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VFACTS – Australia’s most popular cars and SUVs in September

By Tony O’Kane and Dan Gardner, 03 Oct 2018 Car News

VFACTS – Australia’s most popular cars and SUVs in September

Which cars and SUVs are Australians buying the most right now? We give you a segment-by-segment rundown

PASSENGER SEGMENT

Small

The small car segment continues to be one of the most popular in Australia, despite the steady erosion of its market share by the inexorably rising sales of SUVs. As is the norm, the Toyota Corolla sits at the top of the small car sales sheet with 2917 cars sold in September, handily ahead of second place-getter the Hyundai i30 (2508 sales) and the more distant Mazda 3 (1842 sales). It’s perhaps worth noting that in terms of year-to-date figures, the second and third positions are switched – Mazda takes the runner-up spot and Hyundai sits in third.

Last month: VFACTS: August 2018 new vehicle sales

At the premium end of the segment the Audi A3 defied its age by outselling the considerably fresher A-Class. The A3, which is now in its sixth year of production, has the crucial advantage of being available as both a hatch and sedan, no doubt helping Audi sell 364 of them in September. The A-Class, which only launched in all-new form in August, sold 328 copies – a respectable showing considering supply may still be constrained post-launch, not to mention its hatch-only bodystyle for now. Trailing them both was the BMW 1 series, with 224 sales.

Medium

Midsize passenger cars continue to slide deeper into unpopularity, though the seemingly evergreen Toyota Camry seems somewhat immune to that trend. Toyota’s midsizer recorded 1145 sales last month, miles ahead of the Mazda 6 (213 sales) and the Ford Mondeo (168 sales). A strong showing for sure, but with the Camry now fully imported, sales last month were nearly half what they were in September 2017 – and we expect that to become the new norm for Toyota’s popular sedan.

The Mercedes-Benz C-Class is another mid-size stalwart (and frequently outsells almost all midsizers in the non-premium segment), however last month it placed second to its stablemate, the CLA-class with the CLA notching up 363 sales and the C-Class coming in just seven cars behind. Trailing both of the Benzes was BMW’s 3 Series at 296 sales – with an all-new generation model just around the corner, expect the Bavarian’s showroom performance to lift next year.

Read next: VFACTS August 2018: Hilux and Ranger remain best-selling 4x4s

Large

Now fully imported and based on less performance-oriented underpinnings, Holden’s Commodore sells a fraction of what it used to. Even so, with 672 of them leaving showrooms last month, the Commodore range nevertheless took top spot in the large car segment, well ahead of the Kia Stinger (130 cars) and Skoda Superb (63 cars).

In the more densely-populated premium end of the large car market, it was Mercedes-Benz’s E-Class that scored highest, with its 190 sales accounting for just under half of segment sales in September. It was followed by the BMW 5 Series in a distant third place with 75 cars sold, while the Jaguar XF came in third with 65 sales.

SUV SEGMENT

Small

Small SUVs continue to be one of the new car segments showing the most potential, with growth up 25.7 percent compared to September last year. The continued momentum appears to be a shift from small passenger models - once the king of volume - to the high-riding equivalents that are often based on the same platforms.

Driving that increase are models like the seemingly immortal Mitsubishi ASX, which takes out the month’s sales high score of 2138 and accounted for 18 percent of the sub-$40,000 segment - despite clocking up eight years of sales.

In second place, the Hyundai Kona continues to surf a wave of popularity following its launch nearly a year ago, with 1513 registrations during the month of September. Third, fourth and fifth place is a closer call with Honda’s HR-V keeping its rivals at bay with 1247 finding homes, versus the Subaru XV (1224) and the Mazda CX-3 (1214).

At the more luxurious end of the small SUV segment, Mercedes-Benz’s GLA leads the over-$40,000 race by a furlong and racked up 392 registrations for a 28.5 percent stake. Next best was the BMW X1 with 220 sales and a 16 percent share, followed by the Audi Q3 with 203 sales.

Medium

It might be Australia’s most popular individual vehicle segment, but mid-sized SUVs cannot beat the growth of small SUVs, climbing 17 percent. A number of models showed particularly strong growth, including the Jeep Cherokee which jumped a massive 117 percent following a new model introduction, but total sales of 63 for that model are more an indication of the stagnant sales of the pre-update vehicle. Nissan’s X-Trail also made a gallant effort rising 43.1 percent to 1908 registrations, earning it the title as favourite medium SUV overall.

Behind it, the Toyota RAV4 played second fiddle with 1611 rolling out of showrooms for 11.8 percent of the market, while the Mazda CX-5 came in third with 1506 and 11 percent.

Customers with more than $60,000 to drop on a mid-sizer again liked three-pointed star more than any other premium contender, with the GLC totting up a healthy 681 sales. If you add in its Coupe sibling, that figure rises another 61 snagging more than a quarter of the over $60k market.

Behind the GLC were the other two Germans – Audi with its Q5 (425 sales) and BMW’s X3 (324 sales). Combine the sales of the X3 with its coupe cousin, the X4, and BMW’s slice of sales rises to 515 cars or 17.5 percent.

VFACTS - the top-selling cars in Australia in 2017

Large

The large end of the SUV market saw overall sales climb 11 percent. A majority of that upward trend comes from the below $70,000 end of the market, where Toyota reigns king.

Its Prado took pole position with a 16.5 percent share of the segment and 1518 registrations, but if you factor in the second-place Kluger (1042) and Hilux-based Fortuner (336), the Japanese brand owned 31.4 percent of the sub-$70k large SUV segment in September.

In third place, the Subaru Outback snared a 10.2 percent share with 936 registrations.

BMW’s X5 was the highest-selling individual model in the premium large SUV segment with 211 cars registered in September, however if you combine sales of Benz’s GLE wagon with those of the GLE Coupe it’s the three-pointed star that takes top slot (234 combined). Doing the same with BMW’s X5 and X6 twins sees a tally of 230, meaning Mercedes scores a hat trick in the premium SUV sales race – but only just.

Micro Cars

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Kia Picanto 640
2 Mitsubishi Mirage 223
3 Fiat 500 55

Light Cars

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Hyundai Accent 1288
2 Toyota Yaris 832
3 Suzuki Swift 794

Small Cars < $40K

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Toyota Corolla 2917
2 Hyundai i30 2508
3 Mazda 3 1842

Small Cars > $40K

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Audi A3 364
2 Mercedes-Benz A Class 328
3 BMW 1 Series 224

Medium Cars < $60K

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Toyota Camry 1145
2 Mazda 6 213
3 Volkswagen Passat 174

Medium Cars > $60K

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Mercedes-Benz CLA 363
2 Mercedes-Benz C Class 356
3 BMW 3 Series 296

Large Cars < $70K

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Holden Commodore 672
2 Kia Stinger 130
3 Skoda Superb 63

Large Cars > $70K

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Mercedes-Benz E Class 190
2 BMW 5 Series 75
3 Jaguar XF 65

Upper Large

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Chrysler 300 36
2 Mercedes-Benz S Class 22
3 Porsche Panamera 11

People Movers

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Kia Carnival 591
2 Honda Odyssey 140
3 Volkswagen Multivan 86

Sports Cars < $80K

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Ford Mustang 422
2 BMW 2 Series 101
3 Toyota 86 69

Sports Cars > $80K

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Mercedes-Benz C Coupe 82
2 Mercedes-Benz E Coupe 60
3 Porsche Cayman 29

Sports Cars > $200K

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Porsche 911 57
2 Bentley Coupe/Conv 36
3 Aston Martin Coupe/Conv 21

SUV Small < $40K

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Mitsubishi ASX 2138
2 Hyundai Kona 1513
3 Honda HR-V 1247

SUV Small > $40K

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Mercedes-Benz GLA 391
2 BMW X1 220
3 Audi Q3 203

SUV Medium< $60K

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Nissan X-Trail 1908
2 Toyota RAV4 1611
3 Mazda CX-5 1506

SUV Medium > $60K

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Mercedes-Benz GLC 681
2 Audi Q5 425
3 BMW X3 324

SUV Large < $70K

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Toyota Prado 1518
2 Toyota Kluger 1042
3 Subaru Outback 936

SUV Large > $70K

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 BMW X5 211
2 Mercedes-Benz GLE 189
3 Lexus RX 147

SUV Upper Large > $100K

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Toyota LandCruiser 929
2 Nissan Patrol 88
3 Mercedes-Benz GLS 45

4x2 Utes

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Toyota Hilux 4x2 1000
2 Isuzu DMAX 4x2 391
3 Ford Ranger 4x2 358

4x4 Utes

Rank Vehicle Registrations this month
1 Toyota Hilux 4x4 3338
2 Ford Ranger 4x4 2870
3 Mitsubishi Triton 4x4 1674