While the European new car market didn't have a good year, there were some interesting surprises in the overall model rankings for 2022. According to data released by JATO, the best-selling new car in the region was the Peugeot 208 at 206,816 units. Its volume increased by 5 percent compared to 2021, allowing Peugeot to lead this ranking for the first time since 2007, when the 207 reigned supreme.
Indeed, the 208 dethroned the Volkswagen Golf, which has continuously led the European car market since 2008. This major change can be explained by the continued sales decline of the German hatchback across Europe following software problems, availability, and increased competition within the Volkswagen group. The Golf thus slipped to fifth place in the standings, well behind the Dacia Sandero, the Volkswagen T-Roc, and the Fiat/Abarth 500.
Citroen C3 And Peugeot 2008 Out Of The Top 10
Among the other great performances of the top 10 is that of the Fiat 500, which moved from ninth position in 2021 to fourth last year. The Volkswagen T-Roc climbed from sixth position to third, becoming the best-selling SUV in Europe and ousting the Peugeot 2008.
The 2008 dropped out of the top ten, as its volume fell 28 percent, but it remained Peugeot's second best-selling SUV and Stellantis' most popular. The Citroën C3 moved from tenth position in 2021 to eleventh in 2022. These two models were replaced in the top 10 by the Hyundai Tucson, in eighth place, and the Dacia Duster in ninth, both surpassing sales of another traditional hot-seller, the Renault Clio, which dropped from fourth position to tenth in 2022.
Tesla Model Y: The Best-Selling Electric
Further down the chart, the Tesla Model Y did really well with 138,128 units. It managed to outsell the Model 3 and become the best-selling electric vehicle in Europe. The Model Y failed to surpass the 141,952 units registered by the Model 3 in 2021. However, with 233,307 units registered, Tesla was the 18th best-selling brand in Europe, ahead of other major automakers such as Seat, Mini, Mazda, or Suzuki.
The Toyota Yaris Cross also saw a surge in registrations: the volume rose from 27,272 units in 2021 to 136,986 units last year. Although Toyota is a latecomer to the B-SUV sector, the Yaris Cross is proving to be the right bet, as it was the fourth-best-selling B-SUV.
The Kia Sportage also recorded an important increase, thanks to the arrival of the latest generation: it was the second best-selling C-SUV, yielding the top spot to its cousin, the Hyundai Tucson. These two SUVs were able to surpass big bestsellers like the Nissan Qashqai, Volkswagen Tiguan, Ford Kuga, and Peugeot 3008.
Other Notable Performances
The Opel/Vauxhall Mokka, in 32nd place, recorded 97,547 units, up 34 percent. Similarly, thanks to a new-generation model, the Peugeot 308 also achieved a significant increase of 80 percent to 90,160 units. But it's still far from the leaders – the Volkswagen Golf with over 177,000 units and the Toyota Corolla with nearly 130,000 units.
Cupra has done a great job with the Formentor: 87,175 units, up 68 percent, outperforming any single Seat. Also, the Renault Arkana, Mercedes C-Class, Volkswagen Taigo, Dacia Jogger, Dacia Spring, MG ZS, BMW 4 Series, Hyundai IONIQ 5, MG HS, Cupra Born, Polestar 2, Kia EV6, and the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross performed very well.
The author of the article, Felipe Munoz, is an Automotive Industry Specialist at JATO Dynamics.