Selling 109,265 units in 2012, the Fiesta beat its close rival the Vauxhall Corsa to number one – the latter achieving 89,434 registrations.
The Ford Focus was close behind in third with 83,115 examples put on the roads, followed by the Vauxhall Astra and Volkswagen Golf with 63,023 and 62,021 registrations respectively.
The Nissan Qashqai also proved suitably popular, coming sixth with 45,675 units, while BMW’s evergreen 3-Series came seventh with 44,521.
Finishing in eighth, ninth and 10th were the Volkswagen Polo, Mercedes C-Class and BMW 1-Series – at 41,901, 37,261 and 34,488 registrations.
For most manufacturers, 2012 proved to be a generally positive year. Many makers saw a minor rise – with Ford, Citroen, Audi, Nissan and Honda all jumping between five and 10 per cent against the previous year.
Some did particularly well, though: Hyundai jumped 18.1 per cent, Skoda was up 18.95 per cent and Suzuki rose 22.66 per cent. Kia, Fiat and Toyota also did well – up 24.27, 19.93 and 14.91 per cent.
Even premium brands managed some impressive rises – Land Rover shot up 29.2 per cent as their Range Rover Evoque started to penetrate showrooms, while Mercedes-Benz rose 12.19 per cent.
Chrysler saw a particular jump: With 2012 coinciding with an almost entirely new product line, its registrations rose by 181 per cent. Ssangyong also did well, with the Korean firm more than tripling its registrations following the release of two new models.
It wasn’t good news for everybody, though. Renault’s registrations fell 40 per cent after the maker removed model lines and shut showrooms, while Subaru lost nearly a quarter of its yearly figure. Alfa Romeo’s numbers also dropped – seeing a 37.27 per cent fall, following the culling of the majority of its product line.