Our love affair with SUVs and Utes

Australians have a love affair with SUVs and Utes, if sales of new vehicles in March are anything to go by. Of the 105,410 vehicles sold in March 2017, 60% of them were light commercial and sports utility vehicles. What’s more, three of the top 5 sellers were Utes:

  • Toyota Hilux (1st)
  • Ford Ranger (2nd)
  • Mitsubishi Triton (5th).

The other top two were favourite passenger vehicles, Toyota Corolla (3rd) and Mazda3 (4th).

More SUVs than sedans

In February 2017, for the first time, sales of SUVs nosed above sales of passenger vehicles (sedans, wagons, hatchbacks, people-movers and sports cars). March continued the same trend towards SUVs. Of the total market:

  • SUVs took 39.4%
  • Passenger cars took 37%
  • Light commercial vehicles took 20.9%.

In Australia, the most popular SUV is the Mazda CX-5 and one in seven SUVs sold are Toyotas. Meanwhile, passion for SUVs is not just apparent in Australia, but in America, China and Europe as well.

International trend

For example, sales of what Americans and Europeans call “crossovers” have increased 58% since 2012, compared to a 7.8% decline in car sales. In America, crossovers made up just over a third of all vehicle sales in the first quarter of 2017.

UK buyers also love SUVs, especially compact SUVs, and are expected to be Europe’s largest market for these in 2017.

There is no reason to think this trend is going to reverse in the near future.

If you are using the calculator, you may need to select Light Goods Vehicle, rather than Motor Car, to find your SUV make and model.

Corrina Baird

Writer and expert

Corrina used to lend her car to her kids and discovered first hand what Ls, Ps and demerits mean for greenslips. After 20 years of writing and research in financial services, she’s an expert in the NSW CTP scheme. Read more about Corrina

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