The iron grip the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has on the SUV market - and what the Hyundai Tucson and Mazda CX-5 need to catch up - has today been revealed, with the Japanese giant's 2020 sales results shining a light on the power of hybrid in Australia.
The latest VFACTs figures reveal that some 60,417 hybrids were sold in Australia across 2020. And incredibly, 54,335 of those were wearing a Toyota badge. In fact, nine out of every 10 hybrids sold in Australia last year were Toyotas.
It's an incredible grip to have on the hybrid market, and one that's proving ever-more important by the day, as Australians embrace electrified powertrains like never before.
Take the Toyota RAV4, for example. The country's best-selling SUV shifted 38,537 units in 2020. That's more than the Mazda CX-5 (21,979) which finished in second place, and more than double what the Hyundai Tucson managed to finish in third (15,789).
But here's the interesting part. Of those 38,537 RAV4 sales, some 26,400 of them were of the Hybrid - or 68.5 percent of the total.
Take the electrified drivetrain out of the equation, and the RAV4 sold just 12,137 - which would have seen it finish behind its key rivals.
The point is that hybrid technology isn't just popular now, it's a prerequisite for success. Which puts brands like Hyundai and Mazda in a tricky position.
See, the new Hyundai Tucson will be offered with a 1.6-litre hybrid powertrain that produces a combined 171kW and 348Nm. But while it will be offered internationally, the powertrain remains under study for our market.
Mazda, on the other hand, is making moves into hybrid tech, too - most notably as part of a partnership with Toyota - but the brand is yet to detail any parallel hybrid options for its super important CX-5.
And as today's figures show, without a true hybrid, Toyota's lead will likely only continue to grow.