1 Ford Focus

Even in its run-out year, the Mk 1 Focus managed to top the list, for the fifth year running, with sales of 141,021 cars. It accounted for 5.5 per cent of the market. New Mark 2 Focus has a lot to live up to.

2 Vauxhall Corsa

Strong business and fleet interest sees Vauxhall's baby the default small car of choice once again, finding 101,625 buyers last year. A facelift and new petrol and diesel engines helped things along.

3 Ford Fiesta

Third overall, but the best seller among private buyers, with a total of 89,295 shifted over the year. The return of the sportier Fiesta variants should help it hold its own in a very competitive market.

4 Peugeot 206

"Foreign" badge, but in fact the top selling British-made car last year. The Ryton, Coventry plant supplied 86,605 for the home market. The 206CC is the best selling convertible car in the UK.

5 Renault Megane

All those wobbly bottoms in the TV ads must have had an impact. Distinctive styling and design flair plus a wide range helped the Megane to sales of 86,569 units last year. So, shake a little...

6 Vauxhall Astra

As with the Corsa and Vectra (which didn't even make it into the top ten), the Astra relies on success in the fleet business for its volume successes. Some 85,087 sold last year. Hot versions soon.

7 Renault Clio

An awful lot of Nicoles out there, it would seem. A very creditable perfoamnce of 72,412 sales, given the age of the basic design and its imminent replacement with an all-new model.

8 Volkswagen Golf

New model enjoyed a lukewarm welcome when it arrived last year. Critics said it was overpriced and looked boring. New GTI should entice enthusiastic drivers. Sold 69,784 last year.

9 Ford Mondeo

The mighty fallen at 60,441 sales. Its predecessors, the Cortina and Sierra dominated the roads; now the Ford badge just can't cut it. Switch from trad three box saloon in favour of MPVs hasn't helped.

10 Peugeot 307

For many conservatively minded British motorists, Peugeot, rather than Rover, is the epitome of middle-class motoring. Comfortable and pleasant, but nothing special. We bought 58,742 last year.

vNEXT TIME: ODD CARS If you have any nominations, write to Top Ten, c/o Sean O'Grady, Independent House, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS, or e-mail: topten@independent.co.uk