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Revealed: the world’s best-selling cars of 2017

If you’re hoping to stand out from the crowd, these aren’t the cars for you. Using data supplied by JATO Dynamics, we can reveal the world’s best-selling cars of 2017, which we’ll present in reverse order.

25: Mercedes-Benz C-Class

2017 global sales: 487,287

There’s a huge gulf between the car at the top of the list and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which manages to creep into the top 25 with 487,287 registrations in 2017. This is around half the number of registrations recorded by the vehicle in first place.

24: Honda Accord

2017 global sales: 506,687

Honda unveiled the tenth-generation Accord in 2017, but the popular four-door saloon is no longer sold in the UK. Last month, the Accord was named North American Car of the Year, following in the footsteps of the Civic in 2016 and Ridgeline in 2017.

23: Haval/Hover H6

2017 global sales: 509,102

The Haval H6 is the best-selling SUV in China, a position it has held every year since 2013. Registrations are down 12.4 percent, which could suggest that it is facing fresh competition in the battle for SUV supremacy.

22: Nissan Qashqai/Rogue Sport

2017 global sales: 515,718

There are no such problems for the Nissan Qashqai – or Rogue Sport in the USA – which has recorded an 18.9 percent increase in registrations. The Qashqai is also the most popular crossover in the UK.

21: Suzuki Swift

2017 global sales: 521,510

The arrival of a new Suzuki Swift has seen registrations increase by 6.1 percent, making it one of the world’s most popular superminis. Note that the Ford Fiesta is absent from the top 25. A new Swift Sport will join the range in the summer.

20: Wuling Hong Guang

2017 global sales: 538,908

The Hong Guang is an extremely successful nameplate, which has recorded sales of more than 3.5 million units over the past seven years. Last year, the seven-seat MPV was joined by the Hong Guang S3, the first SUV from the Wuling brand.

19: Volkswagen Polo

2017 global sales: 550,004

Volkswagen Polo registrations are down, partly, we suspect, due to the arrival of the sixth-generation model. Given a full year of sales, we expect the Polo to reverse the decline in sales.

18: Volkswagen Bora/Jetta/Sagitar/Vento

2017 global sales: 552,513

The booted Volkswagen Golf goes by a number of different names across the world, but it’s no longer offered in the UK. Registrations are down 6.9 percent.

17: Hyundai Tucson

2017 global sales: 573,937

The continued rise in the popularity of SUVs and crossovers isn’t enough to stop the Hyundai Tucson recording a 4.3 percent fall in registrations. That said, 574k sales is hardly a drop in the ocean.

16: Toyota Camry/Aurion

2017 global sales: 579,113

Since the dawn of time, the Toyota Camry has been locked in a battle with the Honda Accord for saloon car supremacy in the United States. So much so that the Toyota website includes a section on why the Camry beats the Accord. One of the reasons is a CD player. Welcome to 2018, Toyota.

15: Hyundai Avante/Elantra

2017 global sales: 610,992

You might remember the Hyundai Elantra as the car driven by people with a penchant for tins of travel sweets and beige slacks. It may have departed these shores around a decade ago, but it remains a global sales star.

14: Ram pick-up

2017 global sales: 614,595

The Ram pick-up is the third best-selling pick-up… in the world. The fact that all three appear in the top 14 tells you all you need to know about the size of the pick-up market in North America.

13: Ford Escape/Kuga

2017 global sales: 644,622

The Ford Kuga is marketed as the Espace in North America. Rather apt, considering there’s no escaping the relentless march of the crossover-SUV.

12: Ford Focus

2017 global sales: 647,521

A new Ford Focus will arrive in the summer, and on this evidence it can’t come soon enough. While 648k registrations isn’t too shabby, it represents a 10.4 percent fall, year-on-year.

11: Chevrolet Silverado

2017 global sales: 656,106

Imagine selling 656k pick-ups and not being top dog. That’s the reality facing the Chevrolet Silverado, which is forced to live in the shadow of its all-conquering rival. On the plus side, registrations were up 3.5 percent in 2017.

10: Volkswagen Passat/Magotan

2017 global sales: 673,471

Volkswagen Passat registrations are down 3.7 percent. The company is expected to launch a new version in 2019.

9: Honda HR-V/XR-V/Vezel

2017 global sales: 689,798

For the third year in succession, the Honda HR-V is named the world’s most popular small SUV by JATO Dynamics. Registrations were down 3.9 percent in 2017.

8: Volkswagen Tiguan

2017 global sales: 695,383

With a 34 percent increase in registrations, the Volkswagen Tiguan was the biggest mover in the top 25. You can thank the arrival of a new and much-improved model for the increase in sales.

7: Honda CR-V

2017 global sales: 749,151

The Honda CR-V continues to perform well on the global stage, with 749k registrations representing a 6.9 percent increase in sales. A new CR-V will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, with the range including a new hybrid powertrain.

6: Toyota RAV4

2017 global sales: 770,296

The original RAV4 concept was unveiled at the 1989 Tokyo Motor Show, with the first-generation RAV4 arriving in the UK in 1994. Today’s Toyota RAV4 is an altogether different animal, with more universal appeal. In the UK, around two-thirds of RAV4s sold are fitted with a hybrid powertrain.

5: Honda Civic

2017 global sales: 800,380

These are the heavyweights of the global car industry: the top five best-sellers of 2017. Honda shifted 800k Civics, which represents a 20.1 percent increase on 2016. Not bad, especially when you consider sales of the Focus and Golf are seemingly on the decline.

4: Nissan X-Trail/Rogue

2017 global sales: 814,495

The Nissan X-Trail is another car to enjoy a successful 2017, with registrations up 6.5 percent. But that’s not enough to break into the top three.

3: Volkswagen Golf

2017 global sales: 867,145

Volkswagen Golf registrations are down 2.5 percent, but it manages to secure a top three position. An all-new eighth-generation Golf will roll off the production line in June 2019.

2: Toyota Corolla

2017 global sales: 924,118

The Toyota Corolla has been absent from the UK since 2008, but it’s a phenomenally successful vehicle in other markets. The family car dates back to 1966 and was Toyota’s second model to be imported into the UK.

1: Ford F-Series

2017 global sales: 1,073,285

Figuratively and literally, is there no stopping the Ford F-Series? More than one million Ford pick-ups were shifted in 2017, which is all the more remarkable when you consider that the overwhelming majority were sold in North America. Not only that, but registrations are up 8.8 percent. Wow.




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