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Australian vehicle sales figures for December 2016 – best-sellers of the year revealed

The national new vehicle registration figures for December 2016 have been released, uncovering the best-sellers of the entire year. And as no surprise, Toyota has dominated the charts once again, with three vehicles in the top 10.

2016 Toyota Prado

In terms of vehicle brands, Toyota topped the charts for December and for all of 2016. It sold a whopping 209,610 vehicles during the year, up 1.6 per cent on 2015 efforts. The Japanese company saw a drop in sales for the month compared with December in 2015 though, dropping 6.1 per cent. See below for the top 10 best-selling brands for December 2016 and for 2016 overall.

  1. Toyota – 19,925 (up from 18,162 of November 2016 sales)
  2. Mazda – 9771 (down from 9825)
  3. Holden – 7725 (down from 7750)
  4. Hyundai – 7052 (down from 7991)
  5. Mitsubishi – 6752 (up from 5875)
  6. Ford – 6466 (down from 6827)
  7. Nissan – 5072 (down from 6341)
  8. Volkswagen – 4565 (down from 4862)
  9. Honda – 4228 (up from 3502)
  10. Subaru – 3908 (down from 4141)

Top 10 vehicle brands in 2016 overall:

  1. Toyota – 209,610 (up from 206,236 of 2015)
  2. Mazda – 118,217 (up from 114,024)
  3. Hyundai – 101,555 (down from 102,004)
  4. Holden – 94,308 (down from 102,951)
  5. Ford – 81,207 (up from 79,703)
  6. Mitsubishi – 73,368 (up from 71,743)
  7. Nissan – 66,826 (up from 66,062)
  8. Volkswagen – 56,571 (down from 60,225)
  9. Subaru – 47,018 (up from 43,600)
  10. Honda – 40,838 (up from 40,100)

2016-toyota-camry

As for the best-selling vehicle models for December, it is, surprisingly, the Toyota Camry. It posted almost 5000 sales for the month, which has to be some kind of record. We also see the Isuzu D-Max has jumped into the top 10 for the month, outselling the regulars such as the Hyundai Tucson and Nissan X-Trail that usually occupy the list. The top 10 best-selling vehicles for December 2016 were as follows, with overall 2016 best-sellers below as per our top 10 list from earlier today:

  1. Toyota Camry – 4850 (up from 2957)
  2. Toyota HiLux – 4086 (up from 3839)
  3. Ford Ranger – 3367 (down from 3410)
  4. Mazda3 – 3141 (up from 2877)
  5. Toyota Corolla – 2927 (down from 3245)
  6. Hyundai i30 – 2835 (up from 2541)
  7. Holden Commodore – 2130 (up from 2088)
  8. Mitsubishi Triton – 2106 (up from 1451)
  9. Mazda CX-5 – 1906 (down from 1956)
  10. Isuzu D-Max – 1876 (up from 1410)

Top 10 models for 2016 overall:

  1. Toyota HiLux – 42,104 (up from 35,161)
  2. Toyota Corolla – 40,330 (down from 42,073)
  3. Hyundai i30 – 37,772 (up from 32,306)
  4. Ford Ranger – 36,934 (up from 29,185)
  5. Mazda3 – 36,107 (down from 38,644)
  6. Toyota Camry – 26,485 (down from 27,654)
  7. Holden Commodore – 25,860 (down from 27,770)
  8. Mazda CX-5 – 24,564 (down from 25,136)
  9. Mitsubishi Triton – 21,987 (down from 25,338)
  10. Hyundai Tucson – 20,132 (up from 5390 [new model])

2017-mazda-atenza

Medium Cars under $60,000 – The Toyota Camry once again dominates the class here, both topping the charts for the month and for the year.  Interestingly, Toyota actually posted a higher December figure last year, selling 5321 examples of the Camry in Australia. Coming second place is the usual Mazda6, which also comes in for second overall for the year. The top five best-selling models in this class for December and for 2016 were as follows:

  1. Toyota Camry – 4850 (up from 2957 of November)
  2. Mazda6 – 366 (down from 368)
  3. Subaru Liberty – 204 (down from 354)
  4. Ford Mondeo – 283 (down from 332)
  5. Skoda Octavia – 217 (up from 206)

Top 5 for 2016 overall:

  1. Toyota Camry – 26,485 (down from 27,654 of 2015 overall)
  2. Mazda6 – 4369 (down from 5276)
  3. Subaru Liberty – 3495 (down from 4097)
  4. Ford Mondeo – 3122 (up from 2120)
  5. Volkswagen Passat – 3090 (up from 2292)

2016-mercedes-benz-c-class

Medium Cars over $60,000 – Mercedes-Benz claims top spot with the C-Class in December and for the entire year in this segment. However, yearly sales are down a hard-hitting 27.3 per cent compared with 2015 figures. The Audi A4 was the only model to post a decent positive increase in sales compared with 2015 year-to-date, aside from vehicles such as the Jaguar XE which are all-new to the class. Audi A4 sales rose 19.6 per cent for the year, while BMW 3 Series sales dipped 4.1 per cent, and Lexus IS sales dropped 21.7 per cent. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class for December and for all of 2016 were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 644 (down from 686)
  2. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class – 213 (down from 325)
  3. Audi A4 – 324 (up from 270)
  4. BMW 3 Series – 128 (down from 252)
  5. Jaguar XE – 129 (up from 62)

Top 5 for 2016 overall:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class – 6816 (down from 9373 of 2015)
  2. BMW 3 Series – 3975 (down from 4146)
  3. Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class – 3795 (up from 3659)
  4. Audi A4 – 2963 (up from 2478)
  5. Lexus IS – 1594 (down from 2036)

holden-vf-commodore-range

Large Cars under $70,000 – This segment will see a dramatic change this time next year. The Ford Falcon and Toyota Aurion will be non-existent, with signs of the Falcon already dropping off the charts. Holden could be the only nameplate to stick near the top, that is if buyers warm to the overseas-sourced Insignia-based model. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class for December and all of 2016 were as follows:

  1. Holden Commodore – 2130 (up from 2088)
  2. Toyota Aurion – 641 (up from 360)
  3. Skoda Superb – 86 (down from 97)
  4. Ford Falcon – 85 (down from 199)
  5. Peugeot 508 – 13 (up from 11)

Top 5 for 2016 overall:

  1. Holden Commodore – 25,860 (down from 27,770)
  2. Ford Falcon – 4434 (down from 5938)
  3. Toyota Aurion – 3833 (down from 4306)
  4. Skoda Superb – 733 (up from 264)
  5. Hyundai Genesis – 373 (down from 540)

2016-lexus-gs

Large Cars over $70,000 – The Mercedes-Benz E-Class topped the month once again, however, like the C-Class its yearly figure dropped from 2015. E-Class sales fell 11 per cent year-to-date. In fact, the Lexus GS was the only current model to post positive figures compared with last year, recording 8 sales in December and 198 for the year (up 42.4 per cent YTD). The top five best-selling vehicles in this segment in December and all of 2016 were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – 124 (up from 115)
  2. Audi A6 – 54 (up from 30)
  3. Jaguar XF – 50 (up from 22)
  4. BMW 5 Series – 31 (down from 43)
  5. Mercedes-Benz CLS – 24 (up from 21)

Top 5 for 2016 overall:

  1. Mercedes-Benz E-Class – 1271 (down from 1428)
  2. BMW 5 Series – 545 (down from 1038)
  3. Audi A6 – 517 (down from 554)
  4. Jaguar XF – 433 (down from 487)
  5. Maserati Ghibli – 330 (down from 345)

2016-ford-mustang

Sports Car under $80,000 – Since the launch of the new Ford Mustang this segment has been shaken up big time. It used to be dominated by the Toyota 86 and Hyundai Veloster, but not any more. The American muscle car not only took the honours for December but also for the entire year. The top five best-selling vehicles in this class for December and all of 2016 were as follows:

  1. Ford Mustang – 614 (up from 389 of November)
  2. Hyundai Veloster – 131 (down from 187)/Toyota 86 – 131 (down from 136)
  3. BMW 2 Series Coupe/Convertible – 126 (down from 221)
  4. Mazda MX-5 – 87 (down from 103)
  5. Subaru BRZ – 82 (up from 3)
    (Subaru WRX – 276 [up from 212] – not officially in this segment, shown for comparison)

Top 5 for 2016 overall:

  1. Ford Mustang – 6208 (up from 121 of 2015)
  2. Hyundai Veloster – 2232 (down from 2685)
  3. BMW 2 Series Coupe/Convertible – 2159 (up from 1902)
  4. Toyota 86 – 2068 (down from 3006)
  5. Mazda MX-5 – 1577 (up from 917)
    (Subaru WRX – 2936 [down from 3551] – not officially in this segment, shown for comparison)

2017-mercedes-benz-c-class-coupe

Sport Cars over $80,000 – Those looking to spend a little more money on a sports car seem to be flocking to Mercedes for its C-Class two-door. It posted the highest figures for December and for 2016 overall. It easily bettered all competitors here, even its arch rival, the BMW 4 Series, by almost 1000 sales for the year. C-Class two-door sales jumped up 79.1 per cent year-to-date, likely thanks to the new model being introduced. The top five best-selling vehicles in this category for December and all of 2016 were as follows:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe/Convertible – 374 (up from 323)
  2. BMW 4 Series Coupe/Convertible – 73 (down from 113)
  3. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Convertible – 69 (up from 51)
  4. Audi TT – 40 (down from 41)
  5. Audi A5 – 31 (down from 47)

Top 5 for 2016 overall:

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe/Convertible – 2524 (up from 1409)
  2. BMW 4 Series Coupe/Convertible – 1551 (down from 1921)
  3. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe/Convertible – 691 (down from 957)
  4. Audi TT – 545 (down from 651)
  5. Lexus RC – 518 (down from 587)

mclaren-570gt

Sport Cars over $200,000 – The king of the sports car, the Porsche 911, comes home with the gold for the year but it missed out on top spot in December. McLaren actually posted the highest sales in the class during the month, followed by Ferrari. Maybe some lucky people received very special Christmas presents? McLaren sales jumped an impressive 158.3 per cent year-to-date on the back of the launch of new models. Interestingly, most of the major supercar brands saw positive sales jumps for year-to-date. The top five best-selling vehicles in the class during December and all of 2016 were as follows:

  1. McLaren (not specified) – 30 (up from 4)
  2. Ferrari (not specified) – 19 (down from 23)
  3. Audi R8 – 15 (down from 19)/Bentley two-door – 15 (up from 9)
  4. BMW 6 Series – 12 (up from 8)
  5. Mercedes-Benz S-Class two-door – 11 (up from 7)

Top 5 for 2016 overall:

  1. Porsche 911 – 422 (up from 377)
  2. Ferrari (not specified) – 188 (up from 167)
  3. BMW 6 Series – 164 (down from 205)
  4. Mercedes-AMG GT – 144 (up from 58)
  5. Lamborghini – 127 (up from 84)

Toyota HiLux 4x4 SR

Combined 4×2 and 4×4 ute – This is the segment that is fast-becoming the go-to place for buyers. And as we found out earlier it’s the Toyota HiLux that attracts the most. For the month of December we see the Nissan Narava has dropped down into seventh place compared with November, with the rest of the top 10 for the month remaining in the same position.

In terms of the yearly figures, the HiLux comes home with the biggest number, but the Ford Ranger is catching and posted positive compared with 2015 data unlike HiLux. The Isuzu D-Max overtook the Mazda BT-50 for sixth place compared with 2015, with the rest of the lineup remaining unchanged for positions. The top 10 best-selling utes (4×2 and 4×4 combined) for December and all of 2016 were as follows:

  1. Toyota HiLux – 4086 (up from 3839 of November 2016)
  2. Ford Ranger – 3367 (down from 3410)
  3. Mitsubishi Triton – 2106 (up from 1451)
  4. Isuzu D-Max – 1876 (up from 1410)
  5. Holden Colorado – 1213 (down from 1408)
  6. Mazda BT-50 – 1086 (down from 1194)
  7. Nissan Navara – 986 (down from 1938)
  8. Volkswagen Amarok – 592 (equal)
  9. Great Wall Steed – 43 (down from 45)
  10. Foton Tunland – 41 (down from 67)

Top 10 for 2016 overall:

  1. Toyota HiLux – 42,104 (up from 35,161 of 2015)
  2. Ford Ranger – 36,934 (up from 29,185)
  3. Mitsubishi Triton – 21,987 (down from 25,338)
  4. Holden Colorado – 18,386 (down from 18,520)
  5. Nissan Navara – 16,755 (up from 13,897)
  6. Isuzu D-Max – 16,359 (up from 14,640)
  7. Mazda BT-50 – 14,504 (up from 13,500)
  8. Volkswagen Amarok – 8261 (down from 8545)
  9. Foton Funland – 839 (down from 1065)
  10. Great Wall Steed – 99 (new model)

2016-mazda-cx-5

In the family-favourite SUV classes, we see the Mazda CX-5 has once again posted the highest sales for the year out of all classes here. The medium class in which it sits also posted the highest overall figures for the year, reporting 142,622 units compared with 127,489 last year (up 11.9 per cent). All SUV classes saw a positive rise in yearly figures except the entry-level ‘Small under $40,000’ class, dropping just 1.7 per cent.

The top three best-selling SUVs in all categories for December and all of 2016 were as follows:

  • SUV Small above $40,000:
    BMW X1 – 313 (down from 319)
    Audi Q3 – 260 (up from 228)
    Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class – 259 (up from 202)
    Overall for 2016:
    BMW X1 – 4090 (up from 1391)
    Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class – 3766 (up from 3011)
    Audi Q3 – 3634 (up from 3445)
  • SUV Medium under $60,000:
    Mazda CX-5 – 1906 (down from 1956)
    Nissan X-Trail – 1857 (down from 1938)
    Toyota RAV4 – 1495 (down from 1593)
    Overall for 2016:
    Mazda CX-5 – 24,564 (down from 25,136)
    Hyundai Tucson – 20,132 (up from 5390 [new model])
    Toyota RAV4 – 19,526 (up from 18,435)
  • SUV Large under $70,000:
    Toyota LandCruiser Prado – 1197 (up from 1168)
    Subaru Outback – 901 (down from 1304)
    Toyota Kluger – 859 (down from 886)
    Overall for 2016:
    Toyota LandCruiser Prado – 14,730 (down from 15,255)
    Subaru Outback – 12,207 (up from 10,927)
    Toyota Kluger – 11,829 (down from 13,955)
  • SUV Large above $70,000:
    Audi Q7 – 327 (up from 213)
    Range Rover Sport – 324 (up from 191)
    Mercedes-Benz GLE – 218 (down from 254)
    Overall for 2016:
    BMW X5 – 4181 (equal)
    Range Rover Sport – 3099 (up from 2861)
    Audi Q7 – 2908 (up from 2045)
  • SUV Upper Large above $100,000:
    Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class/GL – 66 (down from 100)
    Range Rover – 37 (up from 31)
    Lexus LX – 18/Mercedes-Benz G-Class – 18
    Overall for 2016:
    Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class/GL – 847 (up from 746 [GL])
    Range Rover – 454 (up from 396)
    Lexus LX – 285 (up from 193)

Total new vehicle sales in Australia in December were marginally down on November figures. During December, Australian consumers bought 98,763 vehicles compared with 98,937 in November. Sales are down 0.9 per cent compared with December 2015. Overall for the year, Aussie buyers purchased 1,178,133 vehicles, up 2.0 per cent from 1,155,408 bought during 2015.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.