Europe's Top Ten Cars: The Golf Still Has The Most Lovers

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

We have already told you how many cars were sold in Europe last year, and by which company. But who cares about car companies, you care about cars.

After Jato Dynamics did the required cross-tabbing, we are pleased to bring you Europe’s most loved (and bought) cars of 2011.

Europe’s Top Ten 2011

RankMake & ModelDec_11Dec_10change20112010change1VOLKSWAGEN GOLF33,84933,5910.8%484,547492,238-1.6%2VOLKSWAGEN POLO26,31525,5812.9%356,490354,6400.5%3FORD FIESTA25,11323,1048.7%348,465401,919-13.3%4OPEL/VAUXHALL CORSA24,27528,208-13.9%313,325318,900-1.7%5RENAULT CLIO20,21926,830-24.6%294,172338,583-13.1%6OPEL/VAUXHALL ASTRA21,30222,509-5.4%287,249290,936-1.3%7FORD FOCUS18,78715,42521.8%280,209261,8577.0%8PEUGEOT 20716,68123,524-29.1%242,385305,461-20.6%9RENAULT MEGANE17,83818,246-2.2%239,329260,932-8.3%10VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT17,0119,30682.8%233,330159,26446.5%
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14 of 33 comments
  • Asdf Asdf on Jan 27, 2012

    It's impressive that VW manages to flog so many Golfs, considering the current model was launched in 2003 and is now 9 years old (despite the 2009 facelift, which itself was just a cost-cutting exercise).

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    • Fvfvsix Fvfvsix on Jan 28, 2012

      That's an easy one... The MK6 golfs (of which I am an owner) are not just a cost cutting exercise. They are designed to eliminate the big reliability issues from the mk5. It is rare in the car world when this happens, but you get the benefit of improving a well sorted platform. My GTI is nearly 2 years old, spends its life here in Arizona, and is currently at zero on the "problems of any kind" scale. VW bashers aren't complete morons, but their over generalization does make me laugh. I'm on my second VW by the way.

  • Zykotec Zykotec on Jan 27, 2012

    I know a couple of reasons VW manage to sell more cars than the Japanese. Firstly they have a reasonably cheap base model to get sensible people in through the doors (1.2 Trendline, starting at roughly 40k $ in Norway), and then there's the Halo car (R32 4wd, easily optioned up to 120K $ ), to get the enthusiasts through the doors. And then there's everything in between, assuring you that you end up with a more or less unique car (statistically VW thinks that they build less than 10 identical Golfs on an average every year). (three different body styles, hatch, Plus (also as crossover), and wagon, at least 20 engines, etc.) This makes the customer feel special, at least more than having to choose between two engines and 7 colors, like most Japanese brands. And they offer a little better quality feel, sound insulation and interior materials, so you get something for your money besides just reliability. (which, according too many people I know, is still the only major advantage any Japanese car has)

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    • Skotastic Skotastic on Jan 28, 2012

      @Brian P fincar1 True, but there is no excuse for VW to offer only some 5 colors. I almost want to buy a MINI or FIAT only because they offer something other than insanely dull black, white, silver, grey, red and an overused metallic shade of blue.

  • Dimwit Dimwit on Jan 27, 2012

    What happened to the Passat to get such a large jump? I'm sure everyone else would love that sort of effectiveness year to year!

    • Mpresley Mpresley on Jan 27, 2012

      New grill and tail lights. But how could they have possibly known that THAT was exactly what the people want? The boys from mean Wolfsburg, probably also added some additional wheel options to go with the 15-20 already in the line-up. So there you have it. Throw in a stiff dose of farfegnugen fukenfusion, and you've got yourself a sure winner in the daily double.

  • SV SV on Jan 28, 2012

    No big surprises here, though I didn't expect the Polo to outsell the Fiesta. I also find it a bit extraordinary that a moderately heavy facelift has managed to boost Passat sales so much.

    • Asdf Asdf on Jan 28, 2012

      That's extraordinary indeed, especially considering that the pre-facelift Passat looked rather nice, whereas the facelifted one looks like a plastic surgery disaster. But then again, it seems VW can get away with anything, including defacing the bread-and-butter cars in its lineup, and still sell cars by the bucketload.