The car market in Europe remained stable during 2018, with 15,6 million vehicles registered across the continent (up slightly on 2017 and the best result since 2007). But which were the best-selling passenger cars of the year?

Well, thanks to the studious folks over at Jato Dynamics, a global supplier of automotive business intelligence, we now know...

As you can see in the graphic embedded below (which furthermore includes the best-selling brands), the Volkswagen Golf was again the best-selling car in Europe, despite an eight percent fall in registrations. The outgoing Renault Clio placed second, while the Volkswagen Polo was third as the only vehicle in the top 10 to record double-digit growth.

Jato reports there was little change in the top 10, with the exception of the Toyota Yaris. Boosted by an increase in sales of its hybrid model, the Japanese hatchback was the ninth-best-selling car in Europe in 2018, having ranked 15th in 2017. The Opel/Vauxhall Astra fell from the top 10, with its registrations dropping by 18 percent.

The Ford Fiesta was fourth overall, while the Nissan Qashqai kept its place as the best-selling SUV in Europe (and fifth overall), despite strong growth posted by the Peugeot 3008. The French firm’s 208 was sixth and VW’s Tiguan seventh. The Mercedes A-Class led the premium rankings (and placed 23rd overall), as the popularity of its new generation enabled it to dethrone the C-Class.

Jato says the majority of vehicles registered in 2018 were powered by petrol, with this fuel type making up 57 percent of all registrations. This result marks a seven-point market share increase on 2017 and a 12-point increase in 10 years, confirming that petrol vehicles continue to benefit from the demise of diesel in Europe.

Diesel vehicles counted for just 36 percent of all registrations, as their market share dropped eight points on 2017 and 19 points on 2011 – the peak year for the fuel type. Interestingly, pure electric vehicles outsold plug-in hybrid vehicles, as their volume increased by 47 percent from 132 800 vehicles in 2017 to 195 300 vehicles in 2018.
Europe sales 2018