A pair of one-tonne utes and a trio of hatchbacks can brag the title of Australia’s top-five favourite new vehicle models in 2018.
Once again, Toyota’s venerable HiLux utility is the most popular vehicle in the Australian market with a staggering 51,705 units registered in 2018, adding another 4612 to the model’s full-year score in 2017. To put that into context, fellow Japanese marque Honda couldn’t quite match the Hilux tally with its entire line-up.
In second place, Ford weighs in with its Ranger one-tonner, which posted a healthy 42,144 sales. Ford’s next best performing model is a fair way behind its pick-up hero, but with 6412 registrations, the Mustang deserves a special mention for doing what few thought a sportscar could achieve in sales.
While Mitsubishi’s Triton has previously tussled in the top five positions buoyed by compelling pricing and a solid reputation, it fell to seventh position overall and 24,896 sales, but is still Australia's third favourite ute of the year.
The Triton's fall makes way for three small hatchbacks to fill out Australia’s top five list.
Toyota deserves another slap on the back for the Corolla’s performance, snatching a respectable 35,320 sales last year, maintaining a safe distance from arch-rival the fourth-place Mazda 3 with 31,065. In fifth place, the Hyundai i30 battled back from a slow start following its introduction in 2017, with a score of 28,188 in 2018.
READ MORE 2019 Mazda 3 brings sexy back
SUVs have once again dominated Australian new car sales in 2018 with just shy of half a million of these popular practrical wagons finding driveways over the last 12 months.
In the bottom half of the top ten it’s an almost all-SUV affair, lead by the CX-5 from Mazda as the most popular moderate off-road-able model with 26,173 spoken for in 2018. Despite an imminent new version arriving this year, Toyota gets in with a top-ten mention yet again with its RAV4 notching up 22,165 sales.
READ MORE 2019 Toyota RAV4 reviewed
These two lead the seemingly un-killable Mitsubishi ASX which found 19,034 homes despite being about a decade old, give or take a few facelifts.
Speaking of the Germans, in the luxury model sales race, the ‘big three’ were unrelenting in their battle in 2018. As expected, overall volume champion Mercedes-Benz takes the title for most popular premium model with Australians falling over themselves for 5605 examples of the GLC mid-sized SUV. That’s up from the 4109 it sold in 2017.
In overall sales, Mercedes-Benz is a solid presence and its commendable passenger and SUV figure of 32,201 gets a 7336 boost if you include light commercial vehicles, of which, the Sprinter is the hero with 3230 registrations.
As well, all eyes were on the German brand’s one-tonner newcomer but, with 1545 sales of the new X-Class, its offering in the tradie truck arena is not yet worrying any of the traditional favourites.
Of the emerging premium ute options, Volkswagen continues to be a force with 9290 examples of the Amarok rolling out of showrooms and on to work sites (or boat ramps and school runs), thanks to the introduction of a new V6 diesel variant that takes the crown as Australia’s most powerful one-tonner.
BMW trailed in second place among its posh rivals with 4864 of its X3 mid-sizer sold (up from 3671 of 2017), while Audi’s best performer was the A3 with 4257 - the only one of the three premium best-sellers to slide downward in sales.