15 June 2016

A hat-trick of small car news snippets during Euro 2016 week one

Last week’s summer driving tips article on The Root having had nothing to do with the UK weather quickly turning from scorchio to soaking, many of us could at least veg’ in front of the telly to watch the opening Euro 2016 matches without feeling guilty about being indoors.

Who are the Euro champions car-wise?

Being bombarded with various group tables, scores, match predictions and other Euro 2016 football statistics got us thinking about which cars currently top the tables in Europe. The car world isn’t as clear cut as football because the figures can vary depending on which countries the different data-crunchers include in ‘Europe’, but by and large, it’s obvious which more modest cars the Europeans can’t stop gobbling up.

Top selling car in Europe spring 2016 - Volkswagen Golf


According to both the consultancy organisation focus2move and UK-based analysis firm JATO, the run-away winner is the Volkswagen Golf, scoring well over 175,000 customers in 2016 up to the end of April, focus2move putting the figure at 213,672. Sitting in 2nd and 3rd place are the Renault Clio and Volkswagen Polo, each netting 28,000ish European customers in April 2016 and comfortably over 100,000 for the year-to-date. The 4th, 5th and 6th most popular cars across Europe out of all makes and models are the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 208, slotting an approximate average of 24,500 orders into the back of the net in April. Small, affordable but nevertheless practical and sharp-handling city cars (AKA superminis) are obviously as popular as ever in Europe – and Volkswagen is still the most desirable brand despite recent headlines.

Meanwhile, here in the UK…

Chances are that if you’ve ever searched for a second hand or indeed new car, you’ll have used Auto Trader. Well, they’ve been busy scrutinising their own data under a microscope and discovered that the fastest-selling car advertised with them during May 2016 was a Vauxhall Corsa. After the selling garage listed it on Auto Trader, it sold within just 12 days, which we can only imagine left them feeling pretty chuffed.

Vauxhall Corsa


The Corsa is a firm favourite for driving schools, newly-qualified drivers and others who need a city run-around which ticks different boxes, and it’s a model that always shifts quickly in new, nearly new and second hand car markets. Auto Trader ranks the Corsa as the second most popular new car in 2016 and apparently people in the North East have more of a taste for them than other parts of the UK do.

Fastest-selling small car in UK in May 2016 - Vauxhall Corsa


The new Renault Clio breaks cover

We recently blogged about the Clio having turned 25 years of age and Renault has now revealed the fifth generation version, which will be sold in the UK from October. The front grille now looks even sleeker, the LED light signatures are that little bit jazzier and four new colours including Mars Red and Iron Blue have been added along with gorgeous new alloy wheel designs.

All-new Renault Clio Mk5 for 2016


All-new Renault Clio Mk5 for 2016 rear


Inside, the new Clio promises to feel upmarket and more sophisticated and buyers can even specify a BOSE sound system along with one of three multimedia systems –  R-Link Evolution, smart R&GO or Media Nav Evolution. Depending on which options you tick and how flexible your wallet or purse is, a reversing camera and even Handsfree Parking can be added. No fewer than eleven different engine and gearbox combos are offered for the new Clio, which is now available with a 6-speed manual gearbox for the TCe 210 petrol engine, while the impressively efficient 1.5 dCi 110 diesel engine also makes it into the lineup.

All-new Renault Clio Mk5 for 2016 interior


So, there you have it – the current reigning champions of European car sales, added reassurance if you’re thinking of buying a Corsa, and a preview of the all-new Renault Clio for later in 2016. If you want to discuss anything, including Euro 2016 football, we’re always around on Twitter and Facebook.

Oliver Hammond

Written by Oliver Hammond

Oliver is an established freelance motoring writer, published journalist and automotive copywriter based in Manchester. He regularly reviews cars and covers events and launches as editor of petroleumvitae.com and his articles appear in various magazines each month. No relation to Richard from Top Gear, he’s got a weakness for luxo-barges, proper 4x4s and oddball cars.