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Age is no barrier to sales success: Australia's oldest new cars like the Toyota HiLux, MG3, Mazda CX-3, Nissan Patrol and Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series are still popular

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Mazda CX-3, Mitsubishi ASX, Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series.
Mazda CX-3, Mitsubishi ASX, Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series.

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of new-model releases. 

Lately, product cycles have been getting ever shorter with China in particular’s immense speed of design, development and production eschewing traditional carmakers' usual six, seven or eight-year model replacements.

But that doesn’t mean everyone wants the latest and greatest and, in Australia, there remains a huge appetite for familiar nameplates like the Mazda CX-3, MG3 and Nissan Patrol despite fresher models being available in the same class. 

In fact, until this year, the now nine-year-old Toyota HiLux has dominated sales charts. It’s taken the ‘T6.2’ Ford Ranger over a year to usurp Toyota’s ute despite its much newer cabin, more powerful engines and fresher tech. Even still, the Ranger held a slim 210 sale margin over the HiLux in May. 

It’s a little easier to imagine how ute buyers – those after a dependable, rugged vehicle with less concern for the latest and greatest – might be less interested in buying the newest model.

Though the media expected the CX-30 to become Mazda’s new entry-level SUV, the plan all along was to sell them side by side. At 10 years old, the CX-3 is no spring chicken any more yet with 1300 sales in may it remains firmly ahead of the Yaris Cross and Hyundai Venue in the light SUV class. 

It is, amazingly, still more popular than the CX-30 (1010 sales in May) as well. Entry-level Pure leads the way as a first-car option that is bigger than a Mazda2 but not unwieldy. Safety features like AEB and collision warning feature and the CX-3 is a known quantity for both reliability and parts availability. 

Mazda CX-3.
Mazda CX-3.

MG is finally replacing the MG3 as it celebrates its 13th year on sale – such age is very rare in cars from China. In its final 31 days in dealerships as a ‘new’ model, 1077 MG3s were registered. This puts it leagues ahead of the Mazda2 and Toyota Yaris

The same vintage Mitsubishi ASX may not be quite as popular as a CX-3 (842 sales in May) though like the others in this list, the ASX is having a bumper year of over 5000 sales – up nearly 30 per cent on 2023. 

Mitsubishi ASX Street. (Image: John Law)
Mitsubishi ASX Street. (Image: John Law)

Nissan sold 622 Patrol off-roaders last month for 3274 year-to-date. That may be less than half of Toyota’s LandCruiser 300 Series volume but when you consider the basic design is 14 years old (and therefore cost is long since amortised), Nissan is doing very well. 

Like ASX, the Patrol’s sales are up for 2024 as well, by an impressive 46.3 per cent. Put that down to demand for the new rough-and-tumble Warrior model. 

Nissan Patrol Warrior.
Nissan Patrol Warrior.

We couldn’t write this article and ignore the oldest car on sale today in Australia. 

Celebrating its 40th year in production and continuing to sell incredibly is the 70 Series LandCruiser range. An iconic vehicle for Australians who buy more of these things than any other nation – mining fleet is a huge part but a renewed popularity with the off-road crowd helps, too.

LandCruiser 79 Series Workmate. (Image: Glen Sullivan)
LandCruiser 79 Series Workmate. (Image: Glen Sullivan)

Toyota’s old fourby may not get another ANCAP test any time soon but the new four-cylinder turbo-diesel will extend its sales life further as emissions regulations take hold. 

There were 1096 sales of the LandCruiser 70 Series in May for a total of 5030 this year, not including Troop Carrier body styles. Its enduring popularity is unlikely to end soon, either, with the new downsized diesel carrying the ageing Toyota into its next decade of sales.

John Law
Deputy News Editor
Born in Sydney’s Inner West, John wasn’t treated to the usual suite of Aussie-built family cars growing up, with his parents choosing quirky (often chevroned) French motors that shaped his love of cars. The call of motoring journalism was too strong to deny and in 2019 John kickstarted his career at Chasing Cars. A move to WhichCar and Wheels magazine exposed him to a different side of the industry and the glossy pages of physical magazines. John is back on the digital side of things at CarsGuide, where he’s taken up a role as Deputy News Editor spinning yarns about the latest happenings in the automotive industry. When he isn’t working, John can be found tooling around in either his 2002 Renault Clio Sport 172 or 1983 Alfasud Gold Cloverleaf.  
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