Britain’s best-selling cars of 2022

Britain’s best-selling cars of 2022

As we head into the last few months of 2022, we now have a new leader at the top of the UK’s annual best-sellers list, as last year’s champion the Vauxhall Corsa loses ground to the British-built Nissan Qashqai.

Despite growing cost of living concerns, October marked the third month of consecutive new car market growth, according to the latest data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

New car sales grew by 26% last month when compared to October last year, as order books were bolstered by a large number of large fleet registrations. The SMMT comments that private registrations are on the rise too as the supply shortages that have plagued manufacturers throughout 2022 begin to ease.

That said, October sales are still a third lower than pre-covid registration numbers, and the new car market is still set for its weakest year since 1982.

The increasingly popular Nissan Qashqai recorded another strong month of sales, surpassing the annual sales of the Vauxhall Corsa with two months of 2022 to go. However, the Qashqai did not finish in top spot in October – that accolade belongs to the Ford Fiesta, which has had a sales resurgence in the same month that it was announced that it would be scrapped in the middle of next year.

The rest of the annual rankings looks largely the same after October, though a strong month of the Volkswagen Golf sees the hatchback leapfrog the Tesla Model Y and Kia Niro to take eighth place. The Fiat 500 also made a surprise appearance in October’s top ten – the first time it has appeared in the monthly best-sellers chart this year.

Sales results for each car manufacturer (and even for each model range) have been heavily influenced by supply factors, as car companies battle component shortages – another hangover of the Covid situation from the last two years. Add the impending production stoppages that are now taking place as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the rest of 2022 is likely to remain difficult for car companies.

Top ten best sellers, October 2022

1 Ford Fiesta 4,230
2 Nissan Qashqai 4,228
3 Volkswagen Golf 3,339
4 Ford Puma 3,218
5 Vauxhall Corsa 2,784
6 Mini hatch 2,595
7 Vauxhall Mokka 2,444
8 Peugeot 2008 2,191
9 Audi A3 2,176
10 Fiat 500 2,169
Source: SMMT
Ford Fiesta (2021 – present)

Britain’s best-selling cars of 2022 (as of October)

1. Nissan Qashqai

2021 Nissan Qashqai front view | Expert Rating

The current jewel in the crown of the British car manufacturing industry, the Nissan Qashqai has recorded another month of impressive sales numbers which sees the SUV take the annual best-sellers top spot from the Vauxhall Corsa.

On sale since Autumn last year, the current-generation Nissan Qashqai holds an Expert Rating of 73%, which is reasonable for a medium SUV but nothing to really shout about.

2. Vauxhall Corsa

Best-selling cars of 2022 – Vauxhall Corsa

The Vauxhall Corsa had a strong start to 2022, and had imposed a dominant sales lead by the Summer. However, this lead has now entirely depleted after several months of lower sales numbers. The Corsa has dropped to second in the annual charts after a fifth place finish in October.

Despite its continued sales success, the Corsa has received average reviews from the motoring media, with an Expert Rating of just 64% on our Expert Rating Index – with the electric Corsa-e a point higher.

3. Ford Puma

Best selling cars of 2022 – Ford Puma

The Ford Puma continues to sell in consistent numbers, and has now finished fourth in the monthly charts for the second month running. The Puma holds on to third in the annual charts, with several thousand more sales than the chasing Kia Sportage.

The Puma has received plenty of praise from the UK motoring media, and currently holds an Expert Rating of 78% on our unique Expert Rating Index. That puts it top of the charts for supermini-based SUVs.

4. Kia Sportage

Best-selling new cars of 2022 – Kia Sportage

Usually a consistent performer, the brand-new Kia Sportage was missing from the top ten best-sellers list in October. Regardless, the new Sportage looks to be comfortably continuing the sales success of the previous generation as it remains in fourth in the annual rankings.

The new Kia Sportage hasn’t received that many reviews yet, and currently holds an Expert Rating of 73% on our industry-leading Expert Rating Index. This could shift as more reviews are published in coming months.

5. Mini hatch

Best-selling cars of 2022 – Mini hatch

Despite being one of the oldest new car models still on sale, the Mini hatch has been selling up a storm yet again in 2022. Holding on to fifth in the annual charts, it seems that the battle for best-selling British-built car now seems to be over, as the Nissan Qashqai has established a commanding lead.

The Mini has received positive reviews, with an Expert Rating of 77% on our Expert Rating Index. The electric model doesn’t do so well, with a score of just 67%.

6. Hyundai Tucson

Best-selling cars of 2022 – Hyundai Tucson

Disappearing from the monthly top ten, Hyundai Tucson sales seem to be dropping off as the year comes to a close, after the car established itself as one of the UK’s most popular SUVs in the first half of this year. Despite its October absence, the Tucson still holds on to sixth in the annual sales list.

The new Tucson has received positive reviews from the motoring media, with a solid Expert Rating of 76% on our industry-leading Expert Rating Index.

7. Ford Kuga

After several months of slowly sliding down the 2022 rankings, the Ford Kuga started to record respectable sales figures in September, before dropping out of the top ten once again in October. The Kuga holds on to seventh in the annual charts, as the smaller Puma SUV proves to be more popular with UK buyers as the year progresses.

Its Expert Rating of 74% places it firmly in the middle of a very competitive family SUV market.

8. Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf is recording some healthy sales numbers as we head toward the Winter months, finishing in third place in the October rankings. This is enough for the hatchback to leapfrog the Tesla Model Y and Kia Niro to take eighth place in the annual list.

On sale since 2020, the Golf currently holds an Expert Rating of 76%, with good scores from most UK media sources.

9. Kia Niro

Kia Niro (2022) front view | Expert Rating

The original generation of the popular Kia Niro has ended production and sales of the all-new model have now begun. After strong September sales, the Niro is yet another SUV to fall out of the monhtly top ten rankings in October, as it looses out to the likes of the Peugeot 2008 and Vauxhall Mokka.

The Kia Niro received fairly mixed reviews, with the hybrid version ending up with an Expert Rating of 64% on our Expert Rating Index. The electric model did much better, with an outstanding score of 85%.

10. Tesla Model Y

As we enter the final quarter of 2022, the upmarket Model Y SUV is proving to be Britain’s Tesla of choice, and despite dropping two places in the annual charts after October, the Model Y remains on the best-sellers list, rounding off the top ten.

The Tesla Model Y has received a positive media reception here in the UK, and currently holds a solid Expert Rating of 80%.

The next update (November results) will be due in the first week of December 2022.

Additional reporting by Stuart Masson

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