The Toyota Corolla has claimed top spot in the monthly car sales race for the first time this year, in a month that saw more than 97,200 vehicles find homes.

2014 Toyota Corolla Sedan ZR

With a March sales figure of 4086, the Toyota Corolla finished ahead of the Mazda 3 (3587) and Toyota HiLux (3105).

Maintaining its strong position from February, the Holden Commodore, with sales of 2967, again ended the month in fourth spot.

Helping the local car maker reach a total monthly figure of 9851 vehicles and year-to-date growth of 10.7 per cent, the Commodore’s result came despite the market being down 2.4 per cent (6678 vehicles) for the coinciding month in 2013.

Holden Commodore

Taking out fifth, sixth and seventh places respectively were the Hyundai i30 (2767), Ford Ranger (2300) and Toyota Camry (2085).

Leading the SUV category – the only category up on sales figures compared with 2013 (30,778 versus 29,148; a rise of 5.6 per cent) – the Mazda CX-5 (1932) secured eighth spot overall and first in its own medium SUV class.

This bettered class rival and ninth place getter the Toyota RAV4 (1888) and tenth place finisher, and large SUV class winner, the Toyota LandCruiser Prado (1719).

With year-to-date sales up 45.5 per cent, fellow large SUV contender, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, totalled 1368 sales to trump the Holden Captiva 7 (1105) and Ford Territory (900).

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Helping to record the South Korean brand’s highest March sales result on record, the Hyundai ix35’s 1508 figure was also enough to see it crowned best-selling small SUV, with the Subaru XV (1328) finishing ahead of the Nissan Dualis (762) – the latter due to be superseded by the all-new five-seat Qashqai later this year.

The pick of the light cars for March was the Mazda 2 (1496), with the Japanese city car pipping the Hyundai i20 (1478) and Toyota Yaris (1185) for the top spot last month.

The Hyundai i30's strong month still saw it left in the wake behind the Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla, while CarAdvice's top-rated small car, the Volkswagen Golf, had a slow month, shifting 1252 units. The Holden Cruze was down nearly 31 per cent compared to the same time last year with 1619 sold.

Behind the Toyota Camry, mid-size sedans were topped by the Mazda 6 (593), Mercedes-Benz C-Class (532) and Ford Mondeo (384). In its first full month on sale in Australia, the Infiniti Q50 notched up only 20 sales.

Infiniti Q50

In the large car category, Ford couldn’t match Holden’s performance with the blue oval brand shifting 641 Falcons, taking the soon-to-be-refreshed sedan to 1651 sales for the year – down 33.3 per cent on 2013 and 6457 shy of the Commodore’s 2014-to-date tally.

The story was repeated with the local ute rivalry resulting in the Holden Commodore-based utility recording 543 sales to the Ford Falcon ute’s 271.

Happier news for Ford came with the Ranger which trailed only the HiLux in its pickup/cab chassis class, with the locally designed and engineered model outselling the Mitsubishi Triton (1573), Holden Colorado (1543), Nissan Navara (1517) and Mazda BT-50 (1270).

Down 5.6 per cent year-on-year compared with 2013, the sports car category was again led by the Toyota 86 (397), with the Hyundai Veloster (296) edging out it premium class rivals the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe (282) and BMW 4 Series (267).

BMW 435i Coupe

Boosted by the mid-February arrival of the all-new fifth-generation people mover, the Honda Odyssey (254) took top honours for its class ahead of the Kia Carnival (184) and Toyota Tarago (63).

A notable March mention too to the Fiat Chrysler Group who achieved its best start to any Australian sales year on record, tipping over 10,000 units for the first quarter of 2014. The result was aided by the Alfa Romeo Giulietta selling 137 more units than the same time last year – for a growth figure of 167 per cent – and the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands selling a combined total of 2838 units for an all-time record.

Top 10 Best-selling Vehicles – March 2014

  1. Toyota Corolla – 4086
  2. Mazda 3 – 3587
  3. Toyota HiLux – 3105
  4. Holden Commodore – 2967
  5. Hyundai i30 – 2767
  6. Ford Ranger – 2300
  7. Toyota Camry – 2085
  8. Mazda CX-5 – 1932
  9. Toyota RAV4 – 1888
  10. Toyota LandCruiser Prado – 1719

Top 10 Best-selling Brands – March 2014

  1. Toyota – 18,275
  2. Holden – 9851
  3. Mazda – 9203
  4. Hyundai – 7152
  5. Ford – 7037
  6. Nissan – 6014
  7. Mitsubishi – 5432
  8. Volkswagen – 4613
  9. Subaru – 3812
  10. Kia – 2762