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Britain’s best-selling cars – October 2019

Order is restored at the top of the charts, SUVs are pretty popular and a surprise new entrant makes its debut

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It was a disappointing month for the car industry in October, with private new car sales down by more than 13%. With all the political manoeuvring around Brexit and a general election, this was not exactly a surprise – but it was still painful for many car dealers and manufacturers.

However, as always there were some makes and models that performed well among the doom and gloom. It was a good month for AlpineAudiBentleyDS AutomobilesLexusPorsche and SEAT, which all enjoyed increased registrations of at least 10% over the same month last year.

Things were not as rosy for AbarthCitroënDaciaFiatHondaInfinitiJaguarLand RoverLotusMaseratiMazdaMiniMitsubishiRenaultSmartSsangYongSubaruSuzukiVauxhall and Volvo, which all experienced double-digit percentage drops compared to the same month last year.

Don’t put too much weight into the year-on-year comparisons, however, as this time last year several brands were still struggling with having enough stock available thanks to the WLTP emissions regulations that came into force in September 2018.

After some major fluctuations in September, the top ten list settled down a bit in October. Let’s have a closer look:

The UK’s ten best-selling cars, October 2019

1. Ford Fiesta

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

After being bumped off its perch in September by the Vauxhall Corsa, it was situation normal in October as the Ford Fiesta returned to the top of the charts. Incidentally, the Corsa fell out of the top ten altogether in October, so maybe Vauxhall has run out of cars as its now out of production and the new model doesn’t arrive until early next year.

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 the second-highest rating in this month’s top ten best-sellers list, so it seems that motoring journalists and the buying public are in agreement on the Fiesta’s qualities.

2. Nissan Qashqai

2019 Nissan Qashqai wallpaper | The Car Expert

The Nissan Qashqai claimed the runner-up spot this month, the highest it has ranked for a long time. The British-built crossover edged out the third-placed VW Golf by less than 100 units, which also closes it to less than 300 units behind the Mercedes-Benz A-Class in year-to-date sales.

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.

3. Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf 2017 - ratings and reviews | The Car Expert

October was a much better month for Volkswagen as far as the Top Ten was concerned, with the Golf bouncing back up to third and the Tiguan and Polo joining it in the best-sellers list. A handy margin over its arch rival, the Ford Focus, also helped the Golf to edge further ahead in second place for year-to-date sales as well. With only two months to go in 2019 and the Golf now out of production, this could be critical.

The all-new eighth-generation Golf was officially unveiled late last month and it has quite a task ahead of it to be more highly regarded than the current model, which holds a class-leading Expert Rating of 82% according to our Expert Ratings aggregator.

4. Mercedes-Benz A-Class

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

It’s still hard to believe that Mercedes-Benz is the third-most-popular brand in the UK, ahead of the likes of Vauxhall and Toyota. That’s partly because of the enormous model range now on offer, but also the huge (and increasing) popularity of the A-Class hatchback and saloon.

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. However, it does rank highly for safety, winning awards from Euro NCAP, Thatcham and What Car? for its protective qualities.

5. Ford Focus

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

The Ford Focus improved one place from sixth to fifth this month, less than 50 units behind the Mercedes A-Class. However, a stronger month for the Volkswagen Golf means the Focus lost a but more ground to its arch rival in the year-to-date race. It will need a strong finish to the year to overhaul the Golf, although the VW is now out of production so supply might be more difficult.

The Ford Focus currently holds an Expert Rating of 81% in our New Car Ratings database, just 1% lower than the Golf, and was also listed by safety gurus Thatcham Research as one of the ten safest cars for 2019.

6. Ford Kuga

Ford Kuga 2017 - ratings and reviews | The Car Expert

The Ford Kuga had another good month in October. Its sixth place and a good haul of customer means that it is closing in on the Mini hatch for seventh place in year-to-date sales, now just over 500 units behind and closing the gap quickly.

The current model is not long for this world, with an all-new replacement announced back in March. The current model has a relatively poor Expert Rating of 65% on our New Car Ratings aggregator, which is the lowest score in the top ten this month.

7. Kia Sportage

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

It was a good month for the Kia Sportage, improving from eighth place in September. It narrowly pipped the Volkswagen Tiguan to seventh place by just 41 units in October, but is now pretty comfortable in tenth place for year-to-date sales with just two months remaining.

The Sportage currently holds an Expert Rating of 72% in our aggregated New Car Ratings database, which is midfield for medium SUVs but a couple of points behind the best-selling Nissan Qashqai and quite a margin behind the top cars in the mid-size SUV segment.

8. Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen Tiguan 2016 - ratings and reviews | The Car Expert

The Volkswagen Tiguan returned to the top ten in October, and was the fourth of five SUV/crossover models in the best-sellers list 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

Like the Tiguan, the Volkswagen Polo made a return to the top ten list in October. It was ninth for the month and remains in ninth place for year-to-date registrations. With just a couple of months to go for 2019, it looks like it will stay that way.

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. Range Rover Evoque

Land Rover Range Rover Evoque (2019) wallpaper | The Car Expert

It’s always nice to see a new face. Making its debut in the top ten this month is the new Range Rover Evoque. The baby Rangie had a great month to claim the final spot in the list, and was less than 60 units behind the Volkswagen Polo.

The Evoque currently holds an Expert Rating of 82% in our aggregated New Car Ratings database, which is very good and places it alongside the Volvo XC40 as joint best in class.

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Stuart Masson
Stuart Massonhttps://www.thecarexpert.co.uk/
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.