RAC Cars News


The best selling cars in the world

By raccars Published

VW Golf

The automotive industry is enjoying a purple patch and these are the world's best-selling cars.

New car sales are on the increase globally, with 20.44 million units sold world-wide in the first quarter of this year - 2.8 per cent higher than in the same period last year. Growth has largely been driven by the European and Chinese markets and particularly by increased demand for SUVs. In fact, China was solely responsible for over a third of global SUV sales from January to March this year.

The world's best-selling cars

Toyota Corolla

The Corolla is a familiar name as the world's best-selling car and 261,000 of them were sold in the first quarter of 2016. Originally released in 1966, the Corolla's first year as a global best seller was 1974 and it has hung around at the top of the list ever since. The current Toyota is the eleventh generation of the car and China is its largest market.

Volkswagen Golf

Another long-time occupant of the world's best-seller list, the Golf seems unaffected by the fallout from last year's 'dieselgate' scandal. In its seventh generation, the Golf is more practical, more economical and better to drive than ever. 224,000 were sold in the first quarter and once again China was the largest market.

Wuling Hong Guang

You probably won't have heard of this Chinese MPV, made by SAIC-GM-Wuling since 2010, but 222,000 of them were sold in the first three months of the year, mainly in China.

Ford F-150

The F-150 has been the best-selling pick-up in the world since 1977 and the USA's best-selling vehicle since 1981. Pick-ups are seeing a surge in popularity in the UK, with new models on the way from manufacturers including Renault and Volkswagen.

Ford Focus

While the British prefer the smaller Fiesta, Ford sold 197,000 of its second best-selling model globally in the first quarter. As part of the company's One Ford global strategy, the Focus is now sold world-wide, with China again being the largest market. The new Ford Focus RS hot hatch is doing particularly well.

Nissan X-Trail

The Qashqai is by far the most popular Nissan in the UK but overall the larger X-Trail SUV is the company's best-seller. 177,000 X-Trails were sold in the first three months of the year and the USA was the largest market. The latest model has seen the SUV go from 13th to sixth in the global best-sellers list thanks to its more spacious interior, stylish design and smooth ride.

Honda HR-V

A new HR-V was introduced last year and became an instant hit. 165,000 found new homes globally, above all in China. The HR-V is a compact crossover which boasts good looks and a practical and spacious interior.

Toyota RAV4

It isn't a particularly respected model in the UK but the rest of the world rather likes the RAV4, which was the eighth best-selling car in the world in the first quarter of the year. The USA is the largest market for this reliable and well equipped SUV and 158,000 of them were sold in the first quarter. In the UK the RAV4 is sold with a five year warranty.

Honda CR-V

It's not the most glamorous of SUVs but the CR-V is smart, dependable, economical and well-built. The USA is its largest market and 153,000 were sold world-wide in the first three months of the year.

Ford Kuga

Number ten on the world's best-sellers list is Ford's compact SUV, which is known as the Escape in some markets. Among its useful features is a hands-free boot lid, which opens in response to a foot waved under the rear bumper. The sales total for January to March this year was 152,000.

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