The 10 most popular cars in the UK right now

Newly released sales figues show that the UK car market continued to grow in January. We take a look at the winners and losers, and count down the top 10 most popular new cars

Words BySteve Huntingford

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The most popular cars in the UK

A total of 174,564 new cars were registered in the UK in January – a 2.9% increase on the same month last year, and the highest number since 2005.

The figures, which were released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), also show that there was a big spike in the popularity of alternative-fuel (electric and hybrid) vehicles; sales of these grew by 19.9%, although they still represented only 4.2% of the total market. Petrol car registrations were up by 8.9%, but diesel registrations fell by 4.3%.

The figures suggest that rumours diesel cars could be banned from some city centres are having an impact on the popularity of diesel cars, but that consumer confidence in general remains strong, despite the UK's vote to leave the European Union.

Most of the best sellers are hatchbacks, such as the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Golf, but SUVs also feature prominently. Below we take a look at the top 10.

The top 10 sellers for Januar 2017:

10. Kia Sportage

The Sportage is Kia's offering in the booming small SUV market, and combines stylish looks with a spacious and classy interior. Firm suspension keeps body roll to a minimum in corners, but you pay for this composure with an unsettled ride, and the Sportage isn't much fun to drive because of its numb steering.

January sales 3063

What Car? rating: Rated 3 out of 5

Read our full Kia Sportage review

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9. Audi A3

A former What Car? Car of the Year, the Audi A3 remains the best car in its class. It's available with a wide range of strong yet efficient engines, and as is usually the case with modern Audis, its interior is beautifully finished. Strong resale values and an enjoyable driving experience further sweeten the deal.

January sales 3118

What Car? rating: Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full Audi A3 review

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8. Nissan Qashqai

Another former Car of the Year, the Nissan Qashqai is one of the most practical cars in its class, and both quiet and comfortable. There's the option of four-wheel drive on some models, but you don't really need it. Fuel economy and CO2 emissions are impressive if you stick with front-wheel drive.

January sales 3500

What Car? rating: Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Nissan Qashqai review

Find a great Nissan Qashqai deal

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