European sales 2016 Subcompact car segment

Subcompact_car-segment-European-sales-2016-Renault_Clio-Volkswagen_Polo-Ford_FiestaThe subcompact car segment grew by 3% in 2016, about half the overall market growth of 6,2%, but it remains the largest segment in Europe by a large margin. At the top of the ranking, we have a change of guard. For only the second time since 2009 the Ford Fiesta is not Europe’s best selling subcompact car and for the first time in a decade the Renault Clio is the segment leader.  We’ve had three different leaders in three quarters, with the Fiesta in the lead after the first quarter, but the Clio took over in Q3, while the Volkswagen Polo became the segment best seller in Q3. By year end, the Clio ended up on top with sales up 3% to just 3.500 ahead of the Polo, while the Fiesta lost 5% of its volume to drop below 300.000 annual sales for only the second time since 2002. The Clio has just been slightly facelifted and the Polo will be updated soon, but there will be an all-new generation of the Fiesta later this year, which should help the nameplate recover some of the lost ground.

Note: clicking on the model name opens the sales data page for that model; clicking year in the legend turns the display for that year on/off

Citroen_C3-2017-auto-sales-statistics-EuropeIn fourth place, the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa holds on despite a 2% loss of volume, as an all-new generation is expected to arrive in showrooms later this year. The Peugeot 208 enjoys the highest volume since its launch in 2012 in fifth place, while the Toyota Yaris also continues to improve to its highest sales since 2009. The same thing can be said for the Skoda Fabia, but at least this performance can be attributed to its latest generation, the Yaris has been virtually unchanged since 2013 but has steadily improved since. The fastest growing model in the top-15 is the Dacia Sandero, improving further on its volume record set last year. The Citroën C3 has just been renewed, but the effect of the new generation has only been noticeable in the last month of the year. Still, the C3 managed an 8% increase to hold on to its #9 position, and in 2017 it has its sights firmly set on returning to 200.000+ annual sales for the first time since 2010.

Subcompact_car-segment-European-sales-2016-Nissan_MicraThe next generation Seat Ibiza has just been revealed as the first subcompact model on VW’s infamous MQB platform and sales will start in the first half of the year. Still, the outgoing version of the Spanish hatchback managed a 2% sales increase in 2016, holding on to its top-10 position. The Hyundai i20 improved 8%, followed by sister model Kia Rio, up 6% and passing the Fiat Punto which continues its downfall until a new generation (500 four-door?) is launched at a yet undisclosed time. The Nissan Micra loses 9% but its successor has already been introduced and is made in Europe on the same production line as the Clio. It’s styling is also more designed for European tastes, so this could become the most successful generation of the Micra yet, after the second generation was the first Japanese car to snag the European Car of the Year award in 1993 and was the best selling Japanese model until 1999, the first full year of sales for the Yaris.

The Suzuki Swift loses 18% as the new generation is just around the corner and it perhaps feels some cannibalization from the Baleno, which has been launched this year as a more roomy and practical alternative. The Honda Jazz adds 21% to its volume but remians a niche player, just ahead of the Mazda2, unable to break through in Europe just like most of Mazda’s models, despite their qualities. The Renault Zoe is slowly but steadily closing in on the top-19 to break free from the niche models and looks set to connect to its mainstream ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) rivals by this year, when it will be helped by an updated battery, giving it a realistic range of 300km (official theoretical range: 400km). Behind the Zoe, the new Baleno racks up 14.500 sales since april, while the Ford Ka+ manages to sell over 10.000 copies since its launch in September. Meanwhile the MG3 grows by another 25% to break the 3.000 sales mark for the first time. Bear in mind this model is only available in the UK.

  Subcompact segment 2016 2015 Change
1 Renault Clio 310.944 303.240 3%
2 Volkswagen Polo 307.462 301.462 2%
3 Ford Fiesta 298.999 313.610 -5%
4 Opel/Vauxhall Corsa 262.939 268.846 -2%
5 Peugeot 208 247.379 228.088 8%
6 Toyota Yaris 192.005 182.407 5%
7 Skoda Fabia 175.264 159.927 10%
8 Dacia Sandero 167.766 147.497 14%
9 Citroën C3 133.566 123.443 8%
10 Seat Ibiza 120.465 118.055 2%
11 Hyundai i20 98.956 91.758 8%
12 Kia Rio 67.622 63.930 6%
13 Fiat Punto 62.654 79.202 -21%
14 Nissan Micra 60.212 66.147 -9%
15 Dacia Logan 51.055 56.144 -9%
16 Suzuki Swift 44.378 54.442 -18%
17 Honda Jazz 37.005 30.510 21%
18 Mazda2 36.463 35.478 3%
19 Renault Zoe 21.240 18.469 15%
20 Suzuki Baleno 14.521 0 New
21 Ford Ka+ 10.588 0 New
22 MG3 3.243 2.603 25%
23 Chevrolet Aveo 37 140 -74%
24 Peugeot 207 21 1.401 -99%
25 Mitsubishi Colt 1 19 -95%
  Segment total 2.724.785 2.646.842 3%

About Bart Demandt

Bart is a 36-year old Dutchman who’s always had a thing for cars, the automotive industry and statistics. He’s combined these passions by writing about them on His daily driver is an Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6 which he just can’t seem to say goodbye to thanks to the mesmerizing exhaust note.
You can find all his articles Here.


  1. Well done Renault. Not only with the enduring fresh looking Clio, but also with the Zoe.

    It’ll be very interesting to see the performance of the new C3, Micra and Ibiza. The first two with a completely different and appealing design than their predecessors and the other which is no more than a smaller Leon.

  2. 2017 looks extremely interesting. All the new models and facelifts. Clio started the year perfectly, so the battle with be strong. I think biggest looser will be Corsa, already not really impressing and basing on English market. The new competition will eat it.

    And yes Zoe. With 400km version available it will surely be a hit. In January it reached 2600 units.

  3. There is an issue on the graph: the Polo is first instead of the Clio.

    It’s strange, I always thought the C-Segment was the 1st in Europe, above the B (this one)
    Since how it is like this?
    Could you make an article ranking the different segment by market size ? Thanks!

    • d3ns, the B-segment is bigger, but the Golf which is a C-segment vehicle is the most sold in Europe. Maybe that’s why you had that misconception.

  4. Why don’t the figures in the chart match with the ones in text and table? Clio should be 1st, but appears 3rd in the chart, and amounts 310,944 sales in the table but only 229,678 in the chart? Or maybe I missed something, since it’s Monday morning… 😛

    • The table looks like it was for Q3.

      • Bart Demandt says:

        Hi guys,

        thanks for pointing out the issue. Indeed the graph was still for Q3. It’s been updated now.

        In reply to d3ns: the subcompact segment has been larger than the compact segment for a long time standing. I’ll make a graph about the different segments after I’ve completed the segment reports.

  5. Thanks Bart, great news!


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    The Yaris is one of the most successful Asian cars in Europe, with over 3 million cumulative sales since its introduction in 1999. -> European sales 2016 Subcompact car segment

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