These were the best-selling new cars in May

Ford Kuga PHEV
Ford Kuga PHEV

May was another month of decline for new car registrations, falling 20.6 percent to 124,394 units. In fact, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures show it was the second-weakest May in three decades.

However, there were some exciting movers and shakers in the top 10 best-selling cars – so let’s see where everything is placed.

Opel Corsa-e

Opel’s ever-popular Corsa came out on top in May with 4,399 registered units. It’s a significant jump from April’s figures, when 3,002 Corsa models were registered, putting the hatchback in fourth place.

It’s helped greatly by the number of engine options available, while the all-electric version certainly matches the 17.7 percent increase in battery-electric vehicle registrations in May.

Ford Puma

Ford’s Puma continued to storm the charts, with 3,580 units registered in May. The Fiesta – with which the Puma shares a platform – remains completely absent from the top 10, showing that consumers are really leaning towards the more practical Puma.

While no all-electric version of the Puma is offered, it still has a good choice of fuel-efficient engines, while the punchy 1.5-litre engine in the top-of-the-line ST version also delivers plenty of performance.

Ford Kuga

Ford’s Kuga has historically been a big hit in the family SUV segment, so it’s not surprising to see it contribute to a two-three podium finish for the Blue Oval. The Kuga, which recently got a plug-in hybrid option — which offers the ability to travel up to 63 miles on electric power alone — continues to offer the practicality that families are looking for.

It’s this integration of a battery-assisted powertrain that truly marks the more modern direction the Kuga is taking, and reflects Ford’s commitment to become an electric brand by 2030.

Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen’s Golf is one of those popular names in the new car segment, with the hatchback’s combination of high-quality finish and refined driving dynamics making it a hit with a variety of buyers.

The most recent eighth-generation Gulf may have been initially hampered by the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdowns, but May’s numbers show he’s well on the rise.

Mini Electric

The Mini’s popularity doesn’t seem to be waning, with the retro-influenced model’s spirited handling and numerous engine choices making it a hit with many. While somewhat hampered by delivery problems – to the point that Mini has temporarily halted the creation of cars with manual transmissions – it seems many vehicles are still making their way into driveways.

In addition, an electric version will help meet the booming demand for EVs.

Nissan Qashqai e-Power

Nissan’s Qashqai was the car that started the crossover trend and many years later it is more refined and feels premium than ever. Only available with a mild-hybrid engine option – although a larger battery version is on the way soon – it’s efficient, but also roomy and practical.

It’s also been given five full stars for the level of driver assistance technology it includes, showing that it’s really packed with safety-related features.

Kia Sportage
The new Sportage Plug-in Hybrid offers up to 70 miles of electric driving for a fee. (Kia)

Kia has been doing a great job with its cars lately, showing that this Korean brand can make well-made, efficient and well-driving cars that won’t break the budget. The Sportage is one of its flagship models – and a popular option in the SUV segment – while a recent update has featured a striking new look that really stands out.

Like other cars here, the Sportage is also available with a plug-in hybrid engine, matching up with mild and regular hybrid versions.

Kia Niro

Kia’s Niro is a car of choice at the top of its range, with regular, plug-in hybrid and all-electric versions, meaning it has almost all the basics covered when it comes to engines. It has also recently undergone a complete redesign, giving the car that came before it a very different look.

The Niro is also a very important car for Kia, as it is the company’s second best-selling model in the UK. In addition, 55 percent of sales go to the electric version.

Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen’s latest Polo really feels like a Golf on the rise. It has the same look and feel as its big brother – as well as the technology to go with it – but adds to a package that is generally a little easier to park and live with.

It looks good too, while there’s a tip-top GTI version for those folks who want a little extra zip from their Polo.

Hyundai Tucson plug-in hybrid

Finally, we have the Hyundai Tucson. Like other cars on this list, you can have it with regular and plug-in hybrid engine options, keeping the running costs for this SUV as low as possible.

It has also been given a whole new look, with its signature LED daytime running lights that make it stand out on the road.