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
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 carsalesbase.com 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
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