2017 (Full Year) Germany: Best-Selling Car Models

The Volkswagen Golf and Passat were again Germany’s favorite car models in 2017 but the VW Tiguan replaced the Polo as the third most-popular car.

VW Tiguan 2016

Despite lower sales, the Volkswagen Golf and Passat were the two best-selling car models in Germany in 2017 for the seventh consecutive year. The Volkswagen Tiguan moved into third place as the highest rank position ever for an SUV in Germany. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was again the fourth best-selling car model in Germany in 2017. The VW Polo that was replaced towards the end of the year slipped to fifth. Sales were down for most models on the top 30 list but several SUVs and luxury German limousines increased sales sharply.

Top 30 Best-Selling Car Models in Germany in 2017 (Full Year)

New passenger vehicle registrations released by the KBA identified the following 30 cars as the top-selling car models in Germany in 2017:

Brand & Model Sales in 2017 Sales in 2016 Sales in 2015
1 VW GOLF 228,227 235,935 270,952
2 VW PASSAT 72,430 80,900 97,586
3 VW TIGUAN 71,437 63,979 58,978
4 MERCEDES C-KLASSE 68,584 66,898 67,549
5 VW POLO 61,378 72,017 69,867
6 AUDI A4, S4, RS4 59,469 61,597 52,493
7 SKODA OCTAVIA 59,147 58,683 57,907
8 OPEL ASTRA 56,327 65,173 56,079
9 VW TOURAN 52,182 52,560 37,098
10 OPEL CORSA 51,349 55,191 52,741
11 SKODA FABIA 49,917 49,947 45,018
12 AUDI A3, S3, RS3 49,820 57,176 57,858
13 MERCEDES E-KLASSE 47,845 37,945 30,860
14 MINI 46,705 44,010 39,714
15 BMW 1ER 45,699 46,632 46,340
16 FORD FOCUS 45,391 47,990 51,677
17 SEAT LEON 44,946 46,010 42,125
18 BMW 5ER 42,840 30,055 33,108
19 FORD FIESTA 41,750 43,887 45,424
20 BMW 2ER 41,144 50,680 42,916
21 MERCEDES GLK, GLC 39,397 26,255 16,503
22 VW TRANSPORTER 39,390 40,875 33,768
23 AUDI A6, S6, RS6 38,856 41,341 44,095
24 BMW 3ER 38,343 43,986 44,637
25 FORD KUGA 37,962 34,676 28,529
26 VW UP 36,685 36,592 38,877
27 OPEL MOKKA 35,631 32,052 31,037
28 BMW X1 35,016 28,400 16,406
29 VW CADDY 32,934 32,191 27,468
30 FIAT 500 29,836 32,677 33,908

Top Ten Best-Selling Car Models in Germany in 2017

Although there were some changes in the rank positions, the car models on the top-ten list of most-popular cars in Germany remained largely the same in 2017 compared to the previous two years.

The Volkswagen Golf retained its customary position as Germany’s favorite car in 2017. However, for the second consecutive year, the number of Golf sold in Germany was lower than in the preceding year. However, the Volkswagen still sold more Golfs in Germany than the following three cars combined. The VW Golf has been Germany’s best-selling car since 1981 – in 1980 the Mercedes-Benz W123 model (E-Class) was the best-selling car model in Germany.

For the seventh consecutive year the VW Passat was the second most popular car in Germany – the Polo was in second place in 2010. However, as with the Golf, the actual number of Passats sold was down in 2017.

The VW Tiguan moved up from sixth to third most-popular car in Germany in 2017 to give Volkswagen another clean sweep of the three best-selling models. In contrast to the top two, Tiguan sales volumes actually increased. Third is the highest placing ever for the Tiguan or any other SUV in Germany.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was the fourth most-popular car in Germany in 2017. The C-Class has been fourth the last three years.

The VW Polo slipped from third to fifth with lower sales in Germany in 2017. The lower sales are largely due to a well-published model change for the Polo towards the end of year. Despite the trend towards SUVs, the Polo is likely to resume its more customary third place in Germany in 2018.

The Audi A4 and Skoda Octavia moved up one position each despite sales being fairly stable from a year ago. In contrast, sales of the Opel Astra were sharply down forcing the Astra down from fifth a year ago to eighth in 2017.

Despite slightly lower sales, the VW Touran improved two rank positions and was the only new entry on the top-ten list in Germany in 2017. The Touran replaced the Audi A3 that slipped from ninth to twelfth with weaker sales.

The Opel Corsa round out the top ten at the same position in 2017 as a year ago despite weaker sales.

30 Most-Favorite Car Models in Germany in 2017

Only two car models were new on the list of the top 30 best-selling car models in Germany compared to the previous two years. The Mercedes-Benz GLX, GLC and the BMW X1 are new with both models selling around 20,000 cars more in Germany in 2017 compared to 2015.

In 2017, SUVs took a 15% share of the German new passenger car market with sales up by 22%. This made it less surprising that the two SUVs replaced the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and B-Class in the top 30 list. Other SUVs including the VW Tiguan and Ford Kuga also increased the number of cars sold in Germany in 2017.

Germany’s “business-class limousines”, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series both increased sales by around 10,000 cars in 2017. Sales of the Audi A6 were only slightly lower.

The BMW 5 Series outsold the BMW 3 Series by quite a margin with the new 3 Series only due towards the end of 2018, or early 2019. Sales of the BMW 2 Series were also sharply lower.

Although the Skoda Octavia was again the favorite imported car model in Germany, the Fiat 500 at 30th was the only car on the list from a carmaker not considered German or owned by a German car manufacturer.

More on the German Car Market in 2017

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.