The list of the top 10 new cars sold in the UK during 2012 was once again topped by that perennial over-achiever the Ford Fiesta. During the year 109,265 units were registered, an increase of just over 13.5% on 2011 and with the “facelift” model due this year – promising a heavily redesigned front fascia (see image) – the upward trend is surely set to continue.
Although not the cheapest car to buy new in the supermini segment, it is regarded in the trade as a solid performer in the used car market so should be a worthwhile investment. So whether you are looking at bank loans for a car, personal leasing, the Fiesta will be hard to beat – as it was for 109,265 other buyers last year!
2nd in the 2012 top 10 was the Vauxhall Corsa, moving up from 3rd the year before and nudging the Ford Focus out of 2nd spot with 89,434 units registered and a 15% rise on 2011. The latest Corsa has been around a while longer than the Fiesta and doesn’t perform as well in the used car market but is obviously still a very popular choice.
3rd in the list is the aforementioned Ford Focus which sold 83,115 units in 2012, a rise of just 1.5% and while still a fantastic car it is in a very competitive c-segment (or compact car) market space and is up against seriously good competition.
In 4th is another Vauxhall, the Astra which shifted 63,023 units in the year, a rise just under 1% which is pretty good when you consider that in 2011 it was 28.9% down. Still, it has moved up from 5th in 2011 but with its relatively expensive price tag and poor residual performance it looks to be experiencing an overall downturn in popularity.
In 5th it’s the original “Hot Hatch” the VW Golf and the new(ish) Mk7 is widely regarded as the best Golf yet! In 2012 62,021 units were registered which is a 2% decline on 2011 and potential buyers may be put off by the relatively high price tag. However those that did take the plunge will be rewarded with a lot of car for the money and very strong residuals.
6th place is taken up with the Nissan Qashqai, having sold 45,675 units in 2012 with a massive 16% rise on 2011. The “funky” styling of Qashqai obviously appeals to many buyers and add to those looks the attractive list prices, decent residuals and good running costs, the rise is sure to continue.
Following up on the Qashqai in 7th is BMW 3 series which sold 44,521 units in 2012, a rise of just under 5%. What can you say about the 3 series? In the compact executive segment it’s the “go to” car, as the numbers clearly suggest.
In 8th it’s the VW Polo which sold 41,901 units in 2012. Somewhat surprisingly given the popularity of the sector, it recorded just below 10% fewer than 2011, the general consensus being that the Fiesta is a lot more fun to drive. However few cars can beat the Polo’s strong residuals.
9th place is taken up by the Mercedes C-Class which sold 37,261 units in 2012. The C-Class has lost a lot of its executive glamour with many complaining that, for the money, it’s just not good enough. Let’s face it if your savings accounts are used to buy it you aren’t going to be happy so unless someone else is paying, avoid!
Lastly in 10th it’s the BMW 1 Series which sold 34,488 units in 2012. Seemingly it is the car that has everything; aspirational, desirable, great to drive and economical. Very popular in the used trade (which means it’s a great seller!) with strong residuals.