Revealed: UK’s Top 10 best-selling new cars

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto News

Ford Puma

New car registrations rose 14.0% to 84,886 during February – the best performance for the month since 2004.

February is traditionally volatile as the lowest volume month of the year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), with buyers often electing to wait until March and the new number plate.

The good news is that it was the 19th month of consecutive growth in the UK. However, fleets and businesses were responsible for the entirety of February’s increase, with registrations up 25.2% and 15.5% respectively.

Private uptake continued to struggle, with a -2.6% decline to record a 33.7% market share.

Best-selling new cars (Feb 2024)

1. Ford Puma – 2,535
2. Volkswagen Golf – 2,203
3. Volkswagen T-Roc – 1,986
4. Kia Sportage – 1,948
5. Audi A3 – 1,835
6. Mini – 1,828
7. BMW 1 Series – 1,815
8. Tesla Model Y – 1,777
9. Nissan Qashqai – 1,616
10. Vauxhall Mokka – 1,513

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Revealed: UK’s Top 10 best-selling cars

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

Ford Puma

The official data for car sales has been released and it’s clear that 2023 was a year of recovery after the pandemic and the computer chip shortage.

In all, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures show that more than 1.9 million new cars were registered in the UK in 2023 – the best year since 2019, but still 17.7% down on the 2.3 million sold that year.

And despite the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, 2023 was still a record year for electric vehicle sales, with more than 300,000 new EVs registered – an increase of almost 50,000 compared with 2022.

So, what were the most popular new cars of 2023? Here’s the Top 10 best-sellers…

1. Ford Puma: 49,591

2. Nissan Qashqai: 43,321

3. Vauxhall Corsa: 40,816

4. Kia Sportage: 36,135

5. Tesla Model Y: 35,899

6. Hyundai Tucson – 34,469

7. Mini Hatch: 33,385

8. Nissan Juke – 31,745

9. Audi A3: 30,159

10. Vauxhall Mokka: 29,984

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Least depreciating cars for first-time drivers

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

Hyundai Kona review

New research has revealed the best cars for new drivers when it comes to retaining their value.

According to Uswitch.com car insurance experts, the 2017 Hyundai Kona is the car with the highest value retention, with the vehicle retaining 64% of its original purchase price after use.

The Ford Puma comes in second, with 59% of its original value still intact, while Skoda is the car manufacturer that retains the majority of its original value.

Buying a car is one of the most significant purchases a new driver can make, but on average, new cars depreciate in value by 15-35% in their first years on the road, so new drivers should carefully consider how much of their car’s price tag they expect to get back after selling.

Uswitch.com compared the prices of the most popular cars for first time buyers when bought new, against the average price when it had driven 40,000 to 60,000 miles, to determine which car retained the most of its original value.

Best cars for retaining value for first-time drivers

Rank Make Model Year New price (£) Average used price £ (40k-60k miles) Retained price percentage
1. Hyundai Kona 2017 £22,766 £14,537 64%
2. Ford Puma 2019 £24,660 £14,659 59%
3. Citroen C3 2017 £12,995 £7,702 59%
4. Skoda Octavia 2019 £22,795 £13,231 58%
5. Toyota Corolla 2019 £29,289 £15,994 55%
6 Skoda Citigo 2019 £11,910 £6,024 51%
7. VW Golf 2019 £24,835 £12,122 49%
8. Kia Cee’d 2019 £21,605 £9,933 46%
9. SEAT Ibiza 2017 £17,710 £7,929 45%
10. Skoda Fabia 2014 £17,135 £7,224 42%

Source: Uswitch.com

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British-built Nissan Qashqai was UK’s bestselling car in 2022

Gareth Herincx

13 hours ago
Auto News

Gold-wrapped Nissan Qashqai

The Nissan Qashqai was the UK’s most popular new car of 2022, and the first British-built model to top the annual sales charts for 24 years.

Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) confirm that the home-grown Qashqai – which was designed in Paddington, engineered in Cranfield and is built in Sunderland – was the nation’s best-selling car of the last 12 months.

A total of 42,704 new Qashqais were driven off dealership forecourts across the UK in 2022, reported the SMMT.

To celebrate the achievement, an exclusive gold-wrapped Qashqai was created in honour of the 7,000 Nissan employees from around the UK that have contributed to its success.

  1. Nissan Qashqai – 42,704
  2. Vauxhall Corsa – 35,910
  3. Tesla Model Y – 35,551
  4. Ford Puma – 35,088
  5. Mini – 32, 387
  6. Kia Sportage – 29,655
  7. Hyundai Tucson – 27,839
  8. Volkswagen Golf – 26,588
  9. Ford Kuga – 26,549
  10. Ford Fiesta – 25,070

Overall, 1.61 million new cars were registered in the UK in 2022 – the lowest level since 1992.

Although demand for new vehicles remained high, manufacturers struggled to get hold of parts. There were particularly serious problems obtaining semiconductors, which are used in a vast array of electronic systems, from infotainment systems to engine management.

Meanwhile, demand for electric vehicles continued to grow and they accounted for almost a fifth of new car sales.

Registrations rose from 190,700 to 267,000 – with the EV market share climbing from 11.6% to 16.6%.

The Tesla Model Y was the biggest-selling electric vehicle by far, nothing up 35,551 registrations, followed by the Tesla Model 3 (19,071) and Kia Niro (11,197).

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2022 Ford Focus review

Ford Focus review

We road test the new, improved version of the popular Ford Focus – now with mild hybrid assistance available…

The current fourth generation of the Ford Focus five-door family hatchback and estate was launched in 2018 and has just been treated to a mid-life makeover.

Gaining bolder looks, an updated infotainment system and more advanced driver assistance technology, a mild hybrid system is also on offer for the first time.

The update couldn’t have come sooner because the Focus has been slipping down the sales charts as buyers switch to crossovers and fully electric/hybrid cars.

Ford Focus review

It’s also facing serious competition from newer rivals such as the Vauxhall Astra, Peugeot 308, Seat Leon, Mazda 3, Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Golf.

As before, the freshly facelifted Focus is also available as a sporty ST variant or a rufty-tufty Active version which bridges the gap between conventional family cars and SUVs. 

Priced from £22,965, there’s now a choice of three engines – two petrol and one diesel. The three-cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol unit, so familiar to Fiesta and Puma owners, is available with outputs of 123bhp or 153bhp. 

Ford Focus review

Mild-hybrid tech is offered as an option on the less powerful version, and included as standard on the higher-output version, helping to boost both performance and efficiency. A choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic are available on both too. 

Accelerating to 60mph takes 10.2 seconds in the 123bhp car, or just 8.2 seconds on the more powerful mild hybrid model. The latter is the most efficient, returning a decent 54.3mpg, with CO2 emissions of 116g/km. 

If performance is more important to you, then go for the Focus ST hot hatch, which benefits from a 2.3-litre petrol engine delivering 276bhp and a 0-60mph time of just 5.7 seconds.

Ford Focus review

High-mileage drivers still have the option of a diesel – a 118bhp 1.5-litre unit that comes with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. 

A 9.6-second 0-60mph sprint time is possible, while Ford claims an impressive 61.4mpg fuel economy figure (CO2 emissions as low as 120g/km).

My test car came in high spec ST-Line Vignale trim and was fitted with the 153bhp version of Ford’s punchy 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine, paired with a six-speed manual gearbox.

Ford Focus review

The refreshed front end adds kerb appeal to the Focus, while overall it has a more athletic stance. The sporty ST-Line models look especially good with a body kit that includes a rear diffuser and spoiler. 

The interior has been smartened up too with all trim levels getting the much improved SYNC 4 13.2-inch landscape-oriented touchscreen infotainment system.

Even though it now incorporates the car’s heating and ventilation controls, it’s slick, colourful and easy to use. Every Focus also now comes with digital dials.

Advanced driver assistance technologies include Blind Spot Assist which can help prevent a driver switching lanes if a potential collision is detected.

Ford Focus review

Before I proceed, let’s just be clear that the 48-volt mild hybrid system used in the Focus is pretty basic. Unlike plug-in and full hybrids, it cannot drive the car alone. 

Instead, it boosts engine acceleration and aids fuel economy (though that’s marginal), and it drives just like an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car, so no plugging in to charge the small battery.

However, when rivals such as the all-new Vauxhall Astra and Peugeot 308 are available as plug-in hybrids (with all-electric versions to follow in 2023), the Focus is barely keeping up and will lose out in the all-important business sector where lower CO2 levels means big tax benefits.

Ford Focus review

That said, there are plenty of drivers who are not ready (or can’t) make the switch to plug-in and electric vehicles, or simply prefer conventional cars for now, so there is still a place for the Focus.

And here’s the thing – I’ve driven dozens of full hybrid, plug-in hybrid, 100% electric vehicles (EVs) and SUVs with indifferent dynamics, so the Focus’s blend of driver engagement and practicality is a real treat.

Not only does it look the part, but there’s plenty of space inside for five adults, plus the boot is a competitively sized 375 litres (rising to 1,354 litres with the rear seats folded). There’s also a lovely low driving position should you want it – an impossibility in most EVs and SUVs.

Ford Focus review

Then there’s the famed handling characteristics of the Ford Focus. It’s fun to drive, feeling agile and planted with sharp steering and loads of grip.

Push it in faster corners and where some rivals will become unsettled, the Focus takes it in its stride.

That’s not all, the lively little engine punches way above its weight, providing ample power, the slick six-speed manual gearbox is an absolute joy to use and the brakes are reassuringly reactive.

Ford Focus review

The ride is on the firm side, but not uncomfortably so, while the build quality is hard to fault and cabin refinement is excellent.

Three selectable drive modes – normal, sport and eco – add to the overall driving experience.

Verdict: The Ford Focus is a fantastically well sorted car. Fun to drive, stylish, practical, comfortable, economical, and now featuring a  bang up to date infotainment system, it’s still one of the best family hatchbacks on the market.

Ford UK