World Best Selling Compact Cars 2017. The top 100

World Best Selling Compact Cars

World Best Selling Compact Cars segment in the 2017 achieved 25.9 million vehicles, the 43% of total car passenger’s sold in the World. As usual the leader was the Toyota Corolla, over the Volkswagen Golf and, new in the podium, the Honda Civic.

Global Sales

Models included in our global ranking for the “compact” or “C segment” (under the EU segmentation) represented by cars with a length between 4.1 and 4.4 meters and aggregated for the scope of this report only with reagard to sedan, hatchback, coupe and wagon, excluding the SUV and MPV, reported in a different report.

The “Compact Car” segment (all bodies) in the 2017 fell 0.4% with 35.4 million sales, representing the 43.1% of total market.

The top three markets for this segment are China (with 36.3% of global sales), USA ( with 15.8%) and Germany (with 4.2%).

Best Selling Models

As in the recent years, the Toyota Corolla is on top with 1.209.000 units (-7.9%). Produced in Japan since the 1966, the Corolla is the best-selling nameplate in the World since 20 years and is also the best-selling car in absolute in the history, with over 45 million sold so far. Since 2012, the 11th generation is on sales and distributed in 170 countries. Strange to say, Corolla is not market leader in any single country in the World.

In second place the Volkswagen Golf with 951.000 sales (-3.5%). Produced since 1974, the Golf has been the best-selling car in Europe since the 1976 and actually is at the 7th generation (since 2012). It is only hatchback (3/5 doors and wagon) because the twin on sedan version is called Jetta. Available with two electric versions, the e-Golf launched in early 2014, and the Golf GTE, the plug-in version launched in the 2015.

In third place, up 2 spots, the Honda Civic with 816.000 sales (+20.4%). Launched in the 1972, it is actually at the 10th generation (since 2016), available with 3/4/5 doors. The 2017 volume was boosted by the last generation distribution in all countries (over 140) including Europe, where the model is produced in UK (for hacth version) and Turkey (for the sedan).

Down the podium,  the Ford Focus with 660.000 units (-8.0%) ahead of the Hyundai Elantra, down 2 spots, with 622.000 sales (-21.0%) and the Volkswagen Jetta, leader in the sedan sub-segment with 539.000 sales (-11.5%).

In seventh place the Buick Excelle with the Mazda3 with 396.000 (-6.2%) followed by the Chevrolet Cruze, down 2 spots, with 337.000 units (-24.3%), the Volkswagen Sagitar with 327.000 (-4.2%) and in 10th place the Nissan Sentra with 310.000 (-2.1%).

Data Source

This report is done utilizing data extracted from our GAD (Global Auto Database) the wider Auto Sales Database actually existing in the World, with sales data by region/area/country broken down by type/size/body-style/brand/model from January 2010 to the last month. Data are collected by over 300 sources, including all the official providers (local Minister of Transportations or Associations of car Manufacturers).


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Rank 2017Rank 2016Sales 2017Sales 2016Variation 2017
11Toyota Corolla1.208.1791.311.307-7,9%
22Volkswagen Golf951.136985.523-3,5%
38Honda Civic816.115677.58720,4%
44Ford Focus660.099717.252-8,0%
53Hyundai Elantra622.555788.472-21,0%
66Volkswagen Jetta539.991610.260-11,5%
87Chevrolet Cruze337.853446.121-24,3%
99Volkswagen Sagitar327.062341.331-4,2%
1012Nissan Sentra310.769317.324-2,1%