RAC Cars News


2016's automotive popularity contest

By raccars Published


The cars you have fallen in love with this year, the automotive popularity contest winners.

Top ten best-seller lists are one way to gauge a car's popularity but they do tend to be filled with more or less the same contenders year after year with very little variation. However you can also judge a car's popularity by how fast it sells within a certain period. The following cars have recorded the largest increase in global sales for the first half of 2016, compared to the same period last year.

Fastest rising automotive sales

Toyota Prius

The fourth generation Prius was released to much approval and prompted sales to rise by 36.6 per cent year on year. It appears that sales dipped in 2015 as buyers chose to sit tight and wait for the new model to be released.

Haval H6

Haval is big in SUV sales in China but as good as unheard of in the UK. The H6 compact SUV was launched in 2011 but 240,253 units were sold during 2016's first six months, making it China's best-selling SUV.

Ford Edge

The introduction of the crossover or SUV Edge model to Europe saw sales spike by 56.4 per cent this year. It will be interesting to see the impact of the Edge on a crowded but ever expanding market segment for the second half of the year.

Buick Excelle GT

Another Chinese best-seller, GM Shanghai's Buick Excelle GT was released last year with two engine choices - 1.5 and 1.8 litre petrol units. Sales have increased by 60.2 per cent so far this year.

Dodge Grand Caravan

The Dodge Grand Caravan does very well in the USA and Canada, where they love a good minivan. Year on year sales increased by 69.6 per cent.

Buick Envision

The first car made in China to go on sale in the USA, the Envision looks to be a hit so far. Sales were up by 76.1 per cent for the first half, helped by new US buyers.

Honda HR-V

The Honda HR-V joined the fray relatively late, going on sale first in Thailand then reaching the US market in May last year and the UK last summer, so statistics don't really give you the full picture. Nonetheless sales were up by 88.9 per cent.

Jeep Renegade

After a slower start, the Jeep Renegade appears to have made a place for itself in a crowded market. Globally the Renegade has gone from 267th best seller to 77th with sales up by 154.1 per cent during the first half of 2016.

Hyundai Tucson

After changing its name back from ix35 to the more familiar Tucson, sales of the third generation of the SUV went up by 202.4 per cent, showing again that statistics don't tell the full story - last year the Tucson was sold under that nameplate only in Columbia and South Korea, so the percentage difference is misleading.

GAC Trumpchi GS4

Similarly, the Chinese Trumpchi is a newer model that wasn't available for the first half of 2015, so sales figures reflect that situation more than a genuine surge in popularity.

In addition to those gaining in popularity, there are of course other cars which fall out of favour with buyers. This year that list includes the Chevrolet Cruze which fell from 16th overall best seller to 25th this year, thanks to a 21.4 per cent drop in sales. The Ford Fiesta remains Britain's best-selling car but globally sales have fallen by 20.6 per cent year on year. What we know as the Kia Rio is known as the Kia Pride elsewhere, but its performance for the first half of 2016 was no cause for pride, with sales dropping by 18.4 per cent.

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