24/01/2012 16:57 | By Peter Burgess
Europe's best-selling cars of 2011

Europe's best-selling cars 2011

Europe's best-selling cars 2011 (© Volkswagen)
  • Europe's best-selling cars 2011 (© Volkswagen)
  • 10. Peugeot 207 (© Peugeot)
  • 9. Volkswagen Passat (© Volkswagen)
  • 8. Renault Mégane (© Renault)
  • 7. Ford Focus (© Ford)
  • 6. Renault Clio (© Renault)
  • 5. Vauxhall/Opel Astra (© Vauxhall)
  • 4. Vauxhall/Opel Corsa (© Vauxhall)
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Sales of new cars were down last year, but perhaps not by as much as you'd have thought, given the tales of doom and gloom. But while the fall of just 1.2% from 2010 to 2011 sounds tiny, it represents 164,000 cars. And that figure hides some alarming trends by individual countries.

UK sales were down much more, 4.4%, in contrast to Germany which was up 8.8%. The biggest numbers, however, come from the smaller markets. Estonia, Iceland and Lithuania all posted sales increases greater than 60%.

The bad performers are easier to guess. Greece and Portugal were down over 30%, with Spain and Italy also haemorrhaging sales.

Of the top brand names, Volkswagen and Audi gained around 9%, which goes to show that when times are tough, buyers look for a safe option when making a serious purchase.

The starring individual cars, however, are the in the following gallery of the Top 10 European models for 2011

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