Buying a car for practicality’s sake is all very well and good – but you only get a true connection to the car you own if you really like it in the first place.
With the monthly sales figures released by the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders, you can get a good idea of which cars are the ‘most loved’ on the road today.
Here are the top ten vehicles that British drivers can’t do without…
1. Ford Fiesta
The supermini has been the UK’s favourite for a considerable amount of time – and only the odd car here and there has been able to take the number one spot from it. The Fiesta is affordable, practical and great to look at – while also coming in the world-renowned ST, which continues to be one of the hot hatches to beat. It was so popular, Ford delivered 95,892 examples in 2018 alone – 31,000 ahead of the next-best car.
2. Volkswagen Golf
Having been around since the late 70s, the VW Golf is established in the UK’s top 10 and will be for the foreseeable future. Offering a quality finish in a large and practical hatchback shell, the Golf is dependable in almost any circumstance – and is available in the guise of the most recognisable hot hatch, the GTI. Close to 65,000 were registered last year.
3. Vauxhall Corsa
Young drivers have been big fans of the Corsa for some time, and although its closest segment rival – the Fiesta – is streets ahead and continues to pull away, the Vauxhall remains in the top three. With the new model on the way this year, the British brand is looking to reinvigorate the popular supermini and make it even more liked amongst British drivers – especially with the electric version on the way.
4. Nissan Qashqai
With SUVs becoming ever popular amongst British drivers, the Nissan Qashqai is the country’s most sought-after. Built in Sunderland, the Nissan is an affordable option in the competitive crossover segment and 50,546 units were delivered in 2018 alone. After receiving a couple of equipment updates towards the end of last year, Nissan is continuing to push the model further up people’s shopping lists.
5. Ford Focus
If it wasn’t for a model-generation change, it’s arguable that the Focus could be further up the rankings. Introduced as a replacement for the Escort in 1998, the Focus has taken over the mantle of much-appreciated family hatchback seamlessly and the latest iteration is the most advanced and best-looking yet. But don’t take our word for it, as 50,492 Focus registrations were made after it was revealed in April.
6. Volkswagen Polo
As with its larger sibling, the VW Polo offers a more premium package in the supermini market – but that does mean it has a higher mark-up than its competitors. Now in its sixth generation that was released at the start of last year, the Polo can be fitted with class-exclusive technology, such as an all-digital instrument display and high-end safety features.
It must be ingrained in the British psyche to like the Mini, as it continues to hold a place in motorists’ hearts. Since BMW took on the brand at the turn of the millennium, the Hatch has been a stylish competitor in the hatchback segment while also a higher-end finish. Setup like a go-kart, the Mini continues to be one of the best compact cars for driving on sale – with almost 45,000 sold in 2018.
8. Mercedes A-Class
2018 saw Mercedes reveal the latest version of its smallest model, which comes with artificial intelligence in the infotainment system and can be fitted with augmented reality functions for the sat-nav. As one of the more premium options in the hatchback segment, it’s a surprise it ranks so highly, with 43,527 sold in 2018.
9. Ford Kuga
The popularity of crossovers continues to grow amongst British drivers, and with Ford being the most popular brand in the UK, it’s no shock the Kuga is in the top 10. More than 40,000 were sold last year and it comes with much the same equipment as some of the smaller offerings, including the Sync 3 infotainment system and safety equipment.
10. Kia Sportage
Rounding out the top 10 is yet another crossover, with the Sportage lagging behind its closest rival – the Qashqai – but continuing to be a quality option in the affordable SUV sector. With 35,567 units sold in 2018, the South Korean model comes with plenty of practicality and quality equipment from the base level option.