Best selling cars

Last updated: Jan 9, 2015

It's easy to understand why these cars are the UK's best selling cars. They each offer a range of abilities, meaning they can handle anything that's asked of them. They're also cheap to run and if you shop around, it shouldn't be hard to get a great deal on one.

According to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), more new cars were registered on UK roads in 2014 than in any year for a decade. That has much to do with the number of attractive finance deals available at the moment - 75% of buyers purchase their car on finance.

The SMMT found that superminis, such as the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Fiat 500 continue to grow in popularity. But the organisation is also seeing more buyers choosing models from upmarket brands such as Audi.

More buyers than ever are buying low-emission cars, thanks to low fuel and road tax bills and the promise of a £5,000 grant for electric cars. 

Here, we run down the best selling cars of 2014, so keep reading for the Carbuyer guide to the UK's top-selling 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, and it has dominated the best sellers 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, and the most economical models can top 85mpg and emit such a small amount of CO2 that road tax is free. At the other end of the scale is the Fiesta ST which is our favourite hot hatchback. With a range like that, there's something for everyone. Read more.

Key points

4.4 / 5
Price 
£10,145 - £18,145

Ford Focus hatchback

A set of revisions to the Ford Focus made last year have helped the family car maintain its second place on the list of Britain's best-selling cars. The current model features more eye-catching styling that makes it look more upmarket. It still features a wide range of engines, ranging from the excellent 1.0-litre EcoBoost to the powerful 2.0-litre engine in the Focus ST performance car. No changes were needed underneath, because the Focus is as good to drive as it ever was. Buyers will spot some differences inside though, because it's now fitted with kit like the SYNC 2 infotainment system with voice recognition and the ability to read out text messages to the driver. Plus there are fewer buttons on the dashboard, making all this new equipment easy to operate. Read more.

Key points

4.4 / 5
Price 
£13,995 - £25,995

Vauxhall Corsa hatchback

There's plenty of choice for Vauxhall Corsa buyers. You can choose from three- and five-door bodystyles, five engines and nine trims. But the reason buyers are still flocking to Vauxhall's supermini is because it's so easy to drive, cheap to run and is great 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 with its MPG - it can cover more than 88mpg if you drive it gently. Read more.

Key points

4 / 5
Price 
£8,995 - £16,235

Volkswagen Golf hatchback

The upmarket Volkswagen Golf is another stalwart of Britain's selling cars. 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 cover almost 90mpg, and versions like the Golf GTI and Golf R 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, digital radio and a dashboard-mounted touchscreen are all standard. Read more.

Key points

4.6 / 5
Price 
£17,175 - £25,770

Vauxhall Astra hatchback

The Vauxhall Astra might not be able to provide the same number of smiles per mile as a Ford Focus, but there'e no doubting its ability to sooth away the miles. There's very little noise to bother the driver or passengers on a long run, and the suspension on most models is just as cosseting. There are hatchback and estate versions of the Astra available, as well as a three-door hatchback that looks like a sleek coupe. There's also a wide range of engines available, the best of which is a 1.6-litre diesel, and there are plenty of different trims to choose from too. All versions feature air-conditioning and remote central locking, and the Astra also has a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. Read more.

Key points

3 / 5
Price 
£15,445 - £25,285

Nissan Qashqai SUV

You can thank the continued success of the British-built Nissan Qashqai for the proliferation in 'crossover' models on UK roads. It was the first to make a real success from the part hatchback, part SUV format, but it's real success is its brilliance as a family car. It is one of the safest cars on the road, and offers plenty of space for passengers front and back, as well as a good-sized boot. It has a classy, well-designed interior and more upmarket models are crammed with useful technology. Plus some models feature four-wheel drive, so it can back up those SUV looks with a bit of go-anywhere ability. Read more.

Key points

4.8 / 5
Price 
£18,265 - £28,500

Volkswagen Polo hatchback

You can think of the Volkswagen Polo as a smaller version of the Volkswagen Golf - it really is that good. In fact, it's our favourite small car. The Ford Fiesta might be more fun to drive, but the Polo looks more classy and is so much more comfortable than the Ford. It was significantly revised in 2014, so the latest model has a nicer interior and a number of improved engines. We'd advise ignoring the entry-level model because it doesn't feature much standard equipment, but all cars are fitted with a digital radio, electric front windows and central locking. You can choose from super-efficient BlueMotion models, the Polo GTI hot hatch, or any number of models in between. Read more.

Key points

4.6 / 5
Price 
£11,250 - £19,865

Audi A3 Sportback hatchback

The Audi A3 range is wide and varied, but most buyers plump for the A3 Sportback which is a slightly larger, five-door version of the standard A3. It shares most of the bits you can't see with the Volkswagen Golf and SEAT Leon, but most of the bits you can see and touch are all Audi. That means a classy design and the kind of interior quality that has become the benchmark for small family cars. The A3 is good to drive, although not as sharp as a Ford Focus, and as long as you're careful with your A3's specification, comfortable too. If, like many buyers, you choose the sporty and very handsome S line trim, speak to your dealer about having the stiff sports suspension replaced with the standard setup. It won't cost anything, but will provide a much comfier ride. Read more.

Key points

4.1 / 5
Price 
£19,195 - £34,950

Fiat 500 hatchback

Few city cars have a more chic look than the Fiat 500. It's retro charm continues to win over buyers, not least because there's the opportunity for almost limitless customisation. It's easy to drive in town, yet is capable of venturing out onto the motorway with little fuss. It's not as much fun to drive in the traditional sense, but it provides a feel-good factor few rivals can muster. Despite this, if you're looking for space for four inside, you'd be better off with a Skoda Citigo. Read more.

Key points

3.6 / 5
Price 
£10,420 - £16,070

Nissan Juke SUV

The funky Nissan Juke is the supermini that think it's an SUV. It's a small car, making it ideal for crowded streets, but it's more than capable of a motorway jaunt too. Space inside is rather limited compared to models like the Vauxhall Mokka, but it's comparable with many superminis. There's a range of engines available, and all models are pretty well equipped. You can even choose a four-wheel drive version if you need a bit more grip. Read more.

Key points

3.6 / 5
Price 
£13,620 - £21,400

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