May represented yet another month of decline for new car registrations, falling by 20.6 per cent to 124,394 units. In fact, the figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), show that it represented the second-weakest May in three decades.
However, there were some exciting movers and shakers within the top 10 list of best-selling cars – so let’s take a look at where everything placed.
Vauxhall Corsa – 4,399
Vauxhall’s ever-popular Corsa came out on top during May with 4,399 examples registered. It represents quite a jump from April’s figures, when 3,002 Corsa models were registered, putting the hatchback into fourth place.
It is helped no end by the number of engine options available, while the fully-electric version definitely ties in with May’s 17.7 per cent increase in battery-electric vehicle registrations.
Ford Puma – 3,580
Ford’s Puma continued to storm the charts, with 3,580 examples registered during May. The Fiesta – with which the Puma shares a platform – continues to be absent from the top 10 entirely, showing that consumers really are leaning towards the more practicality focused Puma.
Though there’s no fully electric version of the Puma on offer, it still has a good choice of economy-focused engines, while the punchy 1.5-litre engine in the top-rung ST version brings a lot of performance too.
Ford Kuga – 3,379
Ford’s Kuga has historically been a big-hitter in the family SUV segment, so it’s not surprising to see it contributing to a two-three podium finish for the Blue Oval. Recently given a plug-in hybrid option – which brings the ability to travel for up to 39 miles on electric power alone – the Kuga continues to provide the practicality that families are after.
It’s this integration of a battery-assisted powertrain that really shows the more modern direction that the Kuga is taking, reflecting Ford’s pledge to become an electric-only brand by 2030.
Volkswagen Golf – 2,623
Volkswagen’s Golf is one of those popular names in the new car segment, with the hatchback’s combination of premium finish and refined driving dynamics ensuring that it’s a hit with a variety of buyers.
The most recent eighth-generation Golf might’ve been hampered initially by the coronavirus pandemic and its related lockdowns, but May’s figures show that it’s well on the up.
Mini – 2,538
Mini’s popularity shows no sign of diminishing, with the retro-influenced model’s nippy handling and numerous engine choices ensuring that it hits the mark with many people. Though somewhat hampered by supply issues – to the point that Mini has temporarily paused the creation of cars with manual gearboxes – it would appear that many vehicles are still finding their way onto driveways.
Plus, an electric version helps to tap into the flourishing demand for EVs.
Nissan Qashqai – 2,261
Nissan’s Qashqai was the car to kick off the crossover trend and many years on, it’s more refined and premium-feeling than ever. Only available with a mild-hybrid engine option – though a larger-battery version is on the way shortly – it’s efficient yet also spacious and practical.
It has also been given a full five stars for the level of driver assistance technology it features, showing that it really is packed with safety-related functions.
Kia Sportage – 2,260
Kia has been on a roll with its cars of late, showing that this Korean brand can create well-made, efficient and good-to-drive cars that don’t break the budget. The Sportage is one of its key models – and a popular option in the SUV segment – while a recent new version has showcased a striking new look that really stands out.
Much like other cars here, the Sportage is also available with a plug-in hybrid engine, joining mild and regular hybrid versions.
Kia Niro – 2,258
Kia’s Niro is a car with choice at the very top of its offerings, with regular, plug-in hybrid and fully electric versions meaning that it’s got nearly all the bases covered when it comes to engines. It has undergone a complete redesign recently, too, bringing a completely different look to the car that came before it.
The Niro is a very important car for Kia, too, as it’s the firm’s second best-selling model in the UK. Plus, 55 per cent of sales are for the electric version.
Volkswagen Polo – 2,118
Volkswagen’s newest Polo really does feel like a Golf that has been put on the hot spin. It’s got the same look and feel as its big brother – as well as the technology to match – but puts it into a package that is slightly easier to park and live with in general.
It looks good, too, while a tip-top GTI version is there for those people who want a little extra zip from their Polo.
Hyundai Tucson – 2,094
Finally, we have the Hyundai Tucson. Much like other cars on this list you can have it with regular and plug-in hybrid engine options, ensuring that running costs for this SUV are kept as low as possible.
It has also been given a brand new look, with its distinctive LED daytime running light setup ensuring that it stands out on the road.