Britain’s best-selling cars – July 2019

SUVs and crossovers pick up the pace in July

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New car registration numbers published this week show that private new car sales were down 2% in July 2019 compared to the same month last year.

It was a good month for electric cars and hybrids, which both did well, but not so good for diesels (as usual) and plug-in hybrids, which both saw falls compared to 12 months ago.

June was a good month for Alpine, CitroënDS Automobiles, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Lexus MG and Toyota, who all saw growth of at least 10% compared to the same month last year. Meanwhile, things were not so rosy for Abarth, Audi, Bentley, Fiat, Honda, Maserati, Mini, Mitsubishi, Renault, Smart or Vauxhall, who all saw double-digit declines compared to the same month last year.

Check out our report on the registration numbers: New car sales down in July.

Despite the overall theme being another month of falling sales, there are still plenty of popular cars flying out of new car showrooms. Here are the ten best-selling cars for July 2019.

Ten best-selling cars – July 2019

1. Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta news, reviews, safety and eco ratings | Britain's best-selling cars | The Car Expert

Seasons change, governments rise and fall, we still haven’t left the EU, and as usual the Ford Fiesta reigns supreme at the top of the UK new car sales charts.

The Fiesta currently holds an Expert Rating of 86% in The Car Expert’s all-new New Car Ratings database, which compares reviews from across the UK motoring media. This is higher than any other car in the supermini class and also the highest rating in the top ten best-sellers list, so it seems that motoring journalists and the buying public are in agreement on the Fiesta’s qualities.

2. Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf 2017 - ratings and reviews | The Car Expert

The current generation of Golf may be reaching the end of its life, having been launched back in 2012, but it remains popular among UK buyers. The Golf is the country’s third most popular new car so far 2019, right behind its arch-rival, the Ford Focus.

The Volkswagen Golf holds an Expert rating of 82% in The Car Expert’s New Car Ratings database, so it’s popular with journos as well as buyers.

3. Nissan Qashqai

2019 Nissan Qashqai wallpaper | The Car Expert

The Qashqai resumed its normal position as the most popular British-built new car in Britain in July, as the Mini hatch fell from third right out of the top ten. As usual, it was the best-selling SUV/crossover model in the country by a comfortable margin as well.

A decade ago, the original Qashqai almost had the compact SUV/crossover market all to itself. Today, it’s the fastest-growing segment in the new car market. Despite this, the current Qashqai continues to see of every new challenger – despite being one of the oldest models in the sector, having being launched in 2014.

The Nissan Qashqai currently holds an Expert Rating of 74% in our New Car Ratings database, which is midfield for the compact crossover segment and in the bottom half of scores for a Top Ten-selling car.

4. Ford Focus

Ford Focus 2018 - ratings and reviews | Uk's best-selling cars | The Car Expert

The Ford Focus recovered back from fifth to third place this month, a few hundred sales behind its arch-rival, the Volkswagen Golf. It still holds second place in the overall year-to-date standings, although only about 400 sales ahead of the Golf in third.

The Focus currently holds an Expert Rating of 82% in our New Car Ratings database, and was also listed by safety gurus Thatcham Research as one of the ten safest cars for 2019.

5. Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2018 - ratings and reviews | The Car Expert

Recovering from tenth place last month back up to a more normal fifth position is the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. it still seems strange to see a Mercedes hatchback as one of the most popular cars in the UK, doesn’t it?

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class has an Expert rating of 77% in The Car Expert’s New Car Rating system. The overall score is dragged down somewhat by lower ratings from a couple of performance car titles (Evo and Top Gear), otherwise it would be a solid 80% or more.

6. Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa 2017 - ratings and reviews | The Car Expert

The current-model Vauxhall Corsa continues to sell well in the last months of its life, despite Vauxhall regularly publicising details of its replacement, which is due to hit showrooms in about January. It has slipped back to fifth in year-to-date sales, just behind the Nissan Qashqai.

The Vauxhall Corsa holds an Expert Rating of 64%, which is the lowest score among the top ten cars in The Car Expert’s New Car Rating database. Vauxhall dealers will be eager for the new Corsa to take the fight to the ever-dominant Ford Fiesta.

7. Ford Kuga

Ford Kuga 2017 - ratings and reviews | The Car Expert

The Ford Kuga was a re-entry into the top ten in July, having last appeared in April. The current model is not long for this world, with an all-new replacement announced back in March. A strong month in July has also pushed the Kuga back up to eighth place in year-to-date sales.

The Kuga has a relatively poor Expert Rating of 65% on our New Car Ratings aggregator, which is one of the lowest scores for a top ten car. The current model was given a substantial update in 2017, but it lags behind the class leaders. Ford dealers will be keenly awaiting the new model, although the company hasn’t announced when it will arrive in the UK.

8. Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen Tiguan 2016 - ratings and reviews | The Car Expert

Making a re-entry in the top ten in July after falling out in June was the Volkswagen Tiguan. The third of four SUV/crossover models in the top ten this month, the Tiguan range comprises the regular model and the longer seven-seat Tiguan Allspace.

The Volkswagen Tiguan holds a strong Expert Rating of 79% in our New Car Ratings aggregator, which is not quite the best in class but certainly among the leaders.

9. Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen Polo (2018) - ratings and reviews | The Car Expert

The Volkswagen Polo fell back a spot to ninth in July, although it’s still fairly comfortable in seventh position in year-to-date registrations as 2019.

The Polo holds an Expert Rating of 79% in The Car Expert’s New Car Ratings calculator, which is good but a fair way behind the class-leading Ford Fiesta.

10. Kia Sportage

Kia Sportage (2018) ratings and reviews | The Car Expert

The third re-entry in the top ten for July, albeit at the bottom of the ladder, was the Kia Sportage. It was a good month for Kia’s biggest-selling model, which also crept back into the top ten in year-to-date sales.

The Sportage currently holds an Expert Rating of 72% in our aggregated New Car Ratings database, which is midfield for medium SUVs but quite a margin behind the class leaders.

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Stuart Masson
Stuart Masson
Stuart is the Editorial Director of our suite of sites: The Car Expert, The Van Expert and The Truck Expert. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive industry for over thirty years. He spent a decade in automotive retail, and now works tirelessly to help car buyers by providing independent and impartial advice.

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