Most Popular Cars in the UK 2023
November 20, 2023 at 4:30 PM
The UK car market is one of the largest in Europe and most competitive in the world with a wide range of models to choose from. There were over 1.6 million new cars registered in 2022. The most popular cars in the UK tend to be small, practical & fuel-efficient, ranging from small hatchbacks to large SUVs which are becoming increasingly desirable in recent years, alongside crossovers. However, some cars are consistently more popular than others, and 2023 is no exception.
2023 Sales Figures
According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the top 10 best-selling cars in the UK in 2023 so far are:
- Ford Puma
- Nissan Qashqai
- Vauxhall Corsa
- Kia Sportage
- Tesla Model Y
- Hyundai Tucson
- Nissan Juke
- Vauxhall Mokka
- Audi A3
Popular Cars in Detail
The UK's best selling cars in 2023 are a diverse mix of vehicles. However, there are a few clear trends that emerge when looking at the sales figures with several of the most in-demand cars available to purchase in Oxfordshire at Dowley's Used Car Sales.
#1 - Ford Puma
As of October, the Ford Puma is the UK's best-selling car in 2023, with over 42,136 units registered so far. The Puma is a small crossover SUV that was first launched in 2019. It has quickly become one of the most popular cars with buyers in the UK, thanks to its stylish design, practical interior, and fuel-efficient engines. The raised-height Puma, which shares it's chassis with the Fiesta is available with a range of petrol and diesel engines, as well as mild-hybrid & plug-in versions.
#2 - Nissan Qashqai
First launched in 2007 and credited with popularising the crossover segment in Europe, the Nissan Qashqai is another extremely popular vehicle in the UK with over 24,000 cars registered in 2023 to date. It is known for its spacious interior, comfortable ride, wide range of trim options and advanced safety features. The Qashqai is a larger SUV than the Puma, providing more space for passengers and cargo. In its third generation, the midsize SUV is also available with all-wheel drive, making it a good choice for drivers who need extra traction in bad weather or off-road. It's also available with a range of petrol and diesel engines, as well as an electric Qashqai hybrid model.
#3 - Vauxhall Corsa
The Vauxhall Corsa is a popular supermini car that is known for its stylish design, comfortable interior, and affordable price tag. Available with a variety of trim levels, from the entry-level SE to the sporty GSi. All models come with a standard level of equipment, including air conditioning, cruise control, and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It is also available with a variety of fuel-efficient engines, including a fully electric option. The Vauxhall Corsa is a great choice for city driving and has been the UK's best-selling car for several years. In 2023, the Corsa sold over 25,000 units in the UK, making it the second best-selling car overall. The fully electric, Corsa is a great choice for environmentally conscious drivers, as the Corsa Electric has zero emissions making it the UK's best-selling electric supermini in 2023.
#4 - Kia Sportage
The Kia Sportage has garnered a strong reputation for its blend of practicality, style, and value for money, making it a regular choice among SUV buyers in the UK. The Sportage's popularity is reflected in its strong sales figures in the UK. In 2023, the Kia Sportage was consistently among the best-selling SUVs in the country, with a total of 31,575 vehicles sold to date. This impressive performance is a testament to the Sportage's appeal to UK buyers and further solidifies its position as a leading contender in the SUV market.
#5 - Tesla Model Y
The Tesla Model Y is the best-selling electric car in the UK. The 5-seat compact luxury crossover SUV was first unveiled in March 2019 and has been praised for its long range (up to 330 miles), spacious interior (103 cubic feet), and advanced technology features, including Autopilot and Summon. It is also one of the safest cars on the market, having received a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and awarded a number of accolades, including the 2023 Top Gear Electric Car of the Year. The Model Y is a truly groundbreaking car that is sure to have a lasting impact on the automotive industry.
#6 - Hyundai Tucson
The Tucson is a spacious and comfortable SUV that can seat up to five passengers, selling 30,000 vehicles in the UK so far in 2023. The Hyundai Tucson earned a five-star safety rating and is available with a variety of powertrain options, including a fuel-efficient hybrid and is also available with all-wheel drive for improved traction in slippery conditions. In addition to its practicality and value for money, the Tucson is also a stylish and modern SUV with a sleek design that is sure to turn heads with a variety of features that enhance its appearance, such as a panoramic sunroof and LED headlights. The Hyundai Tucson is a well-rounded vehicle that is sure to appeal to a wide range of buyers.
#7 - Nissan Juke
A popular choice for young drivers and first-time car buyers, the Nissan Juke is a small crossover SUV that is known for its distinctive looks and fun driving experience. It was first launched in 2010 and now in its second generation, a savvy choice for buyers who want a funky car that stands out from the crowd. The new Juke is a smaller SUV than the Qashqai and is known for its bold styling, quirky design and sensible interior. Not as practical as the Puma SUV or Qashqai but still one of the most affordable SUVs on the market and exceptional good value for money as proven with over 21,000 sales in 2023 to date. It's available in a variety of petrol & diesel engines and hybrid powertrain, including the top billed Nissan Juke Tekna Plus.
#8 - MINI
MINI cars are known for their iconic design, go-kart handling, and premium feel. In recent years, MINI has expanded its lineup to include a variety of models, including the MINI Cooper, MINI Countryman, and MINI Clubman. These cars offer a unique blend of style, performance, and practicality, not to mention noteworthy fuel efficiency and safety features, such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability control that has made them popular with drivers. Sales figures in the UK have been strong in recent years. In 2022, MINI sold over 32,000 cars in the UK, making it the brand's best year ever. This success is due in part to the popularity of the MINI Cooper, which is the brand's best-selling model. MINI is also continuing to see strong demand for its electric cars, such as the MINI Cooper SE.
#9 - Vauxhall Mokka
The Vauxhall Mokka is a stylish and practical SUV that has been a popular choice among UK drivers since its launch in 2012. The latest generation of the Mokka, which was released in 2020, offers a range of benefits that make it an even more attractive option for buyers. The car has a modern and eye-catching appearance, with a sleek and sporty silhouette. The interior is also well-designed, with a premium feel and a comfortable driving position. The Vauxhall Mokka is popular choice among UK drivers, and its 2023 sales figures reflect this. So far in 2023, the Mokka was the UK's ninth best-selling car, with over 25,473 vehicles sold. This makes the Mokka a strong contender in the competitive SUV market.
#10 - Audi A3
The Audi A3 is a luxurious and stylish compact car in production since 1996, available in sedan, hatchback, and convertible body styles. The A3 offers a variety of benefits to its drivers who want advanced technology features and comprehensive safety features. It is available in a variety of trims, including the S3 and RS3 models, which offer high performance and a sporty driving experience. The Audi A3 is also fuel efficient and has a spacious and comfortable interior. In 2023, the Audi A3 has sold 25,452 units in the UK, representing a significant increase from the previous year. The A3 is Audi's best-selling model in the UK.
BONUS - Ford Fiesta
The Ford Fiesta is a small hatchback that has been a top choice for UK car buyers for decades, on sale since 1976. Although production of the supermini came to an end in June this year, the car is known for its affordable price tag, fuel efficiency and fun driving experience with more than 22,400 UK cars sold in 2023. The Fiesta is available with a range of petrol and diesel engines or a mild-hybrid version, across a variety of models including a performance-focused ST version.
These cars are all excellent choices across a range of market sectors, but they are particularly popular with families and young professionals. They offer a good balance of price, performance, practicality, and fuel economy.
The UK car market has seen a significant decline in sales in recent years, due to a number of factors including the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. However, sales have started to recover in 2023, and the Ford Puma, Nissan Qashqai, MINI and Audi A3 are all performing well.
Most popular market sectors for cars in the UK are:
- City Cars: Small, affordable and fuel-efficient cars that are ideal for city driving.
- Superminis: Slightly larger than city cars, offering more space and comfort such as the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa.
- Small SUVs and crossovers: These are becoming increasingly popular, thanks to their spacious interiors, versatility and raised driving position.
- Family Cars: Cars that are designed to be practical and comfortable for families, such as the Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson.
- Executive Cars: Larger and more luxurious cars often used as company cars, such as the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
- Sports Cars: High-performance cars that are designed for driving fun & excitement.
2023s best selling car to date is the Ford Puma SUV, particularly popular in the crossover SUV sector, which is the fastest-growing segment of the UK car market. The Nissan Qashqai is 2nd in 2023 UK car sales and also sought-after in this sector, but it is also popular with families who need a spacious and practical car.
The MINI at 8th in this year's UK car sales and is favoured by younger buyers (20-34 year olds) who are looking for a stylish, fun, and practical car. Ford Fiesta deals are still in demand with a wide range of buyers, totalling 22,446 UK new car sales overall in 2023 despite production ceasing in June, but it is particularly desirable for young professionals who want a fun-to-drive and affordable car with 288,639 used Fiestas sold in the UK in 2022.
The most popular cars in the UK are typically found in the city car, supermini, and small family car sectors. However, SUVs and crossovers are becoming increasingly welcome and now account for a significant share of the market.
The Ford Puma, Nissan Qashqai, Mini and Audi A3 are all beloved cars across the UK in 2023, representing a range of market sectors making them a good choice for a variety of buyers. Available at a range of price points, these are some of the best models to consider. All offering a good balance of performance, practicality and fuel economy as well as a combination of modern features and benefits to suit different needs and budgets.
If you are thinking about buying a new or used car, it is important to do your research and compare different models before making a decision. You should also consider your individual budget and needs, such as how much space you need in a car and what kind of fuel economy you are looking for.
Once you have narrowed down your choices by reading reviews and comparing prices, it is a good idea to take some cars for test drives. This will give you a chance to experience how the cars drive and handle, and to see if they are a good fit for you.
It is also important to taking into account the cost of running a car, such as fuel, insurance, and tax. You should also think about how you will be using the car and whether you need any optional extras, such as a sunroof or satellite navigation.
Taking all of these factors into consideration, you will be well on your way to choosing the colour and negotiating the best possible price on your favourite car. Book a test drive in Oxfordshire with Dowley's Used Car Sales.
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