Britain’s All-Time Bestselling Cars


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Motor vehicle enthusiasts can argue over which cars are best, but the one thing there is no arguing with is sales figures, and on that basis alone there are ten automobiles that really stand out from the crowd in the history of the United Kingdom. So which are the top ten bestselling cars ever in Great Britain?

10. The Austin/Rover Metro

The Metro was originally intended as a MINI replacement, and in the years it was produced, between 1980 and 1997, the Metro sold nearly 1.5 million. It resulted in a massive second surge in profits for the Rover Group, but that just was not enough to stop it being declared bankrupt back in 1986.

9. The Austin/Rover MINI

The MINI was the Rover Group’s most successful vehicle ever, selling over 1.5 million, and is an iconic asset that was retained by BMW even after the final dissolving of the original brand. In 1999 the MINI came in second place in Global Automotive Elections’ Car of the Century awards, beating the likes of the Citroen DS and the VW Beetle. The MINI became a British cultural icon with an unparalleled motoring legacy.

8. Ford Focus

The Ford Focus was released just under twenty years ago in 1998, yet has already achieved stunning sales figures of almost two million. A follow-up to another of the bestselling vehicles from Ford, it has been consistently on the top sellers list since 2000, hitting a peak in 2014.

7. Volkswagen Golf

Originally released in the crazily innovative 1970s, the Golf became a household name, and seven different generations of its original design have emerged since. The Golf is a two-time European Car of the Year award winner and is famously adaptable, being available in numerous variations.

6. Vauxhall Cavalier

The Cavalier was a steady earner for Vauxhall, beginning with slow sales in the early 80s but with major sales increases into the mid 90s with its later versions. Throughout those decades it sold an easy 100,000+ every year, only to be retired in 1995.

5. Vauxhall Corsa

This super mini has never been released in the US, in spite of a great reputation and fantastic sales figures approaching two million. The number two super mini for almost twenty years now, it has been through four generations since its UK release in 1993.

4. Ford Cortina

The Cortina lasted twenty years from 1962 to 1982, and for its second decade it held the title of the bestselling car in Britain. The final “new” Cortina was eventually sold in 2005 in Derbyshire. The model racked up 2.5 million sales in total.

3. Vauxhall Astra

The Vauxhall Astra was launched in 1979 and entered its seventh generation last year, with its more than respectable sales one of the virtues of its enormous longevity.

2. Ford Escort

The Escort was produced from 1980 to 2004 and was responsible for knocking the Cortina off the top of the bestselling cars list in 1982. It then dominated the market itself for the next decade, with sales figures of over four million.

1. Ford Fiesta

Britain’s bestselling car of all time is the Ford Fiesta, finally beating the Escort to the title in 2014. It was the most purchased car of the year in 1990, and for around a dozen years since.