2017 (Full Year) Britain: Top Ten Best-Selling Car Models

In 2017, Britain’s favorite car model was again the Ford Fiesta but the VW Golf was the second best-selling car model in the UK for the first time ever.

Ford Fiesta at Geneva 2017 1201

The Ford Fiesta remained the favorite car model of the British in 2017 but the Volkswagen Golf claimed the second spot ahead of the Ford Fiesta. While the Golf, Qashqai and Mercedes-Benz C and A classes sold at record numbers, the traditional favorites Fiesta, Focus, Vauxhall Corsa and Astra were at historic low sales volumes.

List of the Top-10 Best-Selling Cars in Britain in 2017

The ten most-popular car models in the UK in 2017 according to new passenger vehicle registration data released by the SMMT were:

Brand & ModelCars Sold 2017Cars Sold 2016Cars Sold 2015
1Ford Fiesta94,533120,525133,434
2Volkswagen Golf74,60569,49273,409
3Ford Focus69,90370,54583,816
4Nissan Qashqai64,21662,68260,814
5Vauxhall Corsa52,77277,11092,077
6Vauxhall Astra49,37060,71952,703
7Volkswagen Polo47,85554,44854,900
9Mercedes-Benz C Class45,91244,184NA
10Mercedes-Benz A Class43,717NANA
Source: SMMT

Ten Best-Selling Car Models in the UK in 2017

In 2017, the Ford Fiesta was again the best-selling car model in the UK but sales volumes were sharply down. Only 94,533 Ford Fiestas were sold in Britain in 2017 compared to 120,525 in 2016 and 133,434 in 2015. Fiesta sales were last at such a low level in 2008 – the last year the Fiesta was not the best-selling car in Britain. Ford Fiesta sales in Britain were hard hit by a well-published model change mid-year that led to a shortage in cars.

The Volkswagen Golf became the second most-popular car model in Britain in 2017 for the first time ever. The VW Golf has been in fourth place for the past three years. Golf sales increased to 74,605 in 2017 from 69,492 Golfs sold in 2016. Golf sales set a new model record in the UK in 2017 but not much higher than the levels of 2015 and 2014.

The Ford Focus was the third best-selling car in Britain for the third consecutive year. Focus sales were lower than in 2016 and at historic low levels for the model. In 2005, Ford Focus sales were as high as 145,000 in the UK. The current Focus has been on the market since 2011 and a new model is expected towards the end of 2018.

Nissan Qashqai sales are on record levels in the UK allowing Britain’s favorite SUV to improve to fourth place after two years at fifth.

The Vauxhall Corsa was one of the big sales failures in the UK in 2017. Corsa sales were down by 25,000 cars with the Corsa slipping from second to fifth best-selling car in Britain in 2017. This was the first time since 2010 that the Corsa was not one of the top three best-selling cars in Britain. The next Corsa will be based on the new Peugeot 208 platform that is expected towards the end of 2018.

The Vauxhall Astra similarly saw sales in Britain in 2017 at more than 10,000 cars lower than in 2016. However, the Astra managed to hold on to sixth place.

The Volkswagen Polo maintained seventh place despite weaker sale. The latest version of the Polo was launched at the end of 2017. Mini maintained eighth place with sales only slightly lower than a year ago.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was the 9th best-selling car model in Britain in 2017 for the second consecutive year. Sales were higher than in 2016. The Mercedes-Benz A-Class was the tenth most-popular car model in the UK in 2017. This was the first time ever for two Mercedes-Benz car models to be amongst the top ten best-selling car models in Britain. The Audi A3 fell off the top-ten list.

See also 2017 Britain: Best-Selling Car Brands – Ford remained the top-seller but Volkswagen moved ahead of Vauxhall that had a dismal year in the UK.

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience in online writing. His best-selling cars website has been reporting car sales statistics since 2008 with classic car auction prices focusing on the most expensive automobiles sold at public auctions in the past decade. He also owns the travel websites European-Traveler.com and Lake Geneva Switzerland. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Finance from the University of London.