Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Chinese market racked up sales of two million cars a month in 2017, according to Jato Dynamics, a global supplier of automotive business intelligence based in the UK with offices in 45 countries. It supplies automotive intelligence for more than 50 markets.
China beat even the United States, which was the second largest car market, and Japan which was in third place.
When Jato Dynamics compared 2017 to 2016, it found that the biggest winner of 2017 is the Ford F-Series pickup, which has moved to top spot. Meanwhile, the Toyota Corolla slipped to second and Volkswagen Golf to 4th. Surprisingly, Nissan’s X-Trail has shot up the leaderboard to take 3rd spot.
Ford F-Series (243 978 sold)
There’s no shortage of pickup-truck choices in the U.S., but when most people think “pickup,” one vehicle comes to mind: the Ford F-150. It is part of Ford’s F-Series, consisting also of the F-250, F-350, and F-450 Super Duty pickups; and there’s a high-performance variant of the F-150, the Raptor. The first F-Series arrived back in 1948 and was basically a work truck. Ever since the early 1980s, the F-150 hasn’t just been popular — it’s been America’s bestselling vehicle every single year. It is now in its 13th generation.
Toyota Corolla (214 618 sold)
The feature-rich Corolla is an exceptional value, but the one feature it doesn’t offer is thrills. A 1.8-liter four-cylinder makes 132 hp—140 hp in the LE Eco model—and drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual or a CVT. A 6.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth is standard but can be upgraded to a 7.0-inch unit with navigation. All Corollas get modern technology such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, automatic high beams, and automated emergency braking.
Nissan X-Trail/Rogue (212 244 sold)
Relying on good looks will only get you so far, but for the Rogue that may be okay. Attractive inside and out, it has comfy seats, nice materials, and many connectivity features. Regrettably, the Rogue suffers from vague steering and body roll. A 170-hp four with a CVT power the gas model; a 2.0-liter four and electric motor pair with the hybrid. Both offer front- or all-wheel-drive setups. Safety options are intelligent cruise control and automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection.
Volkswagen Golf (209 764 sold)
The Golf is a fixture on the awards circuit. It comes standard with a 170-hp turbo inline-four and a six-speed manual; a six-speed automatic is available. The Golf is responsive, predictable, and genuinely fun to drive. The hatchback makes the Golf practical, and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto serve as sweeteners for the younger crowd.
Honda Civic (178 605 sold)
The Civic exemplifies automotive excellence and mixes fun with efficiency and practicality. Precise steering, a solid chassis, and a well-tuned suspension provide both a compliant ride and sweet handling. Sedans and coupes get a 158-hp 2.0-liter four or a 174-hp turbo 1.5-liter four paired with a six-speed manual or a CVT. The turbo is standard on the hatchback; a 180-hp Sport trim is optional. The cabin is spacious.
6 Honda CR-V 177 473
7 Wuling Hongguang 175 945
8 Volkswagen Tiguan 172 623
9 Toyota RAV4 170 362
10 Honda HR-V/XR-V/Vezel