The popularity of the light car in 21st-century Europe
By light cars I mean supermini cars, mini or small multipurpose vehicles, mini or small sport utility vehicles and City or minicar’s.

In the United Kingdom today we seem to be overwhelmed with even larger Sport utility vehicles ,fancy trucks, and large German saloon cars, This led me to think about at what proportion are the various classes of vehicles on the road in the UK today. I was unable to obtain the data I was looking for the UK but was able to find a couple of sites that were able to furnish me with Data for Europe. One of them was which gave me the individual registration totals of cars in Europe for the last 20 years. Another site that gave me total for all passenger cars each year was the European automobile manufacturers association site the ACCO, and between those I was able to compose a simple list of all the classes of cars registered in Europe  for the years 2015. Also I was able to produce detailed lists of the various light cars types for the last twenty years.
Passenger car registrations in Europe for the period 1997 to 2016 amounted to two hundred and eighty-two million. The total number passenger cars registered in Europe in 2015 was almost thirteen point two million. The various size cars registered is as follows. Large cars 6%, Midsize cars 26%,  Compact cars 25% and light or small cars 43% . The light car total is composed of the following. Supermini’s 22%, Small MPV’s 3%, Mini SUV’s 9% and City Cars 9% of the overall total.

Class Comparison Percent

The most popular supermini during the period 1997 to 2016 has been the Peugeot 206/7/8 series of cars with a 7.83 million examples registered, followed by the Renault Clio with over 7 .5 million registrations, next the Opel Corsa with 7.1 million, followed by the Ford Fiesta with almost 6,7 million and the Volkswagen Polo with 6.5 million, the Renault Twingo in all its forms at 2 .5 million registrations, the Ford Ka,model with1.9 million registrations and finally the Fiat 500 with 1.5 million registrations in that period.

When we come to the small or mini MPV’s, top of the list is the original small multipurpose vehicle the first of Renault Scenic model’s, that was out of production by the year 2004 with a 1.8 million examples, the next is the long-running Opel Meriva at 1 .5 million registrations. Then there is the Renault Modus and related Nissan Note that only manage 1.1 million registrations between them.
Being on sale in Europe from the year 2010 the Dacia Duster tops the list of mini Sport utility vehicles at almost 775,000 registration, after only four years the Renault Captur has reached 660,000 registration, with the Nissan Juke with almost 630,000 registrations and the Opel Mohka at 530,000 registrations, the Peugeot 2008 at 120,000 registrations, completing in the top sellers of the type.

The Supermini continues to be the dominant type amongst the light cars, despite similar sized types becoming fashionable for a limited time such as the small MPV, as illustrated below. The conclusion from my studies are that the Light car is still very important in the European motoring scene despite new fades in oversize cars and will continue to be so in the future.

Below is the data used to reach these conclusions.

Light Car Combined Totals

City Car Totals



Small SUV's