What Are the Most Popular Cars in Europe?

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Europe is known for making some incredible vehicles. From the Porsches and Mercedes of Germany to the Bugattis and Ferraris of Italy, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who wouldn’t crown Europe the continent of cars.
But which models are the most popular in Europe? Well, the fine luxury automobile makers listed above do not make the top of this list. Instead, the best-selling models are mostly from the more affordable car brands from across the world.
With a little help from Donut Media’s James Pumphrey, we took a closer look at the most popular cars in European countries. Some results were as expected. Others took us by surprise.
A row of cars parked on a street in Europe.

Europe’s best-selling cars that we expected

There are a few countries in Europe that are well known to Americans for their automakers. Germany is known well for the Volkswagen family, as well as luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. We know Italy for its supercars and little Fiats. Sweden sells us its Volvos.
So it’s not surprising that the drivers in these countries buy from their homegrown brands. And the countries we associate with them tend to buy them as well. 
The Volkswagen Golf tops the list in Austria, Belgium, Lichtenstein, and Luxembourg. Norway and Switzerland’s most popular models are made by Volkswagen’s luxury brand Audi. The Swedes mostly buy Volvos. This is to be expected.

Lesser-known European brands that top the charts

One—if not the most—popular of European countries for Americans to visit also makes its own cars, though they rarely reach our shores. France’s automakers are not widely known in the U.S., but they’re all the rage across the Atlantic.
Renault sells the most cars in France, but also in Bulgaria, Estonia, Serbia, and Turkey. Peugeot is the best-selling brand in Portugal and Denmark. Both brands are also popular in parts of Africa, along with another French brand, Citreon.
Czech Republic brand Skoda is another unknown brand to many Americans, but it tops the charts in its own county as well as in neighboring nations like Croatia, Bosnia, and Slovakia. Russia’s Lada beats out its competitors at home and in Belarus and Armenia.
American brands, while sold across Europe, are not the most popular anywhere in the continent except for in two nations. In the United Kingdom, the Ford Fiesta is the most popular car, and in Iceland, it’s the Tesla Model 3.

What other brands sell like crazy in Europe?

Europe has produced a lot of car brands—the best-selling ones are just the tip of the iceberg. But not all the most popular automakers on the continent are from the continent.
Toyota, a Japanese company, tops the list of more European countries using its own brand name than any other carmaker in the world. Finland, Greece, Latvia, Malta, Moldova, and Ukraine all buy more Toyotas than any other kind of car.
Toyota is the worldwide best-selling car brand for a number of reasons, but a main one is that the company focuses on building reliable, affordable models for every market.

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