The Toyota Corolla has issued an ominous warning to its rivals, with the all-new 11th-generation small car soaring to the top of the national sales charts in its first full month in showrooms.

The Toyota Corolla, which recorded 4190 sales last month, continues to shorten as the favourite to become Australia’s top selling car in 2013 after beating this year’s sales leader, the Mazda3, by almost 500 units in November.

The compact Mazda, which is due to be replaced by an all-new model in the second half of 2013, holds an unassailable 4223-unit lead over the third-placed Corolla after 11 months of this year, and looks set retain its title over the second-placed Toyota HiLux after stretching its lead to 1953 vehicles in November.

The Mazda3 has enjoyed sales growth of 3.6 per cent this year while the Corolla is up 8.6 per cent – putting both ahead of the 2.4 per cent average growth witnessed across the small-car segment.

There was daylight between the top two and the next best in November, with the locally produced Holden Cruze (2115) sliding onto the podium more than 2000 units adrift of the Toyota and around 1500 shy of the Mazda.

A particularly strong month for the Ford Focus (1920) saw it surge past the Hyundai i30 (1886) into fourth position for November, as well as wrestling fifth place off the Volkswagen Golf from a year to date perspective (16,671 versus 16,119).

After hitting 2436 sales in October, the Volkswagen Golf came back to Earth last month with 992 deliveries, slipping to eighth behind the Honda Civic (1561) and the Mitsubishi Lancer (1302). The Hyundai Elantra (655) and Kia Cerato (578) rounded out the top 10 ahead of the Subaru Impreza (474), Nissan Tiida (352) and the Mercedes-Benz B-Class (289).

Other notables for the month include the recently launched Opel Astra (100), which equalled its best sales result so far, and the Toyota Prius (222), which was up 128.9 per cent over the same month in 2011.

The final standings for the 2012 small car top 10 look largely settled heading into December, with the Cerato seemingly the most likely to cause an upset. If the compact Korean can outsell the Impreza by 232 units it will rise to 10th position and bump its Japanese rival off the charts.


Top 10 best-selling small cars – October 2012

  1. Toyota Corolla – 4190
  2. Mazda3 – 3703
  3. Holden Cruze – 2115
  4. Ford Focus – 1920
  5. Hyundai i30 – 1886
  6. Honda Civic – 1561
  7. Mitsubishi Lancer – 1302
  8. Volkswagen Golf – 992
  9. Hyundai Elantra – 655
  10. Kia Cerato – 578


Top 10 best-selling small cars – 2012 to date

  1. Mazda3 – 39,479
  2. Toyota Corolla – 35,256
  3. Holden Cruze – 27,257
  4. Hyundai i30 – 26,098
  5. Ford Focus – 16,671
  6. Volkswagen Golf – 16,119
  7. Mitsubishi Lancer – 14,287
  8. Honda Civic – 9979
  9. Hyundai Elantra – 8021
  10. Subaru Impreza – 7770

  • F1orce

    People can say what ever they want but the new Corolla is simply good.

    And the sales numbers simply reflect that.

    I was given the opportunity to try the Corolla, Mazda 3 & Focus back to back and the Corolla was much nicer. It was much more relaxed and comfortable.

    The 3 & Focus did have a more ‘drive oriented feel’ but I mean what’s the point of that in this segment where comfort, efficiency and reliability are of the upmost importance.

    And the exterior styling is beautifully balanced and neutral.

    -Not too conservative, yet not flashy either.

    • davie

      I agree with you, however some of the corolla’s which are “sold” are probably demos being registered. The figures about 2 months from now, when things have settled down will confirm if the corolla is a bigger seller than the competition

      • LN

        The Corollas that have been sold are bought by rental companies and fleet operators which could explain the high sales.

    • VTiR

      Haven’t driven one but looks wise i’d have to agree that the new corolla is quite balanced and attractive (especially for a toyota). However the rear looks like the new i30, not just ‘looks similar’ but from a relative distance could easily be mistaken for one. I don’t know about other’s but I certainly wouldn’t buy a car that could be mistaken for a Hyundai. 

    • Dfsfds

      Oh dear. Sales figures don’t reflect whether a product is good or not. The Hyundai Excel from the late 90s outsold the Crapolla during certain years, does that mean the Excel was a better car?
      How about Food? Mc-Donalds is super popular with queues the norm in many stores – does that mean it has better food than the gourmet restaurant with no queues?

      • Fxcvbc

        The second you said ‘Crapolla’, you lost all credibility. Try to be less biased next time.

        • Fdsfds

           What bias? The philosophy applies to any product including ones are that actually are good.
          So do you think the Hyundai Excel was the best car of the late 90s and McDonalds has some of the best food around?

          • Fxcvbc

            You’re mistaken in thinking that my comment had anything to do with how I personally feel about the Hyundai Excel and/or McDonald’s.In terms of the bias in your comment, I’ll show you exactly where it is: you called the Corolla a ‘Crapolla’, yet when it came to the Hyundai Excel, you used it’s actual name instead of similarly subjecting it to a derogatory one.

          • Dfgfd

            I’m making a blanket statement that applies equally to every brand. It makes no difference whether I have any bias towards any particular brand because again, it applies equally to every brand – sales figures do not determine whether something is good or not!

            If you want bias, look at F1s comments across CA. He will use the sales figures on high selling Toyota models to claim the sales reflect how good it is. But does he use the sales figures on Toyota’s slow selling models? Of course not, he’ll bang on about how good the FJ Cruiser or Rukus is, but will never mention the lowly sales figures those particular models get as it doesn’t support his claim.
            Also, when he’s going on about a car that does not sell well in Oz, he’ll go scouring around the world to find a country where it does sell well & then quote the figures from there. He does this all the time with the i45 and Lexus where he’ll pick USA sales where those cars sell well, but will ignore Oz sales because they are low.
            Of course all of that would be irrelevant if he and everyone else would understand sales figures do not determine whether something is good or not.

      • Dave W

        Your logic failed you. Comparing Maccas with fine dining gourmet restaurants is like comparing Corollas with Ferraris.

        Besides, noone ever said Corolla is the best car. It’s the jack of all trades, master of none. It just does everything good, not great… But good enough. It’s also very reliable. That makes it a great commuter, and that’s all most people need.

        BTW, what camera do you use? If you say one of those compact cameras or your phone camera, I’d say you use a Crapmera because I use expensive highend DSLR gear. To which you would reply “But I don’t need a highend DSLR”.

        I would then say “It’s the same with those people who drive a Corolla. Most of them don’t need better cars and they sure as hell don’t need pompous A$S like you to tell them they drive a crap car”.

      • Dave W

        Your logic failed you. Comparing Maccas with fine dining gourmet restaurants is like comparing Corollas with Ferraris.

        noone ever said Corolla is the best car. It’s the jack of all trades,
        master of none. It just does everything good, not great… But good
        enough. It’s also very reliable. That makes it a great commuter, and
        that’s all most people need.

        BTW, what camera do you use? If you
        say one of those compact cameras or your phone camera, I’d say you use a
        Crapmera because I use expensive highend DSLR gear. To which you would
        reply “But I don’t need a highend DSLR”.

        I would then say “It’s
        the same with those people who drive a Corolla. Most of them don’t need
        better cars and they sure as hell don’t need pompous a$$ like you to tell them they drive a crapolla car”.

        • Fdsfds

          The thing with the Crapolla is that there are superior cars for similar money. Gourmet resturants are generally going to be more expensive than McDonalds, but even when you find cheaper places selling better food that is just as convenient, Mc Donalds will still be more popular.
          Since your fixated on cost, how about something that is free? Morning news programs on the idiot box – ABC vs Ch7&9. Ch7&9 are both far more popular, yet provide crap news filled with useless stories about celebritys, fashion and is packed with advertising (perhaps your into celebrity/fashion and love buying ab-blaster products and steam mops for just 4 easy payments on your credit card?). Yet the ABC provides far better new coverage with no adds.

          Again, popularity does not determine whether something is actually good or not.

          • Lolwut


            trying to argue there are better cars for the money than the corolla is as
            subjective as they come.


            who buy corolla over a focus or a mazda 3 obviously made a comparison between
            the three options and have their reason why they chose the

            is better for the money? Extra features? But what if buyers dont care about
            those features? You call that value for the money?If I was in burger joint
            and I wanted a chicken burger, and their are 3 options on the menu one with
            beetroot, the other with bacon, the other just plain chicken burger… but all
            same price.

            ALL people who want a chicken burger choose the options with bacon or beetroot?,
            what if they dont want beetroot or bacon? what if they just want a plain chicken
            burger; maybe it they like the taste of plain chicken burger better, maybe they
            dont want the additional calories with the bacon/beetroot, maybe this maybe


            for value is subjective, it has to be what the customer

            my experience when shopping around, Toyota tend to always match competitor
            pretty well. Sometimes Ford will offer an extra feature that is usually extra
            fee for no charge… which may sway some buyers but some wont be swayed because
            they dont have use for it.


            To me
            best value is the car that will cost me less to run in the long run, has good
            resale value within 2-3 years of ownership, trouble free, good reputation, or a
            car I’ve had good experience with in the past. Looks of the car matter a lot
            too, as an example, Hyundai or Kia can throw 18 inch wheels as standard and free
            sunroof upgrades on their cars, but I still wouldnt buy them because I simply do
            not like the look, call me shallow, but I want a car that I think looks good. I
            bet other people believe that too.


            let’s not forget Corolla is a safe buy, its been around for 30 years and heck
            many people have owned them in the past who (gasp) might of enjoyed them who
            simply want the same experience with their new purchase hence they buy the new


            plenty of reviewers have given the Corolla a thumbs up, so its far far from a
            bad car.

        • hrtyytr

           Your obviously fixated on price. Mc Donalds would be more popular than gourmet places even if they were the same price and offered similar convenience.

          The thing with the Crapolla is that there are superior cars for around the same price.

          Again, popularity does not determine how good something is and if you read F1’s claim, it is that Corollas sales reflect how good it is.
          I’m not sure of what other examples to use to try and explain how wrong this is. Maybe music? How’s Brittney Spears, she was ultra popular – so did she produce fantastic music?

          • Dave W

            I’m fixated on price? You’re the one who made a silly comparison between a cheap fast food and expensive gourmet food.

            And once again your logic failed you. How Maccas can have the same price as gourmet places is beyond me. They both may sell food, but the target market is totally different.

            Superior cars around the same price? Like what? And superior in what way? And don’t mention Golf because $4k is a big difference in this market, and the cheapest 77TSI has even less power than the Corolla. Mazda 3? Sure it has better handling but it’s noisier and it’s not as comfortable on a bumpy, pothole ridden B road. It’s also not as economical.

            And you’re fixated on popularity. The Beatles was ultra popular, did they make great music? What about U2? Do you think their popularity reflects on how good their music is?

            So you tell me, if you’re looking for a car just to commute from A to B, what would you pick?

          • Dsfgfdsg

             Pffff, Mc Donalds is charging over $6 now for some of their standalone burgers and $3 for large chips on their own. You can get takeaway burgers or chops for many gourmet places for that price.

            The popularity of the Beatles and U2 doesn’t reflect how good they are either. Is Brittney Spears up there with them? She has also sold records into the 100s of millions. So have many other trashy “musicians”.

            The price difference between the Golf77TSI and Corolla isn’t $4K plus the 77TSI offers a fraction more torque across a far bigger band so performance much different.
            As for  what cars are better around that price, why take my word for it? There are plenty of multi-car comparisons around and Corolla always comes at, or near the bottom. Wheels Magazine did one in their last edition with about 11 cars I think and the new Corolla placed well down the list.

          • Dave W

            Do you even know what gourmet food is? Takeaway burgers, fish n chips, etc. aren’t gourmet food. I was wondering wtf you were talking about… lol

            The popularity of Beatles and U2 might not reflect on how good they were… during their time… But the fact that their music has survived generations does.

            The Corolla nameplate has survived generations as well. Why do you think Toyota Australia refused to use the name AURIS, which is what the Corolla hatchbacks are called in other parts of the world? People here know the name and what it stands for, reliability and durability even if it’s rather boring and bland.

            I said don’t compare it with the 77TSI. On paper it has only TWO extra Nm of torque but only 77kW. Against the new Corolla price reduction to $20k, it’s also $2k more expensive. Why would people in this segment would wanna buy the more expensive with even less power Golf over the Corolla? The next 90TSI is already $25k.

            As for the Wheels comparison, it was 13 cars, Corolla ran in the middle of the pack at 7th place but it’s also the CHEAPEST car of them all. Even Wheels only compared the 90TSI Golf.

          • Fxcvbc

             Lots of gourmet resturants sell burgers and Fish & chips and basically all do takeaway. Particularly around areas where there are corporate offices, you’ll find places with a table service area at one end and a takeaway counter at another – both selling exactly the same food (and they normally have cheaper takeaway prices too). You should try some – but it’ll be hard to find in blue collar working areas.

            Funny you keep going on about U2 and Beatles but ignore Brittney spears. Come one, give her some credit, she has achieved huge record sales in a relatively short time and is still going.
            As your agreeing with the OP’s analogy, then Brittney Spears must be “simply good” and her “sales reflect that”.

            As for the wheels comparison, how can Corolla be ranked 7th? Their sales are number 1. Why isn’t the number 1 sales seller not reflecting how good it is in the actual comparison – a comparison where price was taken in account or it’d been ranked even lower and cars like A3/1 series would helped push it down even lower.
            Golf 77TSI can be compared with much more powerful cars, perhaps not down the dragstip, but the 77TSI has it’s torque peak at 1500rpm-4000rpm. The Corolla has less torque that doesn’t peak untill 4000rpm dead. I don’t know about you, but the typical driver doesn’t run around at 4000rpm all the time but they do run around at 1500rpm where the  77TSI will give similar, if not better response in normal day to day traffic.

          • Dave W

            Because Wheels focus too much on being “a driver’s magazine” that sometimes their reviews and megatests don’t reflect real world requirement of a daily commuter.

            Just look at the this small car megatest. Fastest 80-120 time? Cornering ability? In this segment? Seriously?

            But at least they’re not stupid enough to compare the 77TSI, and you’ve got to be a moron to buy one. You didn’t… Did you?

            BTW, the daily drivers don’t even need 175 Nm. Only those a-holes take their time then accelerate real quick when the light goes yellow leaving the car behind them stuck at the light when they could’ve gone faster earlier.

      • F1MotoGP

        Your argument is flawed. You claim that “sales figures don’t reflect whether a product is good or not”, but then you go on the provide examples in which you COMPARE products. A product can be “good or not” in its own respect, without being best or worst in class. An argument that would’ve been more consistent to your examples and which you could’ve presented would be: “sales figures don’t reflect whether a product is better or worse than other products”. Even this would’ve been pushing it, as how ‘good’ a product is can potentially be highly subjective.

      • cam09

        “Crapolla” You would have to be a VW driver to make a uneducated statement like that!  

    • gtrxu1

      Corolla looks smart in the picture above,so does the Opel pictured above

    • Poison_Eagle

       Thats a fair point, I could live with a ‘Rolla. Reckon if I had that budget, it would be nice to know I had a driver’s car that could rise to the occasion, if the right set of bends came along.

    • Jober As A Sudge

      Toyota PR machine in full swing

  • Dudeface

    Is data available on the private vs. fleet purchases of these vehicles? Every day I walk past a car rental yard here in Perth CBD with rows upon rows of new white Corollas…. If ever the words ‘whitegoods with wheels’ came to mind, that is a prime example…

    • Zaccy16

      yep thats exactly what they are, appliances

      • Guest

        So what? Jealousy?

      • Fxcvbc

        What an original comment…

      • Lolwut

        car is an appliance too.

        didnt know it had a heart and brain, didnt know your car loved you

        I love
        my fast car as much as the next guy, heck I love my WRX Spec R STI, my MR2 GT
        and hopefully soon an Audi RS4 Avant.

        Corolla’s have their place and have a specific use… cheap daily motoring, I
        have one for a company car and soon to have the new model and I’m
        not dissapointed, it looks nice this time around.

        respect Toyota a lot, because my family has had Toyotas every time they buy new
        ones and never have a problem… heck my mom’s 1997 Corolla is still good to go
        after 270,000 kms.


        calling Toyota’s white goods are dellusional… I’m an engineer and last time I
        checked all cars are fabricated from steel and plastics, same way as appliances
        are. Unless your car made love to you and have told you they love you back and
        even showed emotion back to you… dont even argue back with


        are appliances, they have different price range, different purpose…. if you
        have the budget and want a fast sporty one, then get one… if you want
        affordability and simply a reliable A to B car then get the one thats designed
        to be that way.

        loving their cars is one thing, but putting down other cars to make them feel
        good… well ask yourself why even bother? trolls or not, why bother hating…


    • Dave W

      Rentals like white cars because it’s easier to spot scrapes and scratches.

      I don’t understand the dislikes towards Corollas. I know it doesn’t do anything particularly great but it does everything well enough, ie. it’s a good little all-rounder. I rented one when I went to NZ and it was comfortable, easy to drive, fairly economical. In other words, it was a great car for commuting.

      I’ve driven the Mazda 3 and while it certainly would be my choice if I were to buy a small car, it wasn’t as economical as the Corolla, wasn’t as comfortable and it was noisier inside. Sure it handles better but it’s virtually meaningless in daily commuting.

  • klowik

    I agree, the new corolla looks much better in the flesh. The design looks fresh and clean and more european.. People who buy cars in this segment do not care much about driver-oriented .or sprorty feel…

  • Reecho

    The figures are pointless if the include mining and rental sales for both Corolla and Hilux……which indeed they will..

    • Dsfgsdf

       Why would it be pointless? A car was purchased = it gets counted. Why would it be omitted simply because it was purchased by a rental or mining company? How is it any different to a car purchased by a shoe shop or by a private person? A sale is a sale.

  • MisterZed

    I’m not buying the 222 figure for Prius. Are you sure that’s not the “Prius family” (i.e. all 3 models)?

    • Sumpguard

      Cab fleets!

      • MisterZed

        I’m not buying it because the average monthly Prius sales figure up until October was 71 units. In 2011, the Prius sold on average 69 per month. 222 is over 3 times that number. So it just doesn’t add up. It sounds like they’ve made a mistake and combined Prius, Prius v and c together.

        • jr

          1.9% finance has Made the difference . 222 is correct for Prius & excludes C & V

  • Showtime

    I’m saddened to see the Impreza struggling to make the top 10, considering that the older models were so much more competitive. Maybe because it separated from the XV model now and they should be combined to get the real sales figures? Subaru improved what was lacking in the previous gen (interior, rattles) but gave it a slow engine and crap value. I mean most base model cars now offer alloy wheels and this thing is still offering steelies in 2012. It needs to the upcoming 2.5L that will be offered in the new Forester to stay competitive in this segment.

  • Dudeface

    Good to see the Focus starting to get the sales it deserves. Now Ford Aus just needs to grow a brain and bring the wagon (including the ST Wagon) and Ecoboost petrol engines here.

    • filippo

      And they need to bring back the diesel manual.

  • TG

    Hey CA, are you able to break the numbers down between the new 180 series Corolla hatch, runout 150 series hatch and the ongoing 150 series sedan? They’re doing 1.9% on the 150 series vehicles, I bet a lot of November’s numbers will be these…

  • Rob

    Only thing that would stop me from buying the Focus is doubt about DSG reliability. How about manufacturers have a go at making a belt-less CVT.  

    • Poison_Eagle

      get a manual u puss- puss. 

  • Glenpen

    Brand tragics lapping up whatever toyota reheat in the microwave

  • OZM

    of course the corolla was going to have a huge leap forward with a new model….the 3 has only had fresh ups over the last few yrs so with a new model within the next 12mths lets see what happens….my wife has had her new SP25 auto hatch for a month now and its a great car for the money we outlayed….I have put many ks on it and I find the engine note sporty and as for noisey…some people are so picky…a breakdown on private and business sales would be interesting……the new corolla looks ok but I have never seen what others do about toyotas….not a fan. 

  • Luke Brinsmead

    Wow, go easy guys. This is a democratic society, sales represent people’s values and therefore choices.