Best-selling cars 2022: the UK’s top 10 most popular models

The latest figures reveal the UK’s best-selling cars in 2022 so far…

2021 was an unpredictable year for the car industry, and recent car registration figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) confirm that the shocks are continuing to affect the UK’s top 10 best-selling cars list as we plough on through 2022. 

Post pandemic struggles, global semiconductor shortages and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine continue to limit manufacturers’ ability to build cars, and it’s taking a toll on the overall market. As of May 2022, total new UK car registrations were down 8.7% to 661,121 compared to 723,845 cars registered by the same time last year. In the month of May, total new car registrations were down 20.6% from 156,737 in 2021 to 124,394 in 2022. 

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Diesel continues on a downward trend, dropping by 50.8% compared to 2021 figures so far, taking up just a 6.1 per cent share of total UK car sales. Petrol models also dropped by 25.1% compared to the previous year, but still represent 45.6% of new car registrations.

Battery-powered electric cars continue to rise in popularity with a 17.7% increase in year-on-year monthly sales in May, accounting for 17.7% of the total market. Hybrid electric vehicles also saw a 12.0% year-on-year increase, while plug-in hybrid vehicle registrations dropped by 25.5% compared to May 2021. 

In terms of individual model sales, the last year’s best-selling car, the Vauxhall Corsa, is still leading the way for 2022 so far with the Ford Puma following in second place and the Nissan Qashqai taking the third spot.

The UK’s best-selling cars for 2022 

Vauxhall Corsa – 17,198

There’s still a long way to go before the Vauxhall Corsa is crowned as Britain’s best-selling car for 2022. However, the supermini leads the list for the first half of the year with key rivals such as the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo not even making it into the top 10. 

Ford Puma – 15,426

The Ford Fiesta has been a fixture at the top of the UK’s best-selling cars list for what seems like a lifetime, but it didn’t finish in the top 10 for 2021. Instead, it was up to the Puma to spearhead the Blue Oval’s sales push. Britain’s eighth best-selling car of 2021 is doing even better in 2022 and with the Fiesta still missing out on the top 10 despite receiving a new facelift, the Puma looks set to be Ford’s big achiever once again. 

Nissan Qashqai – 13,596

The arrival of the all-new Qashqai has given this chart stalwart a push up the rankings, and we expect the introduction of the innovative Qashqai e-Power hybrid will only accelerate its sales later in 2022.

MINI – 13,486

The MINI had an astonishingly successful 2021, taking third spot on the overall list. The addition of an all-electric model helped bump up sales figures, and we think it’s a premium, well-built and charming supermini – so it definitely deserves to retain a spot in the top five.

Kia Sportage – 13,364

The Kia Sportage finished ninth overall in 2021 – taking the title of Britain’s third most popular SUV. This year started brightly but a poor February saw it lose first place. A new 2022 model is on sale now and we think it’s the best Sportage yet. 

Hyundai Tucson – 12,214

We were so impressed by the Hyundai Tucson when it launched last year that we gave it the coveted ‘Mid-size SUV of the Year’ title at our New Car Awards. The Tucson’s more premium approach may even bring in a new clientele in 2022, our Tucson long-term test car certainly ticked all the right boxes as a family SUV.

Ford Kuga – 11,568

The Puma’s bigger brother comes in as the second best-selling Ford of the year, and for good reason. We think that this third-generation Kuga is the best yet. It’s a great car to drive and it’s offered with a range of efficient petrol and hybrid engines. The Kuga ticks all the boxes for a competitively priced, practical family car. 

Kia Niro – 11,227

The Kia Niro may be getting on a bit but it’s still proving to be a successful model for the Korean brand. A new Niro will be coming out later this year with a similar range featuring a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and the fully electric e-Niro variant, so Kia is doing a great job of shifting the current model. 

Volkswagen Golf – 10,174

In typical Volkswagen style, the eighth-generation Golf has evolved over the previous model, with some tweaks to its exterior styling and an overhauled interior crammed with new technology. As you’d expect, the latest Golf is a well rounded, premium hatchback, so it’s no wonder it’s one of this year’s best-selling cars so far.  

Vauxhall Mokka – 9,638

The latest Vauxhall Mokka is a significant step up from the old model. Sitting on the CMP platform shared with the Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 208, the Mokka is available with a diesel, petrol or even a fully-electric powertrain so there’s something for all tastes. 

Looking to lease a new car in 2022? Check out our list of the best car leasing deals available right now…

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