes up the most popular new cars in the UK, this hasn’t changed too much. As ever, the top 10 list is dominated by Ford, Vauxhall and Volkswagen, which make up seven of the top 10, while one each for Nissan, MINI and Mercedes complete the list.

Unsurprisingly, the Ford Fiesta takes first place in the list, followed by the Vauxhall Corsa in second, the ever-popular Ford Focus in third and the Vauxhall Golf only a small number behind it in fourth place. The MINI completes the top five, while the Nissan Qashqai took sixth place. Seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth places meanwhile, were taken by the Vauxhall Astra, Volkswagen Polo, Vauxhall Mokka and the Mercedes C-Class respectively.

Last month, petrol cars were slightly more popular than diesel cars, while in 2016 so far, petrol still has a slight lead over diesel in terms of the most popular engine type. Obviously, AFVs are still a long way behind both of these, with just a 3.2% market share (although this is growing quickly).

Read on to discover our verdict on the UK's most popular and biggest-selling new cars.

Ford Fiesta hatchback

More cars bearing the Ford Fiesta name have been sold in the UK than any other model. The current version went on sale in 2008, with a facelift surfacing in late 2013. It has dominated the best-seller chart more than any other car. It's not hard to see why: the Fiesta is handsome inside and out, well built and comfortable. But it's how the car drives that really sets it apart - it offers a fun driving experience that's close to some so-called sports cars. It's safe, too, with a full five-star crash-test rating, while the most economical models can top 85mpg and emit so little CO2 that road tax is free. At the other end of the scale is the Fiesta ST, which is our favourite small hot hatchback. With a range like that, there's something for everyone. Read more.

Key points

4.4 / 5
Price 
£10,345 - £18,595

Vauxhall Corsa hatchback

There's plenty of choice for Vauxhall Corsa buyers. You can choose from three or five-door bodystyles, eight engines and nine trim levels. But the reason buyers are still flocking to Vauxhall's supermini is because it's so easy to drive, so cheap to run and such good value. The latest model offers a more upmarket interior than before, plus a cracking 1.0-litre turbocharged engine. But if it's fuel economy you crave, check out the 1.3-litre diesel - what it lacks in refinement, it more than makes up for in efficiency - it can return more than 88mpg if you drive it gently. If it's more power and fun you're after, Vauxhall will sell you a VXR model, which has 202bhp, making it good for a 0-62mph time of 7.2 seconds. Read more.

Key points

4 / 5
Price 
£9,745 - £18,125

Ford Focus hatchback

Revisions to the Ford Focus last year have helped this family car maintain a high place on the list of Britain's best-selling models. The current version features more eye-catching styling that makes it look more upmarket than before. It still boasts a wide choice of engines, ranging from the excellent 1.0-litre EcoBoost to the powerful 2.0-litre petrol in the Focus ST performance model. No changes were needed under the metal, because the Focus is as good to drive as it ever was. Buyers will spot some differences inside, though, as it's now fitted with Ford's SYNC 2 infotainment system, with voice recognition and the ability to read out text messages. Plus, there are fewer buttons on the dashboard, making this equipment easier to operate than before. Read more.

Key points

4.4 / 5
Price 
£16,245 - £26,385

Volkswagen Golf hatchback

The upmarket Volkswagen Golf is another stalwart of Britain's top-selling cars, despite the diesel emissions scandal which has engulfed VW. Few models have such a classy image, meaning they fit right in whether you're parked at the local football club or a posh country club. Estate and convertible models are available, but most choose a three or five-door hatchback. There are versions that'll return almost 90mpg and performance models like the Golf GTI and Golf R that are capable of delivering sports-car thrills. Whichever Golf you choose, you'll find it well built, comfortable, safe and fun to drive. The Golf range is well equipped, too: air-con, Bluetooth, DAB digital radio and a dashboard-mounted touchscreen are all standard. Read more.

Key points

4.6 / 5
Price 
£17,625 - £27,785

MINI hatchback

Ever since its re-launch under BMW stewardship in 2001, the MINI has proved to be one of the most popular new cars on the market. It combines a premium feel (and price tag) fantastic handling and almost endless personalisation options, as well as reasonable running costs and impressive residual value. So popular has it been, that it’s spawned a whole new breed of small, premium and personalised small cars, including the Audi A1, the Vauxhall ADAM and the hugely popular Fiat 500. Read more.

Key points

4.1 / 5
Price 
£14,075 - £21,400

Nissan Qashqai SUV

The Qashqai kick-started the crossover SUV class when the first generation arrived on UK shores in 2007. With a raised driving position, relatively compact size for an SUV and running costs similar to a conventional hatchback, it's not hard to see why the Qashqai is such an attractive prospect. This model, the second generation, has built on the original's success by adding a sharper design, comfortable ride and more technology. The 1.5-litre diesel engine can return up to 70mpg, while the deceptively powerful 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol is great for urban driving. Because of its popularity, the Qashqai now has a rival from almost all mainstream manufacturers, but (at least for now) it still represents the best all-rounder. Read more.

Key points

4.7 / 5
Price 
£18,545 - £28,990

Vauxhall Astra hatchback

The Vauxhall Astra has always been a big seller, and this latest version is a major improvement over any of the previous iterations. It's good value for money, stylish, good-to-drive and practical, while the excellent range of petrol and diesel engines are both powerful and cheap to run, too. Our pick of the petrols is the 104bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder which is a strong performer, but still emits less than 100g/km of CO2, making it free to tax. If you're a business user, or a private buyer who does loads of miles, then a diesel will likely tickle your fancy and in this regard, we recommend the 109bhp 1.6-litre, which is the most efficient in the range. It'll return nearly 80mpg and CO2 emissions are rated at just 94g/km. This means no road tax and a BiK rating of just 16% - impressive for what isn't a small car. Read more.

Key points

4.5 / 5
Price 
£15,445 - £23,670

Volkswagen Polo hatchback

Britain's always had a love affair with the supermini - as evidenced by the popularity of the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa - and the Volkswagen Polo is no exception. Despite the company's issues in 2015, the Polo has remained a supremely popular product, with its high-class interior, comfortable ride and reasonably sharp handling combining well with its subtly handsome looks and reasonable running costs to make it a popular little car. It also feels like a very high-quality proposition, while also being very well equipped. The small turbocharged petrol engines are the pick of the range, although if you do loads of miles, then we'd recommend you go for the 1.4-litre diesel. If you're after a hot hatchback, however, the GTI is one of the more sensible of the breed, although you might have more fun in a Ford Fiesta ST or Vauxhall Corsa VXR. Read more.

Key points

4.6 / 5
Price 
£11,525 - £20,140

Vauxhall Mokka SUV

The Vauxhall Mokka was a late entrant into the compact crossover market but has proved popular ever since its launch in 2012. It offers good practicality, comes with plenty of standard equipment and the latest engine choices are much smoother than those offered in the first examples to hit the road. The Mokka is getting on a bit now, and is beaten by newer rivals in a number of areas, including boot space and fuel economy, but it still makes a reasonable ownership prospect, particularly when you consider the big discounts available from Vauxhall dealers. Read more.

Key points

3.2 / 5
Price 
£17,590 - £26,065

Mercedes C-Class saloon

The Mercedes C-Class saloon has always proved to be a popular choice for company car buyers, thanks to its combination of low running costs, impressive refinement and, in this model especially a cosseting, luxurious and tech-filled interior. It also rides superbly, making it the perfect car in which to pound up and down the nation’s motorways. In the past, however, it’s always been slightly behind its hugely impressive rivals like the BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4 in terms of sales figures, but the Mercedes is clearly capturing the UK’s car-buying imagination. Read more.

Key points

4.1 / 5
Price 
£28,295 - £70,045