10 Most Popular New Cars UK – March 2022< Back to blog
March is renowned for being one of the best for sales, with the new ’22’ plate released and plenty of opportunity out there to bag yourself a bargain on new and used cars. However, UK Automotive has reported sorry sales for new cars last month, with registrations for new cars in March 2022 slumping to the lowest ever for the month in 24 years.
A shortage of new cars and soaring fuel prices plagues the industry, but in brighter news, electric cars had a record month for sales. What’s more is that we can now reveal what the 10 most popular new cars are in the UK after the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturer and Traders) revealed March new car registration data for the month.
Read on to see which new cars are currently trending among UK drivers!
1. Tesla Model Y – 6,464
The Tesla Model Y arrived with quite a bang as you would expect from any new product released by the electric car manufacturing giant. Such is the popularity of Tesla models (largely in part due to the brand’s extroverted and rather eccentric CEO and design chief, Elon Musk), that this ‘pumped up Tesla Model 3‘ was bound to be nothing short of a success.
We’re not setting it up to fail here, either. It genuinely did outsell any other new car in March, with a whopping 6,464 registrations of the Model Y in the UK throughout the month.
With a more practical boot and interior than the saloon Model 3, plus the same Long Range and Performance trims available, on paper it’s a great EV. Out on the road there’s that familiar brilliant performance typical of a Tesla, with a 0-60mph time of just 4.9 seconds achievable in the Long Range version, which is cut down to an eye-watering 3.5 seconds in the Performance spec.
Most importantly, the Tesla Model Y can officially travel 315 miles (Long Range) or 298 miles (Performance) between charges. It can charge rapidly too thanks to exclusive access to Tesla Rapidchargers. These can charge at a rate of 150kW, which boosts the Long Range spec’s battery from 20-80% in just 20 minutes.
2. Tesla Model 3 – 6,457
Another Tesla taking top spot is the brand’s best-selling car to date, the Model 3.
With only seven less registrations in March than its bigger SUV sibling, the Model 3 is still a fantastic choice for buyers looking for the perfect all-round electric car.
The Model 3 starts at a cheaper price than the Model Y too, thanks to Tesla making it available with a more affordable rear-wheel-drive (RWD) Standard Range model. Even still, you can get 300 miles of range between charges, while performance is better in the more performance-focused Performance version of the Model 3 (0-60mph takes just 3.3 seconds!)
Just like the other Tesla models in the range, the Model 3 gets all the tricks and gadgets we’ve come to love these models for. That’s including the iPad-like 15in central touchscreen, the minimalist, premium interior design and many ‘Easter Egg’ features that allow you to customise your new electric car to the max.
3. Vauxhall Corsa – 5,515
When isn’t the Vauxhall Corsa in one of these lists? That’s not us suggesting that it doesn’t deserve to be in here, either.
UK drivers can never seem to get enough of this class-leading hatchback. And since it was facelifted back in 2019 to bring it more in line with more mature, modern rivals, it’s only sold more and more. In March, new Vauxhall Corsa models made up more than 11% of new car registrations.
You can buy or lease the new Vauxhall Corsa in a whole host of trims that come well-equipped and with very cheap running costs. There’s even a 100% electric Vauxhall Corsa-e available that has a near-200-mile range, which is pretty good going for a car that wasn’t designed to be a bespoke EV in the first place. However, for the price we recommend sticking to petrol versions of the Corsa, where you can make significant savings on the cost of the car itself.
4. Nissan Qashqai – 5,401
Still the UK’s best-selling SUV, the Nissan Qashqai being knocked off its perch, with the car landing in the top five best-selling new cars in March.
Nissan made sure of this too by launching a third-generation Qashqai last year, with an updated design that gave this model even more sporty appeal. After arguably starting the affordable SUV boom, it looks like the Qashqai is still giving newer, more expensive rivals a run for their money with its fantastic value, lofty driving position, family-friendly dimensions and five-star safety equipment.
Our Nissan Qashqai finance and lease deals remain one of our customers’ favourite options.
Hyundai Tucson – 4,876
There isn’t quite anything like the Hyundai Tucson’s new jewel-shaped grille on any other car currently available. Whether it’s this that’s spurred on its recent resurgence into the SUV big leagues, or its new range of excellent hybrid engines, we’re not quite sure.
What we are sure of, is that 4,876 new Hyundai Tucsons hit UK roads in March, proving that since its refresh it’s now considered one of the best SUVs on the market.
Inside and out the new Hyundai Tucson is laced with new features from the off that make it very easy to live with. On top of this, those hybrid engines we spoke about are guaranteed to offer business lease customers massive company car tax savings, especially the plug-in hybrid model, which produces a mere 31g/km of CO2 emissions. Or if you’re a private customer, you’ll love the fuel-saving element of the plug-in Tucson, which can travel up to 38 miles on electric power alone.
6. Ford Puma – 4,755
It’s very rare for a car to have such a successful revival as the Ford Puma did back in 2019.
Once a successful (albeit short-lived) supermini produced between 1997 and 2001, 18 years on the Puma burst onto the small SUV scene with devastating impact to its rivals. This time it’s here to stay though, with its sporty, agile handling, punchy and efficient engines, and bold styling proving very popular with UK drivers.
There’s also the option of blisteringly quick Ford Puma ST that uses the same engine from the beloved Ford Fiesta ST hot hatch. On top of this it has all the performance features that give it very good credentials in the niche performance SUV category.
Whether you have a small family, or just want a lofty driving position and practical car that’s easy to live with and great fun to drive, there’s a Ford Puma perfect for you.
7. Kia Sportage – 4,563
Another mid-sized SUV to undergo a good bit of surgery in recent months, the new fifth-generation Kia Sportage isn’t just a new face, but a whole new platform.
Along with a fresh design, the latest Sportage has been injected with a waft of new advanced safety features, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), navigation-augmented adaptive cruise control, lane centring assist and advanced blind-spot collision-avoidance assistance system.
There’s also a fantastic engine range to choose from. Kia gives you plenty of choice, with one petrol and two diesels, and manual and automatic gearboxes available. Automatic versions get mild-hybrid technology (MHEV) to improve efficiency and reduce emissions.
For the environmentally conscious out there, the Sportage comes as can be specified as a ‘self-charging’ hybrid (HEV) version, and a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), which can officially do more than 40 miles of driving on electricity alone. If you’re looking to maximise traction, you can opt for four-wheel drive on top-spec models.
8. Ford Kuga – 4,223
A very fashionable large SUV, the Ford Kuga has increased in appeal massively here in the UK since it was made available as a plug-in hybrid.
On the one hand, private buyers will love the car’s 35-mile electric range between charges, which massively saves on petrol costs (something we’re all looking to do at the moment!). Then there’s the tax-saving benefit for company car drivers, who will be able to benefit from super low tax rates thanks to the Kuga plug-in hybrid emitting just 29g/km of CO2, making it a very environmentally-friendly option.
Private owners might even like the look of the 2.5 FHEV (full hybrid) Ford Kuga, which tends to be a better choice if you’re not buying through your business. Along with having strong performance and cheap running costs like the plug-in hybrid, it can pootle around for short distances without using the engine and can tow 1,600kg.
Overall, the Ford Kuga is a very practical option if you need a family car that can do it all.
9. Toyota C-HR – 3,910
If you’re you want to join the small SUV craze, but want something that’s going to set you apart from the bunch, the Toyota C-HR is right for you. It’s perhaps why so many people chose to buy a new one in March, making the top 10 best-selling cars, probably because of its snazzy-looking, sporty design and hybrid engine range that is great for individuals and businesses looking to save a pretty penny on running costs.
The 1.8-litre engines in the Toyota C-HR lineup can seem a little pedestrian, so we recommend checking out the 2.0-litre instead. It has considerably more power and cuts the acceleration time down to 8.2sec. This gives it the perfect balance between performance and running costs.
Inside and on the road is where you see the real USPs of the C-HR. As standard you get Toyota’s Touch 2 infotainment system that’s packed with all the smartphone connectivity you’d want from a new car, while the brand’s Safety Sense advanced safety tech make you feel safe whether you’re in the city or travelling longer distances.
10. Ford Fiesta
It may come as a surprise to see the Ford Fiesta at the bottom of the list for new cars sold in March, but take nothing away from its proven capabilities.
The Fiesta is still considered one of the best-selling hatchbacks in the UK and you’ll findn it hard to pick a small car that’s better to drive than the latest Fiesta.
With brilliant performance from the standard range of Ford’s mild-hybrid (MHEV) turbocharged engines and sharp, engaging handling, it’s hard to pick fault with the car. What’s more is that it comes in a range of excellent trim levels, all of which are laced with quality in-car technology and materials, our favourite of which is the sporty ST-Line trim.
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