Britain’s best-selling cars of 2022

Britain’s best-selling cars of 2022

After two months at the top, the British-built Nissan Qashqai has been crowned the UK’s best-selling car for 2022, ahead of the Vauxhall Corsa and Tesla Model Y.

Despite growing cost of living concerns, December marked the fifth 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 18% last month when compared to December last year as the supply shortages that have plagued manufacturers throughout 2022 begin to ease. Overall, over 1.6 million new cars were sold in the UK in 2022, 2% less than the number of cars registered in 2021. That said, the SMMT comments that this annual sales total is still around 700,000 less than the annual average before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The increasingly popular Nissan Qashqai recorded another month of impressive sales figures – a performance that was enough to see the midsize SUV seal its place at the top of the table. However, Nissan was outshone by an excellent sales performance from Tesla in December, as its Model Y SUV and Model 3 saloon took first and second in the monthly best-sellers chart last month.

The rest of the annual rankings look largely the same after December, though the Tesla Model Y has surged up from ninth to third in the chart, and consistent sales for the Ford Fiesta sees the former British favourite move up the annual rankings as the Kia Niro falls out of the top ten in the last month of the 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 coming months are likely to remain difficult for car companies.

Read our monthly report: Tesla charges to top place in December new car sales

Top ten best sellers, November 2022

1 Tesla Model Y 10,664
2 Tesla Model 3 5,704
3 Nissan Qashqai 3,506
4 Mini hatch 3,319
5 Volkswagen T-Roc 2,325
6 Toyota Yaris 2,020
7 Volvo XC40 1,869
8 Ford Fiesta 1,814
9 Nissan Leaf 1,783
10 Ford Puma 1,782
Source: SMMT
Britain’s best-selling cars of 2022
Tesla Model Y

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 has held on to take the title to the UK’s best-selling car for 2022.

On sale since Autumn last year, the current-generation Nissan Qashqai holds an Expert Rating of 69%, 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 was entirely depleted after several months of lower sales numbers. The Corsa finished 2022 second in the annual charts, with the much more expensive Tesla Model Y not far behind.

Despite its continued sales success, the Corsa has received average reviews from the motoring media, with an Expert Rating of just 61% on our Expert Rating Index – with the electric Corsa-e two points higher.

3. Tesla Model Y

Britain’s best-selling cars of 2022

As we enter the final quarter of 2022, the upmarket Model Y SUV is proving to be Britain’s Tesla of choice. After leapfrogging the struggling Kia Niro to take ninth place in the annual best-sellers list in November, a brilliant sales performance in December sees the all-electric SUV jump six places further up the table.

The Tesla Model Y has received a positive media reception here in the UK, and currently holds a solid Expert Rating of 79%.

4. Ford Puma

Best selling cars of 2022 – Ford Puma

The Ford Puma continues to sell in consistent numbers, finishing tenth in the monthly charts in December. One of many to slide down the table due to the Model Y’s performance, the Puma finishes fourth in the annual charts, with several thousand more sales than the Mini hatch.

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.

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 a consistent consumer favourite throughout 2022. The hatchback lost the battle for best-selling British-built to the Nissan Qashqai back in October, but still showed strong sales form as the year came to a close, taking fifth in the annual rankings.

The Mini has received positive reviews, with an Expert Rating of 74% on our Expert Rating Index. The electric model doesn’t do so well, with a score of just 63%.

6. 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 for the last three months of 2022. Nevertheless, the SUV has finished sixth in the annual charts, dropping one place, outselling the Hyundai Tucson by nearly 2,000 models.

The new Kia Sportage hasn’t received that many reviews yet, and currently holds an Expert Rating of 70% on our industry-leading Expert Rating Index. This could shift as more reviews are published in coming months.

7. Hyundai Tucson

Best-selling cars of 2022 – Hyundai Tucson

Another SUV that is now frequently absent from the top ten, Hyundai Tucson sales dropped off in the final months of 2022, after the car established itself as one of the UK’s most popular SUVs in the first half of this year. Despite its December absence, the Tucson holds on to seventh in the annual sales list.

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

8. Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf has recorded some healthy sales numbers in the last few months – though it was absent from the monthly top ten in December. Finishing seventh in the 2022 table, the Golf was within touching distance of the Tucson’s sales numbers with one month to go, but did not record strong enough sales to surpass the SUV.

On sale since 2020, the Golf currently holds an Expert Rating of 75%, with good scores from most UK media sources.

9. 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 monthly top ten for two months running, the Kuga slides to ninth in the annual rankings.

Its Expert Rating of 69% places it firmly in the middle of a very competitive family SUV market.

10. Ford Fiesta

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

Due to persistent supply shortages, it has been a torrid two years for Britain’s former hatchback favourite. However, despite being temporarily removed from sale for a few months earlier this year, the Ford Fiesta has managed to creep back into the top ten best-sellers chart in the final month of the year.

Facelifted in 2021, the Fiesta currently holds an Expert Rating of 76%, with good scores from most UK media sources.

Last year’s best-sellers race is over, but the competition for 2023’s best-selling car is already underway. We will have the sales results for January in the first week of February – check back soon!

Additional reporting by Stuart Masson

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