2017 (Full Year) Europe: Top-Selling Car Models

The Volkswagen Golf, Renault Clio, VW Polo and Ford Fiesta were again Europe’s favorite car models in 2017. SUVs such as the Nissan Qashqai and VW Tiguan made strong gains.

Nissan Qashqai Geneva 2017

In 2017, for the tenth consecutive year, the Volkswagen Golf was the best-selling car model in the European Union (EU) and EFTA countries. For the second consecutive year, the Renault Clio was second followed by the VW Polo and Ford Fiesta. The Nissan Qashqai improved to fifth as Europe’s favorite SUV. The similar VW Tiguan moved into the top-ten list of Europe’s top-selling car models with sales up by a third.

List of the 25 Best-Selling Car Models in Europe in 2017 (Full Year)

The 25 top-selling car models in the EU and EFTA as calculated by Jato Dynamics were:

Make & Model Cars 2017 Cars 2016 % Change 16/17
1 Volkswagen Golf 483,105 492,952 -2
2 Renault Clio 327,395 315,115 4
3 Volkswagen Polo 272,061 308,561 -12
4 Ford Fiesta 254,539 300,528 -15
5 Nissan Qashqai 247,939 234,340 6
6 Peugeot 208 244,615 249,047 -2
7 VW Tiguan 234,916 180,198 31
8 Opel / Vauxhall Corsa 232,738 264,844 -12
9 Skoda Octavia 230,116 230,255 0
10 Opel / Vauxhall Astra 217,813 253,483 -14
11 Ford Focus 214,661 214,435 0
12 Renault Captur 212,768 217,105 -2
13 Citroen C3 207,299 134,560 54
14 Toyota Yaris 199,182 193,969 3
15 Dacia Sandero 196,067 170,300 16
16 Fiat 500 189,928 183,730 4
17 Fiat Panda 187,322 191,617 -2
18 VW Passat 184,123 208,575 -12
19 Peugeot 2008 180,868 NA 3
20 Skoda Fabia 180,136 177,301 2
21 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 176,705 176,551 0
22 Opel / Vauxhall Mokka 170,384 164,682 3
23 Renault Megane 168,132 149,051 13
24 Peugeot 3008 166,784 NA 555
25 Audi A3 164,045 190,660 -14

Top Ten Best-Selling Car Models in Europe in 2017 (Full Year)

There were no changes in the rank order of the top four most-popular car models in Europe in 2017 compared to a year ago. The VW Golf was again by far Europe’s favorite car model – a position it held uninterrupted since 2008. However, for the second consecutive year, VW Golf sales volumes were down in Europe. The VW Golf was the top-selling car in only 5 European countries in 2017 compared to 8 in 2016. Furthermore, more than half of all Golfs were sold in Germany and the UK with the model’s success more limited in other big markets. The next Golf is expected by mid-2019.

The Renault Clio was the only top-four car model to have increased the number of cars sold in Europe during 2017. The VW Polo and Ford Fiesta both maintained their positions from a year ago but both models had sales down by significant numbers in part due to model changes during the year.

The Nissan Qashqai was again Europe’s favorite SUV and improved from 8th a year ago to 5th best-selling car model. This is the highest position not only for the Qashqai but also for any SUV in Europe.

Despite slightly weaker sales, the Peugeot 208 improved one rank position from a year ago. The predecessor of the 208, the Peugeot 207 was the last car to have outsold the Golf in Europe – it was the top-seller in 2007.

Sales of SUVs in Europe increased by 20% to 4.56 million vehicles in 2017. The VW Tiguan was a clear example – it increased sales by nearly a third and improved in sales rank from 18th to 7th.

The Opel / Vauxhall Corsa slipped from 5th to 8th with sales down by 12%. The replacement of the Corsa, on a shared platform with the new Peugeot 208, is expected towards the end of 2018.

The Skoda Octavia maintained its ninth position with sales hardly changed from a year ago.

The Opel / Vauxhall Astra slipped from 6th to 10th with sales down by 14%. The two volume models of the brand that became part of the PSA Group in August 2017 noticeably underperformed compared to the equivalent Peugeot and Citroen models.

The Renault Captur slipped off the top-ten list despite being an SUV.

Other Top-Selling Car Models in Europe in 2017

Although the Ford Focus and Toyota Yaris where the only other top-25 best-selling car models in Europe in 2017 to maintain the same sales rank position from a year ago, only one new model entered the list. The Peugeot 3008 – as SUV – entered the list at the expense of the Peugeot 308.

The Citroen C3 was the most-improved model with sales up by 54% from a year ago. (The Peugeot 3008’s fantastic 555% increase is mostly due to the car not being available for the full 2016 year.) Sales of the Dacia Sandero and Renault Megane also increased sales by double digits.

Amongst the worst performers were two high earners for the Volkswagen Group: the VW Passat slipped from 12th to 18th and the Audi A3 from 16th to 25th. Both models sold more than 20,000 less than a year ago. Passat sales are down 44,000 from two years ago.

However, the Volkswagen Group remained Europe’s largest carmaker in 2017 with Volkswagen still the top-selling car brand. Car sales in the EU and EFTA increased by 3.3% to 15,631,687 cars sold in 2017. Electric car sales in Europe increased by 39% and hybrid car sales by 52% in 2017.