Most popular cars: Sports cars in decline

SUVs outsell city cars and sports cars as UK car market evolves

Toyota GT 86 2012 front cornering

The British motor industry is evolving, and recent research has shown that the types of cars we’re buying has changed drastically over the past 10 years.

Considering how petrol prices have risen over the past decade, it’s no surprise to see a drop in sports car sales and growing interest in economical city cars. That said, SUVs and MPVs have grown in popularity, regardless of their relatively thirsty petrol and diesel engines – though the advent of two-wheel drive crossover models and more efficient engines means they’re a world away from the gas-guzzling 4x4s from 2004.

The chart below shows that in the past 10 years the demand for city cars has risen by a whopping 122%. Even though the supermini has continued to stay a favourite for 10 years, sales have dropped by a not-insignificant three per cent.

The types of cars we are buying have become just as important as the manufacturer we buy them from. South Korean brands Kia and Hyundai have enjoyed a huge growth in sales with each seeing figures more than double. Proton and Renault on the other hand have seen their sales drop drastically in the same period.

But it’s not just established brands enjoying growth in the UK market. Newly reinvented British maker, MG, sold over 750 cars in 2013 compared to just 500 the year before. What’s more, the arrival of the MG6 hatchback saw the MG go straight in at number six in 2014’s Driver Power owner satisfaction survey. The car manufacturer is aiming to boost its sales to 4,000 this year by doubling their 44-strong dealer network.

Romanian car brand Dacia sold 17,146 cars in its first full year in the UK, thanks to the success of its Dacia Duster and Dacia Sandero models. Later additions include the Dacia Sandero Stepway and Dacia Logan MCV, which the manufacturer hopes will aid further growth in the UK car market.

It’s not all good news though. Renault, Subaru, Chrysler and Lotus all saw a decline over the past 10 years – with Proton sitting at the bottom of the list with a 99% drop in sales from 1,754 to just 20 cars in 2013.

Recommended

Hyundai Kona N SUV review
2021 Hyundai Kona N
Hyundai Kona N
18 Jan 2022

Hyundai Kona N SUV review

Hyundai Ioniq 5 vs Kia EV6: which should you buy?
Hyundai Ioniq 5 vs Kia EV6 rivals header
Compare cars
14 Jan 2022

Hyundai Ioniq 5 vs Kia EV6: which should you buy?

Renault Kadjar SUV review
New Renault Kadjar header image
Renault Kadjar
7 Jan 2022

Renault Kadjar SUV review

New 2022 Renault Austral SUV: hybrid engines confirmed
Renault Austral SUV in camouflage
Renault
6 Jan 2022

New 2022 Renault Austral SUV: hybrid engines confirmed

Most Popular

UK road tax costs 2021/2022 explained
2021 Road Tax explained
Tips and advice
7 Jan 2022

UK road tax costs 2021/2022 explained

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022
Peugeot 3008 SUV front cornering
Best cars
6 Jan 2022

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022

Best 0% APR car deals
Hyundai Bayon deals
Deals
5 Jan 2022

Best 0% APR car deals

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
29 Sep 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
1 Dec 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
17 Jan 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
27 Oct 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022