South Africa's Top Selling Cars & Bakkies: Q1 2019

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Which brands and, more specifically, which models are currently the most in-demand in the South African new-vehicle market? Look beyond the big numbers on the surface and a fascinating picture emerges.

The sales figures quotes in this article are sourced from Lightstone Auto and are for the first 3 months of the year. Note that certain brands' numbers (notably Hyundai and Kia) are estimates calculated from the aggregated volumes reported and financial data.

Biggest brands in the passenger vehicle market

The top 10 list in this category doesn't really yield any major surprises at the top, but what is interesting is just how tightly contested the bottom half of the table is, with all those brands selling between 3 000 and 4 000 units. The brand in 11th place, Suzuki, only just missed out on reaching the list with sales of 3 043.

Note these sales exclude double-cab bakkies.

Ranking Brand Sales
1. Volkswagen 17 562
2. Toyota 16 868
3. Hyundai 7 593
4. Ford 6 596
5. Renault 5 706
6. Mazda 3 545
7. Mercedes-Benz 3 428
8. Kia 3 289
9. Nissan 3 251
10. BMW 3 067

Most popular passenger cars


Dominant once again, the Volkswagen Polo Vivo has a significant lead in the passenger car market.

Again, there are few surprises at the top of this list, though the enduring appeal of the Toyota Corolla Quest will raise eyebrows. Another Toyota, the Fortuner, is the country's top-selling SUV and one of the pricier cars to maintain a high position in the rankings. Cars that only just missed out on a top 20 spot include the Mazda CX-5 (1 216), Mercedes-Benz C-Class (1 131) and VW Polo Sedan (1 241).

Ranking Make & Model Sales
1. Volkswagen Polo Vivo 7 651
2. Volkswagen Polo 5 043
3. Toyota Corolla Quest 3 005
4. Toyota Fortuner 2 904
5. Hyundai Grand i10 2 798
6. Renault Kwid 2 669
7. Toyota Etios 2 113
8. Ford EcoSport 2 003
9. Toyota Corolla 1 986
10. Ford Figo 1 883
11. Hyundai i20 1 733
12. Kia Picanto 1 725
13. Datsun Go! 1 692
14. Toyota RAV4 1 523
15. Suzuki Swift 1 412
16. Volkswagen Tiguan 1 411
17. Toyota Yaris 1 302
18. Ford Everest 1 289
19. Toyota Avanza 1 261
20. Renault Sandero 1 252

Best-selling Double-Cab bakkies


During Q1 of this year, it was the Toyota Hilux that emerged as the best-selling Double-Cab, but can it hang on?

The tussle between the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger continues at the top and it will be interesting to see whether the recently updated Ranger will overtake the Hilux during the second quarter. These sales include Rental and Government sales. Isuzu's D-Max soldiers on reasonably well in third place, but Nissan won't be very happy with Navara sales (381). The Mercedes-Benz X-Class found 231 new homes in South Africa during this period. And near the bottom of the rankings, Mitsubishi will be hoping that its updated Triton will put in a much stronger showing going forward (102).

> ALSO WATCH: Ford Ranger vs Toyota Hilux (video review)

Ranking Make & Model Sales
1. Toyota Hilux 4 971
2. Ford Ranger 4 751
3. Isuzu D-Max/KB 1 539
4. Nissan NP300 1 249
5. Volkswagen Amarok 914

Most Popular SUVs


The Toyota Fortuner is our Adventure SUV of the year, crowned a second year running in the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards - Powered by WesBank.

Toyota's Fortuner continues to dominate the SUV segment in South Africa and is one of the country's favourite cars of any type. Ford will be pleased with continued sales support for its recently refreshed EcoSport, while Toyota's brand new RAV4 has gained immediate traction. Lower down the list, but still in the top 10, the presence of a Chinese vehicle, the Haval H2, is sure to raise eyebrows.

ALSO WATCH > Ford EcoSport Video Review

Ranking Make & Model Sales
1. Toyota Fortuner 2 904
2. Ford EcoSport 2 003
3. Toyota RAV4 1 523
4. Volkswagen Tiguan 1 411
5. Ford Everest 1 289
6. Mazda CX-5 1 216
7. Mazda CX-3 967
8. Toyota Rush 899
9. Haval H2 885
10 Hyundai Creta 821

Premium German brands under pressure


The Mercedes-Benz C-Class remains South Africa's favourite premium-badge car.

Traditionally the German premium brands (Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi) have been pretty resilient in tough market conditions, but in recent times they appear to be slipping down the lists in bigger steps. In this table, we list the top 20 products on offer from these 3 premium brands – notice how SUVs and crossovers are performing, as well as the absence on the list of the traditional big sedans where these brands originally built their premium status. But it's not all rosy for the smaller crossover offerings. Audi's Q2 failed to make this list (110 sales), and the BMW X2 only just scraped in.

> ALSO WATCH: New BMW 3 Series vs Mercedes-Benz C-Class (video review)

Ranking Make & Model Sales
1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class (incl AMG derivatives) 1 211
2. Audi A3 (all derivatives) 913
3. BMW 3 Series 808
4. Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz A-Class (including AMG derivatives) 566
5. BMW X3 505
6. Mercedes-Benz GLC (including AMG derivatives) 382
7. Audi A4 321
8. Mercedes-Benz CLA (incl. AMG derivatives) 308
9. Mercedes-Benz GLA (incl. AMG derivatives) 297
10. BMW X5 290
11. BMW X1 273
12. BMW X4 227
13. Mercedes-Benz V-Class 208
14 BMW 4 Series 192
15. Audi A5 171
16. BMW 5 Series 169
17. BMW 2 Series 149
18. BMW 1 Series 142
19. BMW X2 135
20. Mercedes-Benz GLE (incl. AMG derivatives) 133

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