Best-selling cars in Europe

Best-selling cars in Europe



The Tesla Model Y finished 2023 as the year's best selling car

The Tesla Model Y was Europe’s best-selling car in 2023, becoming the first ever electric car to top the year-on-year sales chart - and the first ever model from outside of Europe to do so. 

On sale since 2020 and built across the world at facilities in the US, China and Germany, the Model Y finished the year with 251,604 units sold, according to figures from industry analyst Jato. That’s a year-on-year increase of 84% compared to 2022. 

Tesla sold some 17,000 units more of the Model Y than any other car, beating the likes of the Dacia Sandero (234,715) and the Volkswagen T-Roc (204,610). It was also the only electric-only model to appear in the top 30 best-selling cars, with the Tesla Model 3 finishing in position 32 with 100,883 units sold. 

“The soaring popularity of the Model Y and price cuts across its range helped Tesla record its largest market share since arriving in Europe. Tesla has the right product in the right place at the right time,” said Felipe Munoz, JATO’s global analyst.

It didn’t end there for US EV brand. Tesla is now the 16th-most most-registered brand on the continent, having now surpassed Volvo and Nissan. 

But it’s not all about Tesla - Volkswagen finished the year once again as Europe’s highest-selling brand with 1,343,740 units sold, followed by Toyota with 819,544 and Audi with 730,690. 

What about the other cars in the top ten? Wonder no more - we’ve listed the top ten best-selling cars in Europe from 2023 below. See if any of them surprise you below…

*The top 10 best-selling cars in Europe of 2023*

-1. Tesla Model Y, 251,604 sales, +84% year-on-year-

Four years on sale and the Tesla Model Y is the best-selling car in Europe. Its healthy range figure and described performance all likely played a part in its gold medal position, and it was also likely helped by a wave of price cuts at the start of the year. Will it finish 2024 as the continent’s top seller, too? 

-2. Dacia Sandero, 234,715 sales, +18% year on year-

So close, yet so far for Dacia. The Sandero has finished in second place for the past two years, but that’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Its appeal is bolstered by its exceptional value for money, which will have resonated with buyers as the cost of living crisis continues to hit across Europe. That it’s also a competitive supermini with a spacious interior and decent handling makes it an especially compelling buy.

-3. Volkswagen T-Roc, 204,610 sales, +13% year on year-

The Volkswagen T-Roc is always a popular choice in Europe, and that looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. It ranked third in 2023, and its sales even outnumber those of the venerable Volkswagen Golf. A recent facelift boosted its interior quality, addressing one of the few criticisms of this well-rounded crossover.

-4. Renault Clio, 201,604 sales, +42% year on year-

Renault’s popular supermini is now a bigger seller than the Volkswagen Golf. Who’d have thought it? The Clio is a desirable option for its eye-catching looks but also its frugal powertrain line-up, with an E-Tech hybrid option and a simple 1.0-litre petrol.  We’re big fans of this small French car, and it’ll likely remain just as popular this year. 

-5. Peugeot 208, 193,679 sales, -6% year on year-

The Peugeot 208 supermini was 2022’s best-selling car in Europe, but it didn’t quite hit that pace in 2023. It’s still a small car well worth considering though, with a choice of petrol and all-electric powertrains. Plus, it’s one of the best-looking out there. 

-6. Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, 188,154 sales, +15% year on year-

The cheaper sibling of the Peugeot 208 enjoys strong demand. A refreshed model is due in the coming months – adding Vauxhall’s signature Vizor front end and bringing a range boost for the Corsa Electric, which could catalyse a rise up the charts. 

-7. Volkswagen Golf, 183,716 sales, +4% year on year-

The ubiquitous Volkswagen Golf has been a long-time favourite in Europe, but it’s gradually been sliding down the charts with each passing year. But it’s still an excellent all-rounder, and a new facelifted model will go on sale in 2024. We can’t wait to get our hands on one. 

-8. Toyota Yaris Cross, 176,285 sales, +29% year on year-

It’s easy to see why the Yaris Cross is a hit. Not only is it a relatively affordable car, but it’s also backed by Toyota’s legendary reputation for reliability and, as a hybrid, can easily average 60mpg under a careful right foot. 

-9. Abarth/Fiat 500, 173,187 sales, -3% year-on-year-

Is there a more recognisable small car than the Fiat 500? It has been on sale since 2007 and it’s unlikely to be dropped any time soon. More recently, the model gained a next-generation electric sibling with a battery size of up to 44kWh. Its range is pegged at 199 miles, but mild-hybrid and petrol models remain on sale as well.

-10 Skoda Octavia, 160,662 sales, +43 year-on-year-

The Skoda Octavia didn’t appear many times in this top ten in 2023, but a strong end to the year has seen it sneak in at the final position. Best of all, we’ve just learned a facelift will arrive later this year, bringing a more powerful vRS model, a new infotainment system and more sustainable materials. Bring it on. 

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