With the Toyota Hilux set to become Australia’s biggest selling vehicle for 2016 and the Ford Ranger not too far behind, you’d think that drivers are ditching cars and SUVs by the thousand in favour of high-riding trucksters with a tray plonked on the back.
However the success of these and other dual cab utes over cars and SUVs needs to be put into perspective in terms of who is buying them and how they’re counted.
If the Hilux wins the sales crown this year it will do so at the expense of its long-reigning Corolla cousin. However, unlike the Corolla the majority of Hilux utes are sold to government and business buyers, with just over a quarter (10,586) of the 38,018 Hilux utes sold so far this year going to private buyers.
That compares to 20,128 Toyota Corollas sold to private buyers this year, which is more than half of the 37,403 sold so far in 2016 according to VFACTS figures for November.
That said, overall sales is a fair measure but because the ute figures include diverse variants from 2WD trays to 4X4 pickups, it’s best to isolate five-seat dual cab utes – the variant most favoured by family buyers - and treat them as distinct models to see how their sales compare with conventional passenger cars and SUVs.
Of the 38,018 Hilux utes sold so far this year, 21,489 were 2x4 or 4x4 dual cabs. A big number, but what’s more revealing is the fact that less than a third of that number (6752 if we’re being exact) went to private buyers rather than fleets.
The stats are similar on Ford’s side. Of the 33,567 Ford Rangers sold year-to-date, 25,193 were 2x4/4x4 dual cabs with just 6798 of these ending up in the hands of private buyers.
When it comes to passenger-carrying utes, the Ford Ranger is outselling the Hilux 25,193 to 21, 489. However, if we’re counting just private buyers the top selling dual cab ute is actually the Mitsubishi Triton at 8619 sales.
If you stack overall dual-cab Hilux and Ranger sales against other big selling cars, the top-10 starts to look a little different. The humble Corolla still reigns supreme, however, and dual-cabs still have a long way to travel before they become the dominant form of car on Aussie roads.
- Toyota Corolla 37,403
- Hyundai i30 34,937
- Mazda 3 32,966
- Ford Ranger Dual Cab 25,193
- Holden Commodore 23,730
- Mazda CX-5 22,658
- Toyota Camry 21,635
- Toyota Hilux Dual Cab 21,489
- Volkswagen Golf 17,891