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UPDATE: We’ve added some slick new interactive tables and charts to this article. Enjoy, and let us know what you think!

As you can read here, Australia’s automotive peak body claimed to have recorded the highest ever annual sales tally in 2017, eclipsing the record from the year before.

Here we look at the results specific to December, always an interesting month where some brands register vehicles later to be sold as demonstrators – bids to meet annual targets.

In fact, there’s usually one bolter in December.

This time it was the Holden Astra, which had its best month in many, many years and stormed to second on the charts, with 3533 ‘sales’. Only the Toyota HiLux beat it. Holden as a brand had a monster month, with the Colorado in fourth spot on 3222 units (almost level with the Ford Ranger).

All told, SUVs grabbed 39.3 per cent market share for the month, ahead of passenger cars on 35.7 and light commercials on 21.6 – meaning more than one-in-five vehicles sold new last month was a ute or van.

Top brands December 2017

Top models December 2017

The Toyota HiLux occupied its normal position at the top of the charts, one of four utes inside the top six overall. Two small cars sat amongst them, the Astra (we suspect there’ll be some demos to be found, now) and the Mazda 3.

Rounding out the top 20 were the Toyota Corolla (it still finished the year as the #1 passenger car), Holden Commodore, cut-price Mitsubishi ASX, Mazda CX-5, Isuzu D-Max (another ute), Toyota RAV4, Volkswagen Golf, Nissan X-Trail, Honda Civic, Toyota Prado, Nissan Navara, and a pair of Hyundais in the i30 and Tucson (usually way higher but the company is keeping its powder dry for 2018, clearly).

A pair of regular top 10 cars, the Mazda CX-3 and Toyota Camry (now to be imported) were 21 and 22.

Key segments for December:

Micro cars:

  1. Kia Picanto: 294
  2. Mitsubishi Mirage: 228
  3. Holden Spark: 129

Light cars:

  1. Hyundai Accent: 1023
  2. Toyota Yaris: 858
  3. Mazda 2: 847

Small cars:

  1. Holden Astra: 3532
  2. Mazda 3: 2807
  3. Toyota Corolla: 2641

Medium Cars:

  1. Toyota Camry: 1209
  2. Mercedes-Benz C-Class: 644
  3. Mazda 6: 366

Large Cars:

  1. Holden Commodore: 2229
  2. Kia Stinger: 130
  3. Mercedes-Benz E-Class: 130

People Movers:

  1. Kia Carnival: 472
  2. Honda Odyssey: 172
  3. Volkswagen Multivan: 131

Sports Cars:

  1. Ford Mustang: 451
  2. Mercedes-Benz C-Class two-door: 164
  3. Audi A5: 105

Small SUV under $40k:

  1. Mitsubishi ASX: 2128
  2. Mazda CX-3: 1286
  3. Subaru XV: 1096

Small SUV over $40k:

  1. Mercedes-Benz GLA: 259
  2. Audi Q2: 218
  3. BMW X1: 182

Medium SUV under $60k:

  1. Mazda CX-5: 2113
  2. Toyota RAV4: 1823
  3. Nissan X-Trail: 1737

Medium SUV over $60k:

  1. Mercedes-Benz GLC: 460 (excluding coupe)
  2. Land Rover Discovery Sport: 455
  3. Audi Q5: 410

Large SUV under $70k:

  1. Toyota Prado: 1590
  2. Mitsubishi Pajero Sport: 1164 (!)
  3. Toyota Kluger: 1114

Large SUV over $70k:

  1. Range Rover Sport: 298
  2. Land Rover Discovery: 204
  3. BMW X5: 186

Upper Large SUV:

  1. Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series: 1021
  2. Nissan Patrol: 63
  3. Mercedes-Benz GLS: 53


  1. Toyota HiAce: 578
  2. Volkswagen Caddy: 397
  3. Hyundai iLoad: 309


  1. Toyota HiLux: 3949
  2. Ford Ranger: 3458
  3. Holden Colorado: 3222

MORE: New car sales news coverage

Any questions? Ask below and I’ll answer them as soon as I’m at the desk.