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Toyota dominates 2020 new-car sales with strong results from HiLux, RAV4, Corolla, Prado and Land Cruiser

Toyota finished 2020 as the best-selling car brand in Australia, with its HiLux, RAV4 and Corolla proving popular.

Toyota has once again cemented its stranglehold on the Australian new-car market, finishing first in a year that saw overall volume drop 13.7 per cent to 916,968 total units – the first time since 2007 where less than 1,000,000 vehicles were sold.

Despite the fall in volume, Toyota still managed to sell 204,801 vehicles (a slight decrease of 0.5 per cent over its 2019 year-end result) for its 18th year in a row on top and a sizeable 22.3 per cent chunk of the market.

While the HiLux ute again topped the tables in 2020 with 45,176 (-5.2%) sales (also making it the most popular ute in Australia), the brand’s RAV4 and Corolla also took top honours as the best-selling SUV and passenger car respectively.

With its first full year on sale – and after overcoming delays in delivering hybrid versions to customers at launch – the fifth-generation RAV4 finished third overall with 38,537 sales (+58.8%).

Last year’s best-selling SUV (and now Mazda’s most popular model) the CX-5 meanwhile, landed in fifth place with 21,979 sales (-13.9%).

As for the Toyota Corolla, it finished fourth overall with a tally of 25,882 units (-15.1%), easily eclipsing the Mazda3 (14,663, -41.2%) that dropped from seventh place last year to 13th in 2020, and its closest rival in the small car segment, the Hyundai i30 (20,734, -26.9%).

Toyota’s Prado SUV (18,034, -1.6%) also landed in the top 10 last year at eighth place, while its soon-to-be-replaced LandCruiser 200 Series (15,078, +9.2%) was the 11th most-popular model in 2020, both likely buoyed by the lack of international travel.

Mazda maintained its second spot overall in a trying year despite the fall in popularity of its Mazda3 and CX-5 models mentioned above, finishing 2020 with 85,640 (-12.3%) sales which was helped by growth from the CX-8 (3788, +46.5%) and MX-5 (457, +3.4%), as well as the newly-introduced CX-30 (8998 sales).

Hyundai on 64,807 (-24.7%) sales came in third overall, with its best-selling i30 placing sixth on the charts, while its Tucson (15,789, -13.5%) also scrapped into the top 10. Both models are due to be revised in 2021.

In fourth place was Ford, thanks largely to the Ranger ute (40,973, +0.03%) that finished in second place overall and accounted for a massive 68.75 per cent of the brand’s overall 59,601 (-5.8%) volume.

Mitsubishi rounded out the top five brands with 58,335 (-29.9%) sales, as its Triton ute found (18,136, -29.8%) new buyers in 2020.

Kia (51,471, -29.3%), Volkswagen (39,266, -21.4%), Nissan (38,323, -24.2%) and Subaru (31,501, -21.3%) made up the next four spots, with the Cerato (17,559, -19.3%) as the only model from the aforementioned brands making the top 10 in ninth place.

Rounding out the most popular marques was Mercedes-Benz on 29,455 (-7.9%) sales, spearheaded by the popularity of the A-Class (6054, +29.1%).

Notable omissions from the top 10 include Honda (29,040, -33.8%), who fell from ninth position last year to 11th in 2020, and the now-discontinued Holden (16,688, -61.3%), who finished in 15th.

Overall, passenger cars continued to decline with 222,103 (-29.7%) sales as customers flock to SUVs (454,701, -5.9%) and light-commercial vehicles (205,597, -8.9%).

December’s new-vehicle sales data also continued November’s positive trend, with the month up 13.5 per cent compared to the 2019.

The most popular brands of 2020

RankingBrandSalesVariance %

The best-selling models of 2020

RankingModelSalesVariance %
1Toyota HiLux45,176-5.2
2Ford Ranger40,973+0.03
3Toyota RAV438,537+58.8
4Toyota Corolla25,882-15.1
5Mazda CX-521,979-13.9
6Hyundai i3020,734-26.9
7Mitsubishi Triton18,136-29.8
8Toyota Prado18,034-1.6
9Kia Cerato17,559-19.3
10Hyundai Tucson15,789-13.5