These were the best-selling new cars in 2022

Last year was another tough 12 months for the auto industry, as ongoing supply chain issues limit the number of new models that can be produced and therefore sold.

While growth was recorded in the last few months of 2022, new car sales fell by two percent overall, totaling 1.614 million. However, it was positive news for electric cars, which achieved a record 16.6% market share, especially with Tesla’s dominance.

Let’s take a look at the 10 most popular new cars of 2022.

Nissan Qashqai – 42,704 records

Qashqai topped the charts.  (Nissan)

Qashqai topped the charts. (Nissan)

Taking the top spot in 2022 was the ever-popular Nissan Qashqai. Often billed as the crossover that started the craze, the Qashqai found 42,704 new homes in the 12-month period.

Despite being a common sight on the monthly top 10 most registered cars list, the Qashqai is topping the annual rankings for the first time.

Opel Corsa – 35,910

Opel Corsa-e

(Vauxhall)

It probably won’t come as a surprise to see the Vauxhall Corsa on this list. Despite being dismissed by some margin by the Qashqai, the Corsa’s 35,910 units continue to demonstrate that this compact car is still a real hit among buyers.

Available with a multitude of efficient engines, much of the Corsa’s popularity lies in its electric version, which brings a range equal to that of much more expensive models.

Tesla Model Y – 35,551

(Tesla)

(Tesla)

It’s been a fruitful year for Tesla, and it’s no small feat for the Model Y to reach third place in the annual rankings. The core of Tesla’s appeal is access to the company’s widespread and reliable Supercharger charging service, which has branches all over the country.

The Model Y is Tesla’s latest model and adds some crossover flair to the already very popular Model 3 sedan.

Ford Puma – 35,088

Ford Puma

(Ford)

It’s a sign of the times when the Ford Puma crossover was placed much higher than the once inaccessible Fiesta. While people flock to the Puma for its increased ride height, chunky looks and practical interior, the clever MegaBox function, which adds 90 liters of under-floor storage to the trunk, is one of the key ways it outshines the Fiesta.

Puma wasn’t far from the third-place spot, with 35,088 units that narrowly missed those of the Tesla Model 3.

Small – 32,387

Mini John Cooper Works

The new JCW retains the same 2.0-liter turbocharged petrol engine as before

Always a solid hit among buyers, the UK-made Mini saw 32,387 registrations in 2022. Adorned with retro-inspired styling, the Mini’s smart looks, sleek interior, and powerful yet efficient engine range are what make this car popular.

While a new version of the Mini is on the horizon, the success of this current model is likely to continue.

Kia Sportage – 29,655

(kia)

(kia)

Drivers love value for money, and this is something Kia Sportage has consistently delivered. The latest generation car is also one of the best, but it offers some very clever technology alongside a truly eye-catching exterior.

It was also a good year for Sportage, with 29,655 units registered in 2022.

Hyundai Tucson – 27,839

hyundai tucson

Tucson handles corners well

Hyundai had another great year with the success of the Tucson SUV, which accounted for a significant 27,839 registrations in 2022.

The Tucson is the sister model to the Kia Sportage, and customers can choose from a wide range of drivetrains, including both hybrid and plug-in hybrid. Its spacious interior, generous warranty and striking new design are the keys to its success.

Volkswagen Golf – 26.558

A wide selection of versions is the key to Golf's success.  (Volkswagen)

A wide selection of versions is the key to Golf’s success. (Volkswagen)

The Golf was the only Volkswagen to make the top 10 list in 2022 and also the only model in the family hatchback category. About 26,558 new Golfs were registered last year, dropping slightly to its sixth-ranked position in 2021.

With a wide portfolio of versions for customers to choose from, from low-cost petrol models to plug-in hybrids and sporty hot hatches with more than 300 hp, choice is key to Golf’s dominance.

Ford Kuga – 26,549

ford kuga

(Ford)

A second Ford SUV – Kuga – ranks above the once best-selling Fiesta and Focus in the 2022 rankings, signaling the dominance of these high-drive models, with Ford selling 26,549 examples of this family-oriented model last year.

Both the ‘self-charging’ and plug-in hybrid versions of the Kuga are particularly in demand among buyers, with Ford dropping diesel versions earlier in the year.

Ford Fiesta – 25,070

Despite Ford abandoning the Fiesta in 2023, many buyers still choose it.  (Ford)

Despite Ford abandoning the Fiesta in 2023, many buyers still choose it. (Ford)

While Ford may be dropping the Fiesta in 2023 as it turns its attention to EVs, this supermini is still proving very popular, breaking into the top 10 in 2022 with 25,070 examples sold despite not being on the list a year ago.

The Fiesta remains one of the best small cars on the market and offers good value, low operating costs and an enjoyable driving experience, especially with the ST hot hatch. It’s going to be really embarrassing when it falls off completely.

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