A rough month for Mazda, while Mitsubishi motored up the charts.

New vehicle sales dropped 5.5 percent on the same month in 2017, with a total of 94,711 registrations recorded. Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia and Victoria all saw increases on last year, while the rest of the nation was down, led by a 4.4 per cent dive in New South Wales.

September follows two months of slow sales, leaving the  market 0.9 per cent behind year-to-date, with 881,005 registrations.

Passenger cars continued to slide, recording a 20.1 per cent drop on last year's sales, while light commercial vehicle sales also dropped 2.3 per cent on September 2017. SUVs defied the slump, continuing their strong year with a month 6.2 per cent stronger than the equivalent last year.

Only micro cars and people movers grew in the passenger segment, while medium and large SUV sales actually fell. Although those segments were down, a strong month for small SUVs – 13,263 sales, up 25.7 per cent – covered those losses.

Brands

Toyota maintained its dominance atop the sales charts, recording 17,386 sales for September. That's nine cars more than it managed in the same month last year, or a 0.1 per cent bump. Little wins, right? Its market share was 18.4 per cent, remarkable in such a crowded place.

Hyundai leapfrogged Mazda this month, storming into second place with 8110 sales – down 20 sales, or 0.2 per cent, on last year. Its share was 8.6 per cent. Also jumping Mazda was Mitsubishi, with 7622 sales. That's up 557 cars or 7.9 per cent on last year, with an 8.0 per cent market share.

As for Mazda itself? It endured a tough September, with 7070 sales representing a cut of 3258 sales – 31.5 per cent down on 2017. Nissan rounded out the top five, with a strong 5176 sales, up 1165 cars and 29.1 per cent on last year.

Ford came in sixth with 5084 registrations, down 1761 cars and 25.7 per cent, followed by Kia (5003, up 7.3 per cent), Subaru (4758, up 2.5 per cent), Volkswagen (4694, down 4.2 per cent) and Holden (4651, down 32.4 per cent).

That leaves Honda (4528, up 3.1 per cent) just outside the top 10, followed by Mercedes-Benz (3624), Isuzu Ute (2189), BMW (1859), Suzuki (1792), Audi (1583), Renault (896), Land Rover (753), Volvo Car (682) and Lexus (605).

Skoda fans will be distraught to know the brand has slipped from the top 20, with 520 sales.

Alfa Romeo continued its growth, with 17 more sales representing 17.9 per cent growth on last year. The brand is now 26.8 per cent up on 2017 year-to-date. Jaguar also defied the slump afflicting its luxury rivals, recording 276 sales for 65.3 per cent growth in September.

Both are coming off a low base, but you've gotta start somewhere. We said it last month, but Volvo is also flying on the XC60 and XC40's back, with 682 sales and 116.5 per cent growth last month.

Hyundai is finally seeing some big numbers for the Kona, with its September result pushing double what it managed in March. It also outdid the Mazda CX-3, a stalwart of the compact SUV game

Infiniti slumped after a strong August, with its 51 sales down 26.1 per cent on 2017, while Land Rover continued its rough run. The off-road brand dropped 344 sales on 2017, for a 31.4 per cent loss.

Jeep also battled, although we'd suggest stock of the new Cherokee arriving in dealers should rectify that pretty quickly.

BMW fell 2.5 per cent short of its 2017 September marker, while Audi saw an 11.6 per cent drop. Both brands have a wave of much-needed new product on the way, so stay tuned to see what impact it has.

Models

The Toyota HiLux maintained its stranglehold atop the sales charts, with 4338 registrations for a 13.5 per cent jump on 2017.

Ford's Ranger was down 25.2 per cent down – a facelift is just starting to arrive in dealerships – but still held second place with 3228 sales, followed by the ever-popular Toyota Corolla (2917, down 4.5 per cent).

Hyundai took fourth with the i30 (2508, up 9.0 per cent), while the Mitsubishi ASX (2138, up 40 per cent) rounded out the top five.

It was followed by the Nissan X-Trail (1908, up 43.1 per cent), Mitsubishi Triton (1857, up 8.0 per cent), Mazda 3 (1842, down 33.6 per cent), Nissan Navara (1713, up 45.6 per cent) and Toyota RAV4 (1611, up 11.6 per cent).

Just outside the top 10 was the Kia Cerato (1574, down 0.9 per cent), leading the Toyota Prado (1518, up 41.9 per cent), Mazda CX-5 (1506, down 21.2 per cent), Hyundai Kona (1503), and Subaru Forester (1470, up 41.2 per cent).

Segment leaders

SEGMENTFirstSecondThird
MicroKia Picanto, 664Mitsubishi Mirage, 223Fiat 500/Abarth, 55
Light <$25kHyundai Accent, 1288Toyota Yaris, 832Suzuki Swift, 794
Small <$40kToyota Corolla, 2917Hyundai i30, 2508Mazda 3, 1842
Small >$40kAudi A3, 364Mercedes A-Class, 328BMW 1 Series, 224
Medium <$60kToyota Camry, 1145Mazda 6, 213Volkswagen Passat, 174
Medium >$60kMercedes-Benz CLA, 363Mercedes C-Class, 356BMW 3 Series, 296
Large <$70kHolden Commodore, 672Kia Stinger, 130Skoda Superb, 63
Large >$70kMercedes E-Class, 190BMW 5 Series, 75Jaguar XF, 65
Upper LargeChrysler 300, 36Mercedes S-Class, 22Porsche Panamera, 11
People MoversKia Carnival, 591Honda Odyssey, 140Toyota Tarago, 80
Sports <$200kFord Mustang 422BMW 2 Series, 101MB C-Class coupe/cab, 82
Sports >$200kPorsche 911, 57Bentley, 36Aston Martin, 21
Small SUV <$40kMitsubishi ASX, 2138Hyundai Kona, 1513Honda HR-V, 1247
Small SUV >$40kMercedes-Benz GLA, 392BMW X1, 220Audi Q3, 203
Medium SUV <60kNissan X-Trail, 1908Toyota RAV4, 1611Mazda CX-5, 1506
Medium SUV >$60kMercedes-Benz GLC, 742BMW X3/4, 515Audi Q5, 425
Large SUV <$70kToyota Prado, 1518Toyota Kluger, 1042Subaru Outback, 936
Large SUV >$70kMercedes-Benz GLE, 234BMW X5/6, 230Lexus RX, 147
Upper LargeToyota LandCruiser, 929Nissan Patrol, 88
Upper Large >$100kMercedes-Benz GLS, 45Lexus LX, 24Range Rover, 13
Vans <2.5tVolkswagen Caddy, 148Renault Kangoo, 92Citroen Berlingo, 54
Vans 2.5-3.5tToyota HiAce, 581Hyundai iLoad, 334Volkswagen Transporter, 199
4x2 utesToyota HiLux, 1000Isuzu D-Max, 391Ford Ranger, 358
4x4 utesToyota HiLux, 3338Ford Ranger, 2870Mitsubishi Triton, 1674

Miscellaneous

Top 5 vehicle segments by sales were medium SUV (16,602), small car (15,589), 4x4 utes (14,104), small SUV (13,263) and large SUV (10,415)

Sales by type were business (40,678), private (38,172), rental (9199) and government (3156). Fuel type sales were led by petrol (59,354), followed by diesel (29,557) and hybrid/electric (1161).

Our top five countries of origin were: Japan (29,010), Thailand (24,152), South Korea (14,446), Germany (7244) and the USA (3181).