Ute-based SUV sub-segment remains fiercely contested, as Pajero Sport and Everest chase hard. All still pale in comparison to Toyota Prado, though.
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One of the most commonly asked questions accompnying each month's VFACTS sales report centres around which brand is winning the ute-based SUV sales race.

These rugged body-on-frame, towing-ready offerings clearly have a dedicated following. For the sake of one argument, we do not include Toyota's pricier Prado in this sub-segment, but you could argue the case either way.

Despite its advanced age, the top-seller remained Isuzu's particularly rugged and well-priced MU-X - that's the sixth year in succession it has worn the crown.

The no-frills Isuzu chalked up 8419 sales during 2019, and while volume fell 7.4 per cent over 2018's number, it's important to note that the overall large SUV market declined by 7.8 per cent.

As well as outselling all its body-on-frame rivals to be detailed in a sec, the Isuzu's 8.0 per cent market share was third overall behind said hardcore Prado and the car-based Toyota Kluger. It beat the Mazda CX-9 and Subaru Outback, to use two examples.

Next in the sub-segment's running order was the sharply-priced Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, in its final year before a substantially updated model arrives. It managed 6477 sales, down 1.4 per cent.

Following this was Ford's Australia-developed Everest, sales of which declined 2.7 per cent to 5333 units. Rounding out the running order was the Toyota Fortuner (3033, down 15.6 per cent) and Holden Trailblazer (up 7.9 per cent to 2813).

For context, and perhaps a good explanation for why the Fortuner battles, the pricer Prado (which nevertheless uses many HiLux ute components such as its 2.8-litre diesel engine, despite the 'LandCruiser' badge), found a staggering 18,335 sales, equal to 17.4 per cent market share.

It will be interesting to see whether Isuzu can hold its title this year given an all-new one is expected to emerge (considering a brand new D-Max is imminent), and given the Pajero Sport update appears to make it a more compelling offer.

2019 Large SUV sales breakdown:

  1. Toyota Prado - 18,335
  2. Toyota Kluger - 11,371
  3. Isuzu MU-X - 8419
  4. Subaru Outback - 7210
  5. Mazda CX-9 - 7168
  6. Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - 6477
  7. Hyundai Santa Fe - 5857
  8. Ford Everest - 5333
  9. Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace - 4665
  10. Kia Sorento - 3777
  11. Holden Acadia - 3215
  12. Toyota Fortuner - 3033
  13. Jeep Grand Cherokee - 2986
  14. Mitsubishi Pajero - 2847
  15. Holden Trailblazer - 2813
  16. Nissan Pathfinder - 2712
  17. Mazda CX-8 - 2551
  18. Skoda Kodiaq - 2163
  19. Ford Endura - 1893
  20. Jeep Wrangler - 1153
  21. Haval H9 - 312
  22. Volkswagen Passat Alltrack - 284
  23. LDV D90 - 264
  24. Ssangyong Rexton - 213