The Ford Puma was the UK's best-selling car in 2023, but the Sportage has started the year off strong
Last year was a positive one for the automotive industry, with the UK experiencing its best year for car sales since the pandemic.
More than 1.9 million new cars were registered – but one stood out among the rest. The Ford Puma was the best-selling car in the UK in 2023, becoming the first Ford to top the charts since the Ford Fiesta’s 12-year run ended in 2020.
However, the market looks like it could be even more hotly contested than ever before in 2024.
So, which cars are top 10 best-sellers in the UK so far? See the year-to-date list below, starting from January 2024, using data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders:
Best-selling cars in the UK in 2024 so far
1. Kia Sportage - 4239 units
The Kia Sportage had a good year in 2023, finishing fourth in the UK sales charts. And it has started 2024 strongly, currently at the top of the table, with 4239 units sold.
Consistency is key for this crossover, which entered its fifth generation at the tail end of 2022, sporting an eye-catching design, on-trend powertrains and strong value for money.
Read our Kia Sportage review
2. Ford Puma – 4201 units
Last year's best-selling car, the Ford Puma, looks set to continue its success into 2024, having finished January just 38 units behind the Sportage.
The crossover still impresses us, thanks to its fun driving dynamics and attractive pricing, and a fun-filled ST variant tops the range.
It may not be the Fiesta we all know and love, but it’s a good, capable alternative nonetheless. It even outsold the Transit and Transit Custom vans, which is no mean feat.
Read our Ford Puma review
3. Nissan Qashqai – 4008 units
The Nissan Qashqai – the best-seller of 2022 – finished 2023 in second place, but it’s still hot on the heels of the Puma and the Sportage at the start of 2024.
The British-built crossover continues to appeal to buyers here through its excellent practicality. Its appeal has no doubt been bolstered by the addition of electrified powertrains for its third generation.
Read our Nissan Qashqai review
4. MG HS - 3413 units
This Chinese crossover offers class-leading value for money, and it received a facelift last year, putting it in line for even more mainstream success in 2024.
Available with a petrol engine or as a more frugal plug-in hybrid, the MG HS also comes with a good level of equipment as standard, including a 10.1in touchscreen, a 360deg parking camera and smartphone mirroring.
Read our MG HS review
5. BMW 1 Series - 3204 units
No BMW finished in the top 10 last year, but could the 1 Series change that this year? The German firm's smallest model finished January in fifth, as the best-selling non-crossover.
The hatchback starts at £28,740 and offers a choice of petrol and diesel engines, with a model range topped by the M-tuned M135i xDrive.
Read our BMW 1 Series review
6. Mini 3dr/5dr – 3079 units
Despite its age, the Mini hatchback continues to be one of the UK’s most popular cars. Last year, it finished ahead of key rivals including the Volkswagen Polo and Toyota Yaris.
With a versatile line-up of petrol, electric and Cooper performance variants, the Mini can always be relied on for drivability and alluring looks. A hotly anticipated new model will arrive soon.
Read our Mini review
7. Audi A3 - 2648 units
The Audi A3 is one of just three cars on this list that isn't an SUV, and it even outsells its Volkswagen Golf sibling nowadays, too.
It's certainly worthy of its spot in the top 10, offering a comfortable ride and good body control, plus a plush, roomy interior. The fact that it's also substantially cheaper than the rival Mercedes-Benz A-Class also helps its case.
Read our Audi A3 Sportback review
8. Volkswagen Golf - 2456 units
The Volkswagen Golf isn’t quite as popular as it once was, but it’s still a top pick for drivers on the hunt for a good all-round family hatchback.
The more premium Audi A3 is slightly more popular, but the Golf is likely to pick up a significant boost this year with the arrival of a facelift, a more powerful GTI and more rangey plug-in hybrid models.
Read our Volkswagen Golf review
9. Nissan Juke - 2421 units
The Nissan Juke remains a very popular car among UK buyers, finishing 2023 in eighth place. The crossover went on sale with a brand-new design in 2020, then a facelift arrived in the middle of last year, along with hybrid power for the first time.
Read our Nissan Juke review
10. Hyundai Tucson - 2373 units
The Hyundai Tucson is one of the UK’s most popular crossovers and regularly appeared in the top 10 in 2023. Arguably the most premium option in the top 10, it was renewed in 2021 with a fresh front end that featured a unique, eye-catching lighting arrangement. Its plush interior and range of electrified powertrains are attractive propositions for many Brits.
Read our Hyundai Tucson review