The best-selling car in every category

The best-selling car in every category

We often talk about what individual cars sell best, but what about the most popular cars in each sector?

In the UK, we obsess over the top-selling cars in the UK, and the outcome is usually quite predictable.

In fact, it’s the excellent Ford Fiesta that reigns supreme as Britain’s best-selling car month after month, and by some margin, while other regulars include the Vauxhall Corsa, Volkswagen Golf and Nissan Qashqai.

But what about more niche areas of the market? Using data from the Society Motoring Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), here’s what cars sold best by category in the UK in 2018.

City car - Hyundai i10

The city car market is one that has declined somewhat in recent years, although there are still lots of excellent choices in this sector for buyers looking for a town runabout or a first car.

Hyundai’s i10 was found to be the best-selling city car, with the South Korean model having a market share of nearly 40 per cent. In 2018, Hyundai sold 22,330 versions of its i10, which was followed by the Volkswagen Up! (13,224) and Vauxhall Viva (5,570).

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Supermini - Ford Fiesta 

It might not come as any surprise to learn that it was the Ford Fiesta that is Britain’s best-selling supermini, given that it’s the most popular car overall in the UK.

Ford’s Fiesta comes in a host of trim levels to suit most tastes, and has strengthened the model’s appeal to the point where Ford sold 95,892 Fiestas in 2018, with the Vauxhall Corsa (52,915) and Volkswagen Polo (45,149) in second and third respectively.

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Family hatchback - Volkswagen Golf

The family hatchback class is one of the most competitive markets there, and is dominated by numerous players.

But in 2018, it was the Volkswagen Golf that was the best-selling model, with VW shifting 64,829 units of its popular hatchback, closely followed by the Nissan Qashqai (50,546) and Ford Focus (50,492).

The Focus is expected to overtake the Qashqai and Golf in 2019, though, as the model was in a changeover period last year, which affected sales.

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Family cars - BMW 3 Series

This is where the premium firms begin to a foothold on the market, and it’s the BMW 3 Series which is ranked as the best-selling model here, with 28,074 versions of the 3 Series being registered in 2018.

That’s followed by the coupe variant of the 3 Series (the 4 Series), which sold 19,422 units and the Skoda Octavia that accounted for 17,927 sales.

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Executive car - Mercedes-Benz C-Class

While the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is really a rival for the BMW 3 Series, the SMMT puts the C-Class in the executive category, with an impressive 32,600 units selling in 2018.

Mercedes also takes up the second position with its E-Class (24,627) while the BMW 5 Series (23,396) took up the third spot in the segment.

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Luxury car - Mercedes-Benz S-Class

It’s yet another Mercedes-Benz that dominates in the luxury sector, with the manufacturer’s S-Class flagship having a market share of 32.2 per cent, and total sales in 2018 of 2,650.

It’s followed by other range-topping models from BMW and Audi, with the two firm’s respective 7 Series (1,826) and A8 (1,118) taking up the second and third places in this category.

Looking for a new City car? Find local dealership prices.

Sports cars - Mazda MX-5

Sadly, the sports car sector isn’t performing as well as it once did, with the segment accounting for 20 per cent less sales than it did a decade ago.

But despite that, there remains some particularly popular cars here, and it’s the Mazda MX-5 (the world’s best-selling two-seat roadster ever) which is the top performing sports car, with 4,373 sold last year. That’s followed by the Audi TT (4,243) and BMW 6 Series (2,671).

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SUVs - Ford Kuga

The rise of crossovers and SUVs in recent years has been tremendous. In fact, compared to 2009, sales of these vehicles have risen by a staggering 279 per cent up to 2018.

It’s dominated by some key players, but in 2018 it was the Ford Kuga that sold best, with total UK sales of 40,398. The Kia Sportage (35,567) took second place, while the Volkswagen Tiguan (29,538) occupied the third spot.

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MPVs - Ford C-Max

And last but not least is the MPV sector, which has sadly been a victim of the rise of SUV sales, meaning it now occupies a much smaller sector than it once did.

Despite the Ford C-Max being discontinued shortly, it was in fact the best-selling MPV in 2018, with the Ford Focus-based model accounting for 7,851 sales. It’s followed by the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer (no longer on sale) that made up 4,894 sales and the Ford Tourneo Custom, of which 4,858 were registered.

Looking for a new MPV? Find local dealership prices.

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