Britain’s best-selling cars of 2023

A strong month for new Vauxhall Corsa registrations has seen the popular hatchback return to the top of the best-seller’s list after April, followed by the Nissan Qashqai and Ford Puma.

Private new car sales slowed in April, according to the latest data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Almost 133,000 new cars were sold in the UK last month, up from around 119,000 in April last year, but the growth was entirely down to fleet registrations rather than private new car sales.

The Nissan Qashqai SUV – Britain’s best-selling new car in 2022 – dropped down the monthly rankings to sixth in April, being outsold by the resurgent Vauxhall Corsa that now tops the annual best-sellers list as a result.

The smaller Nissan Juke crossover was second in the best-sellers rankings after March, but after dropping out of the monthly best sellers in April, it drops down the annual order to fifth. As Tesla also registers its new models on a bi-monthly basis, the Model Y SUV has also dropped from fourth to seventh.

Conversely, Ford recorded an impressive month of sales as its Puma crossover finished top in April, now sitting in third in the annual best-sellers race. Now in the twilight of its production life, the compact Fiesta hatchback is also selling in consistent numbers, holding on to tenth in the annual charts.

Sales results for each car manufacturer (and even for each model range) continue to be defined by supply factors, as car companies battle component shortages – a hangover of the Covid situation from the last two years and supply problems resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Read our monthly sales report: Private new car sales slow in April

Top ten best-sellers chart, April 2023

1 Ford Puma 3,570
2 Vauxhall Corsa 3,203
3 Kia Sportage 3,073
4 Hyundai Tucson 2,911
5 Audi A3 2,548
6 Nissan Qashqai 2,538
7 Volkswagen T-Roc 2,385
8 Ford Fiesta 2,336
9 MG ZS 2,335
10 Mini hatch 2,304
Source: SMMT
Ford Puma Titanium – front
Ford Puma

Britain’s best-selling cars of 2023


1. Vauxhall Corsa

Best-selling cars of 2022 – Vauxhall Corsa

Sales of the ever-popular Vauxhall Corsa supermini tailed off towards the end of 2022, but it has started 2023 in a strong fashion, now sitting top of the annual table after April. The Corsa remains the UK’s most popular small car, outselling the Mini hatch by over 3,500 models.

Despite its consistent sales success, the Corsa has received average reviews from the motoring media, with an Expert Rating of 62% for both ICE-powered versions and the Corsa Electric.

2. Nissan Qashqai

Last year’s best-selling model, the Nissan Qashqai is locked in a tight sales battle with the Corsa, falling to second after April. The SUV is the current jewel in the crown of the British car manufacturing industry – designed in London, developed in the Midlands and built in Sunderland.

On sale since Autumn 2021, the Qashqai holds an Expert Rating of 69%, which is reasonable for a medium SUV but nothing to really shout about.

3. Ford Puma

Best selling cars of 2022 – Ford Puma

The Ford Puma consistently records strong sales numbers, and outsold cars of all shapes and sizes to top the April registrations leaderboard. It also continues to be Ford’s most popular model, with around 2,600 more sales than the Fiesta supermini.

The Puma has received plenty of praise from the UK motoring media, and currently holds an Expert Rating of 76% 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

Another of last year’s consistent performers, the Kia Sportage finished in third in April, after a strong start to 2023. The SUV remains locked in a tight registrations battle with the similar Hyundai Tucson, and rises to fourth in the annual rankings.

The new Kia Sportage currently holds an Expert Rating of 70% on our award-winning Expert Rating Index, which is a substantial improvement on the previous model.

5. Nissan Juke

On sale since 2019, the Nissan Juke has established itself as a popular choice of British motorists since the turn of the year, as a cheaper and more compact alternative to its award-winning Qashqai sibling. That said, it was absent from the April best-sellers list, and thus drops from second to fifth in the annual list.

The Juke currently holds an Expert Rating of 62%, and finds itself positioned squarely in the middle of a crowded compact SUV class.

6. Hyundai Tucson

Best-selling cars of 2022 – Hyundai Tucson

Finishing seventh in last year’s sales standings, the Hyundai Tucson established itself as one of the UK’s most popular SUVs in 2022, and it moves up to sixth, as the Tesla Model Y tumbles down the annual order. The Tucson outsold its closest rival, the Sportage, in the first two months of 2023, but the Kia was more popular in March and April.

The Tucson has received positive reviews from the motoring media, with a solid Expert Rating of 75% on our industry-leading Expert Rating Index.

7. Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y topped the sales charts in March, but dropped out of the monthly top ten in April. Tesla will register its next batch of Model Y cars in May, skipping April. The SUV is now certainly on track to be the UK’s most popular all-electric model by the end of the year, as it is currently the only electric-only model range in the top ten.

The Model Y currently holds an Expert Rating of 78%, which is a commendable score, but doesn’t place it at the top of its class.

8. Mini hatch

Best-selling cars of 2022 – Mini hatch

On sale since 2014, the Mini hatch has been one of the most consistent best-sellers in British motoring history, and the April sales results show that it’s not done yet. Scheduled to be replaced next year, the hatchback now sits in eighth in the 2023 sales rankings.

The Mini hatch currently holds an Expert Rating of 71%. The all-electric version – the Mini Electric – is not as popular with reviewers, and holds an Expert Rating of 63%.

9. Volkswagen T-Roc

Volkswagen is currently the UK’s most popular car manufacturer so far in 2023 – the fact that its most popular model the T-Roc can only muster a seventh place finish in April is a testament to how the brand’s sales are spread out across its range.

The crossover currently holds an Expert Rating of 68%, placing it firmly in the middle of the small SUV class.

10. Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta (2021 - present) front view | Expert Rating

It’s been a torrid two years for Britain’s almost perennially favourite car. Despite being temporarily removed from sale for a few months last year, the Ford Fiesta finished tenth in 2022’s rankings. Though it finished eighth in the monthly rankings, the Fiesta slips to tenth in 2023’s annual top ten after April.

The Fiesta currently holds an Expert Rating of 77%, with good scores from most UK media sources. If you want a new Fiesta, you’ll have to move quickly. It will be gone for good by the summer.

The May sales results will be out in the first week of June – watch this space!

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