Britain’s best-selling cars of 2022

Britain’s best-selling cars of 2022

Heading into the final month of 2022, the resurgent Nissan Qashqai has extended its lead at the top of the UK’s annual best-sellers list, as the Tesla Model Y and Mini hatch move up the standings after solid November sales numbers.

Despite growing cost of living concerns, November marked the fourth 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 23% 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 also rose by a modest 3% compared to November 2021 as the supply shortages that have plagued manufacturers throughout 2022 begin to ease.

The increasingly popular Nissan Qashqai recorded another strong month of sales, and has now outsold the previously dominant Vauxhall Corsa by more than 4,000 models. The Qashqai finished top of the pile in the November best-sellers chart, while the Corsa finished fifth for the second month running.

Assuming the Qashqai holds its lead for the final month of December, it will become the first British-built car to top the new car sales charts since the Ford Fiesta of 1998 – some 24 years ago.

The rest of the annual rankings looks largely the same after October, though a strong month for the Mini hatch sees the hatchback rise one place in the annual rankings to fourth, while the Tesla Model Y also overtook the Kia Niro to claim ninth.

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 coming months are likely to remain difficult for car companies.

Read our monthly report: Strong November for new car sales

Top ten best sellers, November 2022

1 Nissan Qashqai 5,636
2 Tesla Model Y 4,229
3 Mini hatch 3,312
4 Ford Fiesta 2,869
5 Vauxhall Corsa 2,537
6 Volkswagen Golf 2,516
7 Ford Puma 2,408
8 Volkswagen T-Roc 2,370
9 Volkswagen Polo 2,277
10 Toyota Yaris 2,272
Source: SMMT
Nissan Qashqai 2021 Teka+ front dynamic
Nissan Qashqai

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

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 been selling up a storm in recent months. After snatching first in the annual rankings from the faltering Corsa in October, the Qashqai was the best selling car in the UK in November.

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 sits in second in the annual charts, and is losing ground to the Ford Kuga with one month remaining.

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, finishing seventh in the monthly charts after two consecutive fourth place results. The Puma holds on to third in the annual charts, with several thousand more sales than the chasing Mini hatch.

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. 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 a consistent consumer favourite throughout 2022. The hatchback has certainly lost the battle for best-selling British-built to the Nissan Qashqai, but is still showing strong sales form, taking fourth in the annual rankings from the Kia Sportage after November.

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%.

5. Kia Sportage

Best-selling new cars of 2022 – Kia Sportage

Usually a consistent performer, the brand-new Kia Sportage has been missing from the top ten best-sellers list for two months now. It now holds fifth in the annual charts, dropping one place, but looks likely to hold on to that position as it has outsold the Hyundai Tucson by over 2,000 models.

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.

6. Hyundai Tucson

Best-selling cars of 2022 – Hyundai Tucson

Another SUV that is now frequently absent from the 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 November 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. Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf is recording some healthy sales numbers as we head toward the year’s end – late form that has seen the hatchback move up two places in the annual rankings in as many months. Now occupying seventh in the 2022 table, the Golf is within touching distance of the Tucson’s sales numbers with just December to go.

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

8. Ford Kuga

With the increasing popularity of the Nissan Qashqai, other family-sized SUVs are beginning to suffer – including the Ford Kuga. Absent from the November best-sellers chart, the Kuga slides to eighth in the annual rankings.

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

9. 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. After a strong November sales showing that sealed a second place finish in the monthly charts, the Model Y has now leapfrogged the struggling Kia Niro to take ninth place in the annual best-sellers list.

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

10. 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 monthly top ten rankings for two consecutive months, as it loses out to the likes of the Ford Puma and Volkswagen T-Roc.

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%.

The next and final update (December results) will be due in the first week of January 2023.

Additional reporting by Stuart Masson

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