New car sales have been slumping across Australia for the past couple of years. But even so, and despite predictions of a massive recession, it seems 2020 still didn’t see anyone forced to get around on a penny-farthing.
Scrub that … I did legitimately see someone riding one along the Monaro Highway a few weeks ago.
Anyway, according to registration figures from Access Canberra, here are the new vehicles Canberra bought last year:
1. Toyota Corolla
As top-ten listicles go, we’re off to a heart-thumping start here. Sarcasm aside, there’s no doubt the Japanese hatchback and sedan duo offer a compelling package of value, reliability and practicality to those who just want somewhere to sit while toing and froing between letters of the alphabet. It’s the fourth year in a row the Corolla has taken the number-one spot.
Pricing starts at $27,065 driveaway for the most basic Ascent Sport model.
2. Hyundai i30
The fact that Hyundai has come from the hateful Excel to this in the last couple of decades warrants an A+ for improvement, and Canberrans have given them that.
Hyundais also benefit from a suspension system that’s designed specifically to cope with Australia’s prolific ruts, bumps and potholes. The hot and highly praised i30 N has probably helped boost its reputation as well.
Pricing starts at $25,490 driveaway for the entry i30.
3. Toyota RAV4
Does anyone else remember when the RAV4 used to be a 3-door, funky little off-roader? Well apparently, Toyota has forgotten because it’s now jolly enormous.
But both a Toyota and an SUV, what could possibly go wrong? Pricing starts at $35,953 driveaway.
4. Volkswagen Golf
There are the people who go to Fantastic for furniture, and those who go to IKEA. VW’s Golf is the car for the latter, doing everything a Corolla would do but with slightly more finesse (if slightly less reliability).
There’s also a model for every day of the week, from the frugal diesel TDI to the all-wheel-drive R wagon that can sprint from 0-100 km/h in five seconds.
A new Golf is coming out later this year, with prices expected to start at about $33,000 driveaway.
5. Ford Ranger
We’re being pushed to down-size and go electric, but a big old ute has still made it to the list of best sellers. It’s a sturdy and capable machine and higher up in the range, honestly quite luxurious. It isn’t just popular with tradies – look around and you’ll see plenty of white-collars mounting curbs in these urban assault vehicles.
Pricing starts at $32,890 driveaway for the two-wheel-drive, single-cab tray version, and rises to $83,638 for the diesel Raptor dual-cab.
6. Mazda 3
Technically, it’s called the Mazda Mazda3, but that’s just stupid.
So, the Mazda 3 was bound to pop up in the list at some point, and here it is, albeit a little further down the list than in previous years. Mazda has been trying to rebrand itself as more premium and that’s coming at a cost to the average buyer. The cheapest Pure model starts at $28,855 driveaway.
At the end of the day, though, you’ll have a car that looks like a Ferrari from the back.
7. Kia Cerato
Kia’s slogan is “The power to surprise”, and they have.
The Cerato comes with lots of bells and whistles, including a 7-year unlimited-kilometre warranty for what is generally regarded as a smart little hatchback and sedan, starting at just $22,490.
The sporty GT version comes with added red bits, more tech, and possibly the most irritating car ad ever made (and that’s a hotly contested field). The compensation is the fact the GT is available for around $32 k (a lot less than its pricier hot hatch competitors).
8. Mazda CX-5
Mazda’s SUVs used to look frankly hideous (Google “2007 CX-7”), but the CX-5 takes their sudden burst of style and adds a 5-year warranty and a family-friendly layout. It’s almost impossible to go a day without seeing at least one.
Pricing starts at $38,240.
9. Mazda CX-3
Like the Mazda CX-5, but smaller. Hence the smaller number. My nana and pop just bought one, in part because the high-but-not-high ground clearance makes it incredibly easy to get in and out of. And it came with gloss-black wheels.
The Neo Sport starts at $24,990.
10. Toyota Camry
The Toyota Camry has long haunted the list of best-selling cars, and there’s a good chance you’ll travel in one this year as the hybrid version is the first choice of Uber drivers everywhere. It’s a car in the strictest dictionary sense: five seats, a boot and an engine, starting from $32,829 drive away. And the Toyota badge means it’ll go forever.