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Australia's favourite SUVs revealed: Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson and Mitsubishi ASX lead market's love for crossovers in 2020 new-car sales

Mazda's CX-5 is no longer Australia's favourite SUV, but it still managed to move a sizeable 21,979 units in 2020.

With 454,701 SUV sales in 2020 making up nearly half of all overall Australian new-car volume, it’s no surprise to see high-riders parked on every street, at all the schools and the supermarket stable.

For every humble passenger car sold in Australia last year, more than two SUVs were moved from the car dealership parking lot, but just which models are we gravitating towards to replace our Holden Commodores, Ford Falcons and Toyota Camrys?

Taking top honours in 2020 was the Toyota RAV4 with 38,537 sales (+58.8%) thanks to the overwhelming popularity of the fifth-generation model that is now available with a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain.

In fact, 68.5 per cent of RAV4 volume – or 26,398 units – sold last year were with the hybrid engine, meaning if the line-up ditched the petrol engine altogether, Toyota’s fuel-sipping mid-size SUV would have still taken out the top spot.

Coming in second was the once-dominate Mazda CX-5, which found 21,979 (-13.9%) new homes in 2020.

Toyota’s Prado also proved popular, with 18,034 (-1.6%) new registrations, likely helped by Australians turning to road trips as holidays in lieu of international travel.

The Hyundai Tucson was the fourth most-purchased SUV on 15,789 (-13.5%), despite being on runout as the South Korean brand prepares a new-generation model for 2021.

The Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series rounds out the top five list, with 15,978 sales (+9.2%), possibly spurned by rumours of the 300 Series discontinuing the V8 engine in favour of downsizing and hybrid technologies.

Nissan’s X-Trail (14,291, -27.6%) made it to sixth place, though the next-generation model (called Rogue in the US) was revealed in 2020 and should come with hybrid power to take the fight directly to the Toyota RAV4.

Mitsubishi’s ASX topped the tables again as Australia’s favourite small SUV, notching 14,056 (-32.4%) sales, while the Hyundai Kona closed the gap significantly with 12,514 (-6.2%) sales.

Slotting in between them in eighth though, and the best-selling light SUV for 2020, was the Mazda CX-3 that found 13,953 (-5.8%) new homes.

Rounding out the top 10 SUVs was the Subaru Forester (12,300, -18.5%), while the Mitsubishi Outlander (12,004, -31.5%) followed close behind in 11th.

Other highlights in the top 20 SUVs include the Kia Seltos (9966, +386.6%) that has carved out a sizeable fanbase after launching in late 2019, the new-in-2020 Mazda CX-30 (8898 sales) that is helping the brand pick up the slack from the fading Mazda3 and Honda CR-V (9523, -31.0%) that is the brand’s best seller.

Special mention also goes to the Isuzu MU-X (7049, -16.3%) that missed out on the top 20 by just eight units, though the next-gen version due to late in 2021.

The most popular SUVs of 2020

RankingModelSalesVariance %
1Toyota RAV438,537+58.8
2Mazda CX-521,979-13.9
3Toyota Prado18,034-1.6
4Hyundai Tucson15,789-13.5
5Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series15,078+9.2
6Nissan X-Trail14,291-27.6
7Mitsubishi ASX14,056-32.4
8Mazda CX-313,953-5.8
9Hyundai Kona12,514-6.2
10Subaru Forester12,30018.5
11Mitsubishi Outlander12,004-31.5
12Kia Seltos9966+386.6
13Kia Sportage9579-29.8
14Honda CR-V9523-31.0
15Mazda CX-308998New
16Toyota C-HR8500-9.4
17Toyota Kluger8403-26.1
18Honda HR-V8181-30.3
19Subaru XV7946-21.0
20Nissan Qashqai7057-39.4