The Toyota Prado proved to be the king of the hill in SUV sales for 2012, with the locally build Ford Territory slipping four places from the top spot it gained in 2011.
Prado sales jumped 57 per cent to reach 17,045 in another bumper year for SUVs in Australia. While passenger car sales grew only 3 per cent in 2012, SUV sales exceeded 25 per cent to contribute to a new annual industry sales record.
The Prado was joined in the Top 10 by Toyota stablemates RAV4 (4th with 14,651 sales) and Kluger (6th with 13,239 sales).
Nissan featured twice among the best-sellers, with the X-Trail taking the runners up position after increasing sales by 33 per cent to 16,066 units and its hatchback-imitating twin, the Dualis, placing seventh with 13,141.
It’s likely 2012 would have had a different SUV winner had the Mazda CX-5 (above) had a full year on sale. The popular Japanese brand had high expectations for its new CX-5, which started at a lower price than the CX-7 it replaced, and it averaged more than 1500 units per month from its full launch in March to secure third overall.
Ford Australia is still likely to be satisfied with the Territory’s market performance. Although it finished fifth, it outsold the rival Toyota Kluger and sales increased by six per cent to 14,646. The Kuga compact SUV chipped in with 1107 sales but was only a precursor to the all-new generation that will arrive in 2013 with more competitive pricing and a broader line-up.
Local rival Holden saw its Captiva twins – 5 and 7 – improve year on year, with the seven-seater Captiva 7 taking 10th spot with 11,378 but the five-seater Captiva 5 boasting the biggest growth at 48 per cent.
There were other stand-out performances in the SUV segment.
The Skoda Yeti and Renault Koleos were both coming off smaller sales bases in 2011, but still impressed with respective increases of 134 and 88 per cent.
The new 4008 joined the 4007 to give Peugeot the unlikely label of fastest-growing brand for SUVs in 2012, with a 121 per cent increase.
US 4WD specialist Jeep’s result of being up 108 per cent is even more remarkable, however, coming on top of a strong 2011 result. The Cherokee (up 32 per cent) and Grand Cherokee (pictured above; up 148 per cent) played leading roles here.
Toyota sold the most SUVs, with the LandCruiser (up 19 per cent to 10,827) adding to a total of 58,745 for the year.
Chinese brand Great Wall had another good year, though while its X series SUV totalled 3516 for 2012 sales of the petrol X240 (down 65 per cent) came at the expense of the new diesel (X200) variant.
Compatriot brand Chery was among some of the more disappointing SUV results, with its J11 down by 48 per cent to 582 sales.
The Honda CR-V, once one of the most popular vehicles in the class, fell 18 per cent to 4733 units, though the company will be looking to the all-new model that launched late 2012 to get it back up the ladder.
Subaru’s Forester, a regular fixture in the best-selling SUV lists, was down by 12 per cent but still managed eighth place in the top 10, and the new Impreza-based XV did a solid job with 9908 sales.
Kia beat sister company Hyundai for the South Korean manufacturers, increasing sales by 21 per cent compared with the latter’s two per cent. That was helped by good results for both the mid-sized Sportage (up 18 per cent to 4260) and larger Sorento (up 25 per cent to 3276).
Luxury SUV sales will be covered in a separate article.
Top 10 SUV Sales – 2012
Toyota Prado 17,045
Nissan X-Trail 16,066
Mazda CX-5 15,861
Toyota RAV4 14,651
Ford Territory 14,646
Toyota Kluger 13,239
Nissan Dualis 13,141
Subaru Forester 11,533
Hyundai ix35 11,469
Holden Captiva 7 11,378