These were the top five most popular SUVs, passenger cars and light commercial utes Australians purchased in 2019.

WITH VEHICLE SALES down almost 8 per cent year-on-year, 2019 posed a tough 12 months for the Australian new car market. According to data released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), 1,062,867 new vehicles were sold last year, down from 1,153,111 units in 2018.

Continuing a growing trend, SUVs topped the market as the most popular vehicle, the segment claiming over 45 percent of all vehicle sales. The second most popular segment in the market was passenger cars, which accounted for almost 30 per cent of sales, followed by light commercials in third place claiming just over 21 per cent market share.

Chief executive of the FCAI, Tony Weber, said that tightened lending criteria and a fluctuating exchange rate were some of the reasons the market recorded its lowest sales tally since 2011.

“Regarding the actual new vehicle sales results: 2019 reflects a tough year for the Australian economy, with challenges including tightening of lending, movements in exchange rates, slow wages growth and, of course, the extreme environmental factors our country is experiencing,” Weber said.

So what new models were buyers ready to spend their hard-earned on? Here are the top five selling models for light commercial, passenger cars, and SUVs in 2019.

Top five most popular light commercial (utes) in 2019

There were not many surprises in light commercials, with 2018’s popular Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger continuing to reign as the most popular duo. Mitsubishi found an upswing with its new-look Triton, and Holden’s Colorado ute remains the brand’s best-selling car in the line-up. Isuzu’s D-Max was fifth overall, with a new-generation model arriving soon that could bolster sales against Holden’s ute.

1. Toyota HiLux – 47,649

Toyota Hilux

2. Ford Ranger – 40,690

Ford Ranger

3. Mitsubishi Triton – 25,819

Mitsubishi Triton

4. Holden Colorado – 17,472

Holden Colorado

5. Isuzu D-Max – 16,892

Isuzu D-Max

Top five most popular passenger cars in 2019

Toyota’s Corolla hatch was a winner, helping the Japanese brand claim top spot in the passenger car ranks. It’s Camry sedan also claimed the fifth spot, the hybrid model the most popular derivative in the model’s lineup. Hyundai’s i30 only just pipped Mazda’s 3 for the second spot, and the Kia Cerato held a solid fourth.

1. Toyota Corolla – 30,468

Toyota Corolla

2. Hyundai i30 – 28,378

Hyundai i30

3. Mazda 3 – 24,939

Mazda 3

4. Kia Cerato – 21,757

Kia Cerato

5. Toyota Camry – 16,768

Toyota Camry

Top five most popular SUVs in 2019

Mazda’s popular CX-5 remained the country’s favourite SUV – but only just. Toyota’s new Rav4 came in a close second with a healthy margin over the Mitsubishi ASX, which has just undergone a facelift late-2019. Below the small Mitsubishi SUV was the Nissan X-Trail and large Toyota Prado, finding plenty of buyers despite also aging in their current lifecycle.

1. Mazda CX-5 – 25,539

Mazda CX-5

2. Toyota RAV4 – 24,260

Toyota Rav4

3. Mitsubishi ASX – 20,806

Mitsubishi ASX

4. Nissan X-Trail – 19,726

Nissan X-Trail

5. Toyota Prado – 18,335

Toyota Prado


The top-selling cars in Australia for 2019

Toyota HiLux – 47,649

Ford Ranger – 40,690

Toyota Corolla – 30,468

Hyundai i30 – 28,378

Mitsubishi Triton – 25,819

Mazda CX-5 – 25,539

Mazda 3 – 24,939

Toyota RAV4 – 24,260

Kia Cerato – 21,757

Mitsubishi ASX – 20,806

Nissan X-Trail – 19,726

Toyota Prado – 18,335

Hyundai Tucson – 18,251

Mitsubishi Outlander – 17,514

Holden Colorado – 17,472

Isuzu D-Max – 16,892

Toyota Camry – 16,768

Subaru Forester -15,096

Mazda CX-3 – 14,813

Volkswagen Golf – 14,355

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

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