These were the top 10 new cars you bought in 2020

James Coleman 28 January 2021 2
Melrose Drive in Phillip

Melrose Drive in Phillip – home to many of Canberra’s car dealers. Photo: Supplied.

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:

Toyota Corolla

Corollas present a compelling combination of reliability and value. Photo: Toyota.

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.

Hyundai i30

Hyundai tunes its vehicles to cope with Australia’s challenging roads. Photo: Newspress Australia.

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.

Toyota RAV4

The RAV-4’s expanded its range and girth in middle age. Photo: Toyota.

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.

Volkswagen Golf

The Golf’s a German Corolla with a little more finesse. Photo: Volkswagen.

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.

Ford Ranger

The Ranger is sturdy, capable and downright luxurious if you have the money. Photo: Newspress Australia.

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.

Mazda 3

Mazda Mazda3 – a great car with a silly name. Photo: Newspress Australia.

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.

Kia Cerato

Kia’s worked hard to build a reputation based on reliability and value. Photo: Newspress Australia.

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).

Mazda CX-5

The CX-5 is unmissably ubiquitous and looks great. Photo: Newspress Australia.

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.

Mazda CX-3

The CX-3 offers small car value and easy accessibility. Photo: Newspress Australia.

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.

Toyota Camry

With the Falcon’s demise, the Camry is the first choice of taxi drivers and Uber drivers. Photo: Toyota.

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.


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2 Responses to These were the top 10 new cars you bought in 2020
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Capital Retro Capital Retro 11:46 am 17 Jan 21

Whatever you buy, make sure it is petrol or petrol hybrid.

All diesels now have a diabolical DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) which isn’t suited to Australian driving habits and when it claps out (goes to “Limp Home Mode”) it could be when you are overtaking a truck. When you try and get it repaired under warranty you are told it’s a “consumable” and not covered under warranty. Expect to pay about $5,000 for a replacement.

And no, you cannot remove them, legally.

I wish the motoring writers would start warning people about them.

    jwinston jwinston 6:58 pm 17 Jan 21

    Bollocks – Diesels are awesome. To prevent DPF issues install a catch can and a pre-fuel filter and your vehicle will outlive any petrol, hybrid or e-vehicle currently out there,

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