In a remarkable end to 2016, the Toyota HiLux has been named Australia’s number one selling car.
The HiLux removed its stablemate, the Corolla from the top spot it has held for the last three years. History has been made with this feat, it’s the first time a passenger car hasn’t finished in first place.
"HiLux has made history as the first vehicle of its type to stand on top of the sales podium in Australia because it has broad appeal with the car-buying public," Toyota Australia's executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said.
Toyota moved 42,104 HiLux models in 2016. It’s no surprise to see Toyota at the top of the sales ladder, the brand consistently sells more cars in Australia than any other manufacturer by a considerable margin.
Another notable aspect of the success of the HiLux in 2016 is the sales of the top spec SR5 model. Toyota reports, “The SR5 accounted for more than half of all HiLux 4x4 sales, and an automatic transmission was specified by the majority of buyers.” Impressive for a vehicle with a retail price of over $56,000 before on-road costs. Although it should be noted, nobody seems to be paying anywhere near retail price for a HiLux.
The marketing of utes as ‘lifestyle’ vehicles is obviously paying dividends. The Ford Ranger also enjoyed a successful year. The marketing of the newer breed of utes is very enticing.
Utes like the HiLux now appeal to a wider market than ever before. Most now boast a similar list of standard features to family SUVs and are often seen as killing two birds with one stone. A ute promises the flexibility of a work car during the week and a car for play on the weekends.
In theory, this is a good idea, however, there are compromises. Most of these vehicles can't compete with SUVs in terms of ride and passenger comfort, especially with an empty tray.
A work vehicle with excellent safety credentials and a nicely presented cabin may appear to be a jack of all trades, but does it master any?
Let’s start a Car Conversation, do you own a HiLux? What influenced your purchasing decision? Was your purchase of a ute a way to combine business and pleasure?