Sector: LPG

Greatest autogas hits

Autogas is doing well around the world primarily thanks to aftermarket conversions, but new, factory- or dealership-converted cars are certainly important, too. Especially in Italy – the place where using LPG as motor fuel began.

As we have reported recently, Italians are back in love with autogas – after quite a plunge in sales in 2016, the world's most popular alternative fuel is fighting its way back to motorists' preference. And quite successfully – with 72 thousand LPG-powered new cars registered in the first six months of 2017, there's a surge in interest of over 20%. And so it's probably a good idea to have a look at the top ten most wanted cars running on autogas in Italy. There are a few surprises on the list!

Opel Mokka X© OpelWith its looks refreshed, the Mokka X may go up the list. Or not

10. Opel Mokka X

Opening the list from the bottom is Opel's small crossover. With 2678 units sold between January and June 2017, it's actually a bit less popular than in 2016 year-to-date (2956 were sold then), but the figure is still respectable. The line-up will expand soon with an LPG-powered variant of the newly introduced Crossland X, the crossover replacement to the Meriva small van. Will it push the Mokka out of the top ten? We shall see.

9. Fiat Punto

Introduced in 2005, the supermini is as old as the hills (for a car), but still popular enough in its homeland to keep avoiding the axe. With 2713 LPG-powered examples sold in the first half of the year, it may be overtaken by the newer and more fashionable Mokka X by December, but it may just as well go up to number 8. After all, it's a solid 8000 euros cheaper than the Opel.

Fiat Tipo© FiatThe eighth spot is actually quite good for this year's newcomer

8. Fiat Tipo

Italians love locally made cars and although the Tipo is actually assembled in Turkey, the brand is as Italian as it gets, which is enough for many. Listed at 17800 euros, it's just a little bit more expensive than the Punto, but more spacious inside and offered in three flavours (hatchback, notchback and estate). With 3729 examples registered in the first half of 2017, we expect it to go nowhere but up on the list by year's end.

7. Renault Clio

The Clio is the most popular non-Italian-made car in Italy in general, so it won't be easy for the Tipo to beat it, especially that the French supermini is cheaper (at 15350 euros) and sold 4330 examples between January and June, but nothing's impossible. Sales have been slowing down in the recent months (from 958 examples in March to 450 in June), so the Clio may soon feel the Tipo's breath on its back, unless the French pull an ace from their sleeve to make their offering more attractive again.

6. Dacia Sandero

Priced from 9850 euros, the Sandero is a steal. With 4455 examples sold this year (until June 30, that is), it's just slightly ahead of the Clio, but well over its own result from the first half of 2016, when 3771 were sold. Now that's what we call value for money!

Dacia Duster© DaciaWith sales like this, who needs a new generation anyway?

5. Dacia Duster

At 12900, the Duster is also cheaper that the Clio, so no wonder it's more popular. After all, who wouldn't want a small SUV for less money that a supermini? Well, maybe someone wouldn't, but with 4532 units sold, the Romanian/French crossover has enough fans to get by and fare well. Sales were usually around 700 examples a month between January and June, with a sudden surge in May, when 983 units were registered.

4. Opel Corsa

With 5660 units sold, the Corsa is well ahead of Duster and probably out of its reach. Will it fight for a spot in the top three? Maybe, but given sales have been faltering from April onwards, it may be more difficult than it seems. The car's good result is primarily thanks to the first three months of the year, when over 1000 examples per month were sold (peaking with 2241 in February), but maybe the figures will rebound.

3. Lancia Ypsilon

Now that's a surprise, isn't it? Technologically as old as the Punto, the Ypsilon goes to show style is sometimes more important than cutting-edge solutions. But we'd expect that of Italians, wouldn't we? Down from 6370 units sold the year before, the Ypsilon still sold 5814 examples in the first half of 2017, out of which 1003 in June alone. We wish this car well, since as little a Lancia as it is, it's still the last one of a dying breed.

Ford Fiesta© FordThe Fiesta topping the chart of bestselling autogas cars? Well, we didn't see that coming

2. Fiat Panda

If there's any kind of surprise here, it's only the fact that the Panda isn't right at the top, especially that in its petrol guise the car is Italy's bestseller. 5917 units were registered between January and June, each starting at 14050 euros. Let's see the winner, shall we?

1. Ford Fiesta

Now that's one hell of a surprise! Ford isn't exactly a brand you would associate with autogas and yet in Italy it tops the charts of LPG-powered bestsellers. Maybe it's thanks to Giandomenico Basso and his rally-specced Fiesta R5 LDI? With 5937 examples delivered in the first half of 2017, the lead is quite fragile (the Panda was just 20 units away), but the Fiesta is a class bigger that the Fiat and only costs 200 euros more.

And speaking of Fiat, where in the world is the 500 and why is it not in the top ten? That's probably the biggest surprise of them all.


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Robert Markowski
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