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10 bestselling cars of 2020 - A year in review

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Best selling cars of the year

Overall, 2020 has been a hard year for car sales. October marked 31 consecutive months of new car sales declines, according to The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), with the coronavirus pandemic causing sales to plummet particularly in March (down 18%), April (down 48.5%, a record), and May (down 35.5%).

Year-to-date,  916,968 cars were sold in 2020, a near 14% decline from 2019. Nonetheless, Australia’s most popular cars remain highly popular, even if they are slightly less popular now as people looked to scrimp and save during the pandemic downturn.

Based on data from FCAI, here are the 10 best selling cars of 2020, for the year to date up until November 30.

1. The Toyota Hilux

The Hilux was Australia’s most popular car model in 2019, with 45,176 total sales. It will be 2020’s most bought car again, with just over 40,000 purchased throughout the year, although in a bad year for car sales, sales of the Hilux fell by 18%.

2. The Ford Ranger

2019’s second most popular car, the Ford Ranger, is again the second most popular car in 2020 with around 41,000 sales - roughly the same that it had in 2019.

3. The Toyota RAV4

The 8th most popular car in 2019, the RAV4’s popularity has surged in 2020. After recording about 24,000 sales in 2019, more than 38,530 RAV4’s have been sold in 2020, a hefty 60.5% increase. This makes it one of 2020’s best-performing cars.

4. The Toyota Corolla

The Corolla slips down a spot from 3rd to 4th in 2020: Sales fell 15.6% from 27,690 to 25,882. You might be sensing a bit of a Toyota trend at the moment, as 3/4 of the top spots belong to the Japanese behemoth.

5. The Toyota LandCruiser (Wagon)

Another Toyota model, the Landcruiser, fills out the top five after not even featuring in last year’s top 10. The LandCruiser has sold more than 20,000 times this year (25,142 to be exact), and in November alone reported a huge 119% increase to 1,981 sales.

Rounding out the top 10 are:

  • The Mazda CX-5: 21,979 sales

  • The Hyundai i30: 20,734 sales

  • The Mitsubishi Triton: 18,136 sales

  • The Toyota Prado: 18,034 sales

  • The Kia Cerato: 17,559 sales

Honourable mentions go to the Mazda3, Isuzu D-Max, Mitsubishi Outlander, Volkswagen Golf and more.

Why are these cars so popular?

Although each of these cars is different, a lot of them share the same basic tenants of a good, trustworthy car:

  • They have a high fuel-economy and lower than average carbon emissions compared to similar models

  • They’re safe and have some useful interior technology

  • They’re comfortable to drive and are generally stylish

  • They’re affordable, with most costing less than $30,000-$50,000

  • And they also have lower than average running costs, which can be a big yearly expense

Plus, when it comes to the utes in the list (which are regularly in the top spots every year), these cars are frequently bought by our nation’s tradespeople, which means they double up as work purchases.

“The HiLux and Ranger have been the go-to option for Australians for a number of years now. They fulfil multiple duties, performing as a hard-working workhorse during the week while supporting recreational tasks with all the family on the weekend,” Performance Drive Editor and Founder Brett Davis said.

“Utes can be great all-rounders. And with safety and refinement benchmarks constantly being reset, it's easy to see why these are the best sellers.”

Will any other cars make this list in the future?

It’s never easy to predict which models will leave or enter the top 10, and some vary from month to month. In 2019, the Toyota Prado was more popular than the Isuzu D-max, for example. While typically ‘Aussie’ cars like the Hilux will likely stick around for a while, it’s entirely possible that looking further ahead (think 2030 and beyond) we’ll see more electric cars in our top 10 lists.

Although they only make up a small portion of our current fleet (less than 1% in 2020), electric cars are set to become more popular. There are already 10 more models entering the market in 2021 (RenewEconomy), and the CSIRO predicts the full electrification of electric vehicles on our roads by 2050. This could see cars such as…

  • The Nissan Leaf

  • The Tesla Models S and 3

  • And the Hyundai Kona and Ioniq

…become more common on our roads quite soon.

How to pay for your the car of your choice

Whether it’s to pay for some of these popular trusted models - which are generally affordable, safe, comfortable and have low running costs - or to jump ahead of the curve on popular future models like electric/hybrid cars, loans.com.au can help you finance your purchase with our low-rate car loans.

We have a discounted green car loan for environmentally friendly cars and an ultra-competitive low rate loan for most other cars, so speak to one of our lending specialists today and see if you can get pre-approved to buy your dream car.

Other helpful resources: 

Best new cars coming to Australia in 2021

10 popular cars with a car loan discount

About the article

As Australia's leading online lender, loans.com.au has been helping people into their dream homes and cars for more than 10 years. Our content is written and reviewed by experienced financial experts. The information we provide is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives or needs. If you'd like to chat to one of our lending specialists about a home or car loan, contact us on Live Chat or by calling 13 10 90.

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