SUVs are now best-selling cars in Europe

SUVs are now officially the best-selling cars in Europe, after registrations of the vehicles rose 24 per cent to 3.2 million in 2015.

It has been well known for a while that 4x4s were getting more popular, but now official figures can actually demonstrate it. They have replaced superminis at the top of the pile, with small SUVs boosting the numbers the most.

These figures are according to analysts JATO Dynamics, which showed that SUVs gained 22.5 per cent of the overall European market, overtaking hatchbacks and superminis. By comparison, small cars such as the Ford Fiesta had a share of just under 22 per cent.

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Small SUVs are credited with strengthening the popularity of the car type, with registrations up 38 per cent year-on-year to 1.2 million.

Mid-size and large SUVs also saw levels of growth, up 42 per cent and 27 per cent respectively. The UK saw a 24 per cent increase in SUV registrations when compared to 2014, but it was Portugal who seemed to be most taken by the vehicle type, recording nearly 50 per cent more registrations than 2014.

The Renault Captur was the most popular small SUV, whilst the Nissan Qashqai, Volvo XC60 and BMW X5 topped the compact, mid-size and large SUV sectors respectively.

By comparison, MPVs and large saloons suffered the largest losses in Europe. The former dropped by just under 1 per cent, while the latter fell by 0.05 per cent, meaning they had a share of the market of only 0.67 per cent.

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Photo courtesy of TuRbO_J on Flickr, under Creative Commons