The 10 most popular cars in the UK right now

Demand for diesel cars slumped again in August as sales of hybrid and electric vehicles soared. We take a look at the other 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

UK new car registrations fell by 6.4% in August compared with the same month last year – the fifth consecutive month of decline following a record start to the year.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) attributes this downturn to uncertaintly following the general election and changes to VED road tax introduced on 1 April.

More specifically, sales of diesel cars in August were down by a whopping 21.3% on the same period in 2016, with this probably down to concerns about punitive future taxes. However, the news isn't all bad; demand for petrols actually rose by 3.8%, while the number of alternative fuel vehicles (such as hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric cars registered was up by 58.3%, even if these still accounted for just 5.2% of the total market.

Most of the best sellers were hatchbacks, such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf, while SUVs also feature strongly. Below, we take a look at the top 10.

The top 10 sellers for May 2017:

10. Nissan Qashqai

The Nissan Qashqai is the car that started the trend for small, family-friendly SUVs, and it remains one of the best following a recent update. True, there are cheaper alternatives, such as the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, but the Qashqai makes up for its price premium with a spacious and well-designed interior, solid build quality and superb comfort and refinement.

August sales 1484

What Car? rating: Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Nissan Qashqai review

Find a great Nissan Qashqai deal

9. Vauxhall Astra

In the past, we haven't rated the Vauxhall Astra particularly highly, but in its latest form the car is a real gem. It has a lightweight construction and agile feel which offset the fact that most of its engines aren't as powerful as those you'll find in rivals. Plus, it's spacious and cheap to buy and run.

August sales 1485

What Car? rating: Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Vauxhall Astra review

Find a great Vauxhall Astra deal

8. Kia Sportage

The Sportage is well priced, especially if you go for our recommended 2 trim level. Plus, it holds its value well and has a practical interior. True, the 1.7-litre diesel engine isn't the last word in refinement, and the driving dynamics can't match the best in this class, but otherwise the Sportage ticks most boxes for families in need of a small SUV.

Auguust sales 1541

What Car? rating: Rated 3 out of 5

Read our full Kia Sportage review

Find a great Kia Sportage deal

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