Australians still love their SUVs

Australians’ love of SUVs shows no signs of cooling if the latest new car sales figures are any indication.

While sales grew by around 3% overall in July 2015, SUV sales were up by no less than 13.4% for the month, contributing to an overall increase of 13.7% year-on-year.

Where once sedans such as the Falcon or Commodore, or perhaps their station wagon equivalents, were the natural choice for the family’s set of wheels, today the SUV seems the natural choice.

So what’s behind our national obsession with SUVs?


Well for many families an SUV is a very practical choice with its big doors and height making it easy to get young children in and out. Unlike a sedan, there’s also plenty of easy access and space for shopping, bikes, bags, and the many other accoutrements of modern living.


Many feel safer in an SUV with its increased visibility and a high driving position. While this used to be a rather comforting myth – old SUV’s were actually less safe than cars – today many SUV’s offer car like levels of safety. Indeed, the 2015 Kia Sorrento recently scored the fifth highest safety crash test score in ANCAP history.

Old SUVs were based on trucks and frequently drove like them. Today that’s all changed for the better and modern compact SUV’s handle like cars as a result of better small car architecture.

Keen pricing

Today there’s a vast range of SUV options on the Australian market with fierce competition driving down prices. SUV prices start from under $30,000, offering a set of useful family wheels at an attractive price.


The days when SUVs all looked like rugged old Land Rovers are long gone. Today’s SUV looks as stylish as it is practical with choices to suit all tastes. That’s quite a contrast to most people movers, which still tend to resemble a streamlined brick at best, regardless of their practicality.

The lure of the great outdoors

We may be some of the most city bound people in the world, but Australians still love to think of themselves as the rugged outdoor type. It’s a rich part of our cultural heritage. With its “go anywhere” ability, the SUV at least holds the promise of escaping the daily grind of city life for the freedom of an outback adventure with the family. We may not be heading for the outback, but it’s nice to know that we could if we had to!

Toyota Corolla a winner

Despite the rise and rise of SUV’s, most Australians are still opting for practical small to mid-sized cars. In July the Toyota Corolla again headed the sales figures with 3573 sold. Other clear winners were the Mazda 3 and the Hyundai I 30.

Big sedan sales declining

Our love of SUV’s is clearly coming at the expense of big sedans which are rapidly falling out of favour. The Toyota Camry could only manage seventh place with 2124 sales, with the Holden Commodore in eighth with sales of 2030. The Ford Falcon was nowhere in the top 10.

We love our utes

Aussies still love their Utes, with the Toyota HiLux, Mitsubishi Triton and Ford Ranger also featuring in the top 10.

July’s 2015 top 10 sellers:

1. Toyota Corolla 3573
2. Mazda3 2825
3. Hyundai i30 2750
4. Toyota HiLux 2579
5. Mitsubishi Triton 2238
6. Mazda CX-5 2223
7. Toyota Camry 2124
8. Holden Commodore 2030
9. Ford Ranger 2013
10. Volkswagen Golf 1675

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Categories: Toyota, Mazda, Safety, Hyundai, Ford, Kia, Holden
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