Ford Fiesta still most popular UK car

It seems UK buyers’ love affair with the small hatchback is as strong as ever as it sold nearly 7,000 cars in July, taking its 2011 total up to 58,000.

In comparison, its nearest rival, the larger Ford Focus sits on 50,000 sales so far in 2011. In third place, the Fiesta’s key rival, the Vauxhall Corsa, is way back on 44,000 sales.

The success of the Ford Fiesta has seen it top the sales charts every month but one in 2011 as buyers flocked to the small three- or five-door car.

According to the latest figures from the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders, sales of small cars are one of only a handful of segments to experience growth in July as overall car sales slumped by 3.5 per cent compared to July 2010.

The data shows higher fuel costs are causing people to downsize, choosing smaller and more efficient cars. This could explain the popularity of the Ford Fiesta.

With a choice of four petrol and four diesel engines, including the 95g/km 1.6-litre diesel option, the Ford Fiesta offers buyers a choice of frugal options.

In fact, diesel engines are becoming increasingly popular across the UK as a whole. Earlier in the year, diesel engines replaced petrol as the most popular type of engine in the UK, and diesel engines now make up 52.4 per cent of all cars sold.

This is because diesel engines usually offer higher fuel economy (the distance a car can travel on a certain amount of fuel) and lower CO2 emissions, which affects Vehicle Excise Duty costs and, if low enough, can lead to exemptions from the London congestion charge.

Entry-level three-door Ford Fiesta Studio models start from under £10,000, meaning the Ford Fiesta is one of the least expensive cars in Ford’s range.