New car sales hit a record high in the UK during 2016, with close to 2.7 million units shifted throughout the year.
That could be because Brits shopping for a new car are spoilt for choice, being able to pick from almost 400 different models across 44 brands.
We’ve already counted down the ten best-selling models of 2016, according to registrations figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, but which were the most in demand car manufacturers last year?
Hyundai – 92,419 units
This South Korean carmaker doesn’t get much of a mention on Motor-Vision but we did hail its new Ioniq hybrid – the brand’s first production model to involve an electric powertrain – as a potential Prius killer.
From the i10 city car through to the Qashqai-bothering Tucson [pictured] via the Golf-rivalling i30, Hyundai’s canny range of practical, affordable models has clearly chimed with UK buyers.
Toyota – 96,746 units
The continued appeal of Toyota’s ‘other hybrids’ like the Yaris and Auris buoyed much of the brand’s sales in 2016, but the year saw the arrival of what is widely considered to be the best Prius yet.
Saying that the hybrid saloon is more efficient than ever won’t surprise anyone, but much of the fourth-gen Prius’ appeal came from the fact that it drove and looked better than ever than before, with engaging handling and an aggressive new exterior.
Peugeot – 98,529 units
Despite a merciless roasting by Clarkson and co on the old Top Gear, plenty of UK motorists still wanted to drive a Peugeot in 2016. The 2008 compact SUV was given a striking redesign and its 108, 208 and 308 all hit the right balance between value and quality.
2017 will see the dorky 3008 MPV go through a radical rebirth as a smart SUV, which could mean Pug’s showrooms could be even more crowded over the next 12 months.
Nissan – 152,525 units
SUVs may be selling like hot cakes right now, but the Qashqai was the only model in the segment to appear in the UK top ten best selling cars of 2016, appearing at a very respectable fifth.
Elsewhere in the Nissan range, the Juke remains to be arguably the best car in its class, while the third-gen Navara [pictured] set a new standard for pick-up trucks. We’ll get a totally reinvented Micra in 2017 too, so expect Nissan to be shifting big numbers once again.
Mercedes-Benz – 169,828 units
The first of four Germans now, and Merc’s appearance here is largely down to the C-Class, which made up more than a quarter of the brand’s UK sales last year.
We also got a new E-Class, while a coupe version will join the E-Class family in April.
Audi – 177,304 units
Audi enjoyed the fruits of offering new iterations of the A4 and TT in 2016, as well as the newly introduced Q2, while the A3 – the brand’s only model in the UK top ten – continued to sell well despite a refreshed model due in the first half of 2017.
BMW – 182,593 units
Further proof that we Brits are suckers for a premium German brand. Not many of us would have been splashing out six figures on an i8, but we were more than happy to snap up a new 4 Series or X1 – a softroader that no-one at BMW wanted to build, according to Jeremy Clarkson.
Volkswagen – 207,028 units
Dieselgate may have dented VW’s reputation but it hasn’t dealt much damage to their sales. This was helped by the enduring appeal of the Polo and Golf, the latter of which will be refreshed in April, as well as a new Tiguan [pictured].
Vauxhall – 250,955 units
Excitement may be all but absent from the current Vauxhall range, but Brits still have a lot of time for the Corsa and Astra, both of which accounted for almost half of the brand’s UK registrations.
Ford – 318,316 units
The rivalry between Vauxhall and Ford is one of the fiercest in the entire automotive industry, and yet again, Ford has come out on top, thanks to its Fiesta-Focus duo.
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