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Most Popular Cars of 2012

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There have been some great new car releases so far this year, and it’s little surprise that some of the refreshed versions of old favorites have maintained the top spots when it comes to worldwide sales. It’s actually very difficult to produce a definitive top 10 list, because manufacturers offer very similar cars worldwide, with different names and slightly different specifications. This then, is a quick guide to the ones that have been most popular.

At the top is either the best-selling car of all time, the Toyota Corolla, or the Ford Focus. The debate rages between the two companies as to who has the top spot. Toyota maintains that the European Auris is just a Corolla with a different name, and therefore counts towards sales, whereas Ford insists that the Corolla hatchback is not sold in Europe and therefore cannot count. Either way, both models look set to sell a million units this year. The Ford fiesta is also incredibly popular, and is not far behind its bigger brother, with an update of the model coming soon.

Volkswagen will be pleased to see that the Golf and the Jetta are both selling extremely well. Combined, they notch up more than three quarters of a million sales. This is impressive when you consider that the Jetta is just a saloon version of the Golf. The more upmarket Passat saloon also makes it in close to the top.

The Toyota Camry is North America’s best-selling car, which means that it stays somewhere near the top, despite not being sold in Europe. Similarly, the Chevrolet Cruze sells well in the US, giving it a high ranking, even though it is not popular in Europe. Most US-designed cars struggle to sell in Europe.

Nissan’s Tilda/Sunny/Versa is proving to be a popular compact car across the world, selling a similar number to the Ford F-Series, America’s most popular truck. Outside the top 10, Honda and Hyundai have a big presence, with the redesigned Civic selling well as always.

Toyota, along with the environmentally-minded will be pleased to see that the Prius is well into the top half of the rankings this year, as more and more people turn to hybrid cars. There are no electric cars to be seen yet, as they remain a very niche product.

Luxury cars are doing relatively well, despite global financial difficulties. The BMW 3-Series manages to make it in to the top 50, and most of Europe’s finest features in the top 100. While cars such as the Jaguar XJ and XF have not been sold in massive volumes, they have won many accolades.

The overall rankings are interesting, because they will be extremely different from the sales data from individual countries. In most European countries for instance, the BMW 3-Series is very comfortably in the top 10 cars.

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