Express & Star

These were the best-selling cars in May

The top 10 revealed show a domination in hatchbacks and small crossovers.


May has proven to be another consistent month for new car registrations, with figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showing a 22nd month of consecutive growth for the new car segment.

Electrified models have continued in popularity, but crossovers, hatchbacks and SUVs remain crucial body styles for buyers. Here, we take a look through the best-selling cars in May.

Kia Sportage 4,202

The Sportage is a practical and good to drive SUV. (Credit: Kia Press UK)

The Sportage was the most popular car sold in May and it’s not hard to see why. The SUV was the saviour for Kia back in the 2010s when it showed the world this brand’s cars could be practical, economical and could be seen as premium, too. Now in its fifth generation, the Sportage has grown in size, improved in interior space and has more on-board tech and safety to make sure that all its occupants are comfortable, entertained and safe.

Its driving experience is good with everything falling to hand very easily and visibility is excellent thanks to large windows.

Ford Puma 3,812

The Puma shares its underpinnings with the demised Fiesta. (Credit: Ford Media)

The Fiesta may be no more, but in a world of crossovers and SUVs, the baby Puma still lives on and for the last year, it has been a strong contender in the top 10 best-sellers list.

The Ford is based on the Fiesta underneath which is a great starting point as it was one of the best models to drive in its class thanks to precise and direct steering and well set up chassis – and the Puma does follow suit in that department with excellent driving dynamics while being affordable to buy and own.

Audi A3 3,017

The A3 is a premium and efficient small family hatchback. (Credit Audi Press UK)

It may be a rebadged Volkswagen Golf, but the Audi A3 is a well-made and premium hatchback that is good to drive and has a classy image that a lot of British buyers love. Over the years the A3 has matured very slowly in terms of design and in its fourth-generation guise, it’s by far the best all around for comfort, refinement, build quality and technology.

You can even get a plug-in-hybrid option to help with company car tax and lower fuel bills.

Volkswagen Golf 2,922

The Golf is now celebrating its 50th birthday. (Credit: Volkswagen Press UK)

Just behind its Audi sibling is the legendary Volkswagen Golf which, like the Ford Puma, has made a frequent appearance on the top 10 best-sellers lists. The Golf has recently just had a facelift and is now celebrating 50 years since its first launch making it one of the most successful models in the company’s history just behind the Beetle.

The Golf is a well-made, solid and sturdy choice among buyers, with an efficient range of engines accompanying this practical model to help drive down fuel costs.

Vauxhall Corsa 2,671

The Corsa is the most popular supermini in the UK. (Credit: Stellantis Media)

The Corsa is near-identical to a Peugeot 208 underneath ever since Vauxhall was bought by the PSA group in 2019 prior to its merger with FCA to become Stellantis. One of Vauxhall’s most successful models is still a popular choice here in the UK and now its biggest competitor –  the Fiesta – is no longer, it gives the Corsa a greater advantage in bringing new customers to the party.

The Corsa is affordable to buy and run and you can get an electric version which can do nearly 200 miles on a single charge.

Volkswagen Polo 2,669

The Polo is a premium and efficient supermini. (Credit: Volkswagen Press UK)

Like its bigger brother, the Golf, the Polo is another example of one of VW’s most successful models and one of the best superminis on sale today. The Polo is seen as a grown-up and well-made hatchback that shares its underpinnings with the Skoda Fabia and Seat Ibiza.

Its engines are frugal and cheap to run and while its interior may not be the most dramatic in design, its build quality and refinement are second to none.

Nissan Qashqai 2,637

The Qashqai has been a popular choice among British buyers for over a decade. (Credit: Nissan Press UK)

Built at Nissan’s plant in Sunderland, the Qashqai has been one of Britain’s favourite small crossovers ever since the original went on sale back in 2007. It offers a taller driving position while still having similar driving characteristics to smaller hatchbacks making it feel more car-like to drive.

Also, the Qashqai is bigger and more commodious than its previous generations and is now available with hybrid powertrains making it more affordable to run and own.

MG ZS 2,630

The ZS comes with a seven-year warranty. (Credit: MG Press UK)

Ever since the famous British brand was bought by the Chinese, MG’s vehicles have increased in popularity and the ZS is one of its most-bought models. Not only that, but the ZS is available in electric format which is better for company car owners and families who want to go down the zero emissions route.

In addition, the ZS is also practical and has a seven-year warranty as standard, too.

Hyundai Tucson 2,613

The Tucson shares its underpinnings with the Kia Sportage. (Credit: Hyundai Press UK)

Underneath its skin, you’ll find the same running gear as the best-selling Kia Sportage which means that the Tucson drives really well and has the same affordable running costs.

The latest versions may not be to everyone’s taste due to their eye-catching and distinctive design, but that’s more of a subjective matter. Aside from that, the Tucson is a well-made, practical and very well-equipped SUV.

Nissan Juke 2,468

The Juke was the original small crossover that was launched in 2010. (Credit: Nissan Press UK)

The Juke kickstarted the small crossover segment back in 2010 and was the trendsetter for one of the most successful markets in the British car-buying market.

Now in its second generation, the Juke has just received a mid-life facelift that boosts this car’s funky and fresh styling while introducing a wider range of colours and specifications. You can get a hybrid version to lower those already low running costs as well.

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