The Most Popular Car Types in Australia 2020

With so many different car types and models available in Australia, finding the right car to perfectly fit your lifestyle can be a chore. So, we created this guide to help your decision making, revealing the 9 most popular car types and models in Australia.

Australia has more than 20 car types, with a whopping 450 different models amongst them. While this gives us variety in size, purpose and price, it also makes buying a new or used car tricky.

Whether you’re buying a new or used car it’s important that you understand what each car type is good for, so you can choose the right one for your lifestyle.

To help you shortlist your option, check out the 9 most popular types of cars in Australia below. You’ll discover the pros and cons of each as well as the best selling model of recent years for that vehicle.

Photo by Fabian Oelkers on Unsplash

9 Most Popular Car Types in Australia of 2020

Hatchbacks

A hatchback’s small size and great fuel efficiency make city driving a breeze. While they may be small, hatchbacks can seat up to 5 passengers, while still having a good amount of storage.

Speaking of storage, if you do require more space, most new models give you the option to either fold down your rear passenger seats or remove them completely. This expands the amount of storage you have, allowing you to fit in a larger dog, pram, groceries or other day-to-day items.

The price of a new hatchback will mainly depend on if you want a 2 door or 4 door model, as well as any added extras you choose. You’ll also see quite a big price difference between economy and luxury models, but this is standard with any type of car in Australia.

According to canstarblue.com.au, the most popular hatchback currently sold in Australia is the Toyota Corolla.

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Sedans

If you’re after a great family car, a sedan may be what you’re looking for. Thanks to the spacious interior, 5 people can comfortably fit in this type of car, which is perfect for a growing Aussie family.

What you pay for a sedan will vary depending on its size and if you choose an economy or luxury model. Modern sedans generally come with 4 doors, but some 2 door models are also available, which again, will change the price.

While not as fuel-efficient as a hatchback, many modern sedans will be designed lighter and be lower to the ground to reduce wind resistance, which boosts fuel efficiency.

According to caradvise.com.au the current most popular sedan sold in Australia is the Toyota Camry.

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Coupés

Coupés are a more stylish, sportier alternative to sedans and hatchbacks. However, as coupés commonly come in 2 door models, they don’t provide as much storage or rear passenger space as a sedan. With this being said, some manufacturers have started to offer 4 door coupés to seriously rival sedans.

As coupés and sedans start to become interchangeable, it simply comes down what style you like the look of and your budget.

According to Performancedrive, the most popular coupé currently sold in Australia is the Ford Mustang.

Station Wagons

Station wagons are great for larger families, those with older kids or anybody looking for more storage space than what’s available in a sedan or hatchback.

While station wagons have a similar design to sedans, they tend to be longer with an extended roof and rear seats. You’ll normally either be able to fold down the rear seats or remove them altogether for unrivaled storage space.

Station wagons come in a variety of sizes and price points depending on manufacturer and model, so it really comes down to personal preference and what you’re willing to spend. However, if you’re deciding between an SUV or station wagon, the latter tends to be lighter, provide better fuel efficiency and be lower in price.

Drive reports the Mazda 6 GT is currently the most popular station wagon available in Australia.

SUVs

Many years ago, sports utility vehicles (SUVs) were only used for offroading. Now, SUVs can come in either 2 wheel drive or 4 wheel drive models, so are suited to both city, suburban and off-road driving.

SUVs can come in a wide variety of sizes, ranging from small, mid-size to large, seating up to 7 people with plenty of storage. These factors place SUVs near the top of the list as a family car.

Whichcar has revealed the most popular SUV in Australia is the Mazda CX5.

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People Movers

If you have a large family and can’t fit comfortably in a sedan, station wagon or SUV, then a people mover could be the right car type for you. People movers are designed to comfortably seat up to 8 people thanks to the addition of a third row of seating.

Originally, people movers were built on a chassis designed for commercial vehicles, resulting in an overall poor driving experience. Today, a regular passenger vehicle chassis is used, resulting in a more comfortable drive.

Research by CarsGuide shows the most popular people mover with Australian families is the Kia Carnival.

Utes

While utility vehicles (more commonly called utes) are often thought of as commercial vehicles, they’ve gone through many changes throughout the years. As a result, this has also made them popular off-road adventure and family cars.

Dual-cab utes offer extra passenger space for up to 5 people, which is great if you have a family. Compared to a single-cab ute, a dual cab has a shorter tray, which allows for more storage and people space.

Single cab utes are your traditional tradie ute, offering seating for up to 3 people, but still with more rear storage in the tray than a dual-cab. What is best for you comes down to your preferences. Do you want to fit more passengers or have extra storage?

The Toyota Hilux has been reported as Australia’s most popular ute by Canstar Blue. But again, your ideal ute depends on what you need.

Electric cars

With many countries around the world moving to ban internal combustion engines, it seems the reign of petrol will eventually come to an end. The key concerns Australians have with electric cars (EVs) are price and range, but may not be as big of a problem as you think.

Price was always the biggest hurdle for the Australian EV market, with most EVs costing more than $60,000 — and that’s before you factor in stamp duty, import duties and luxury car tax. However, for many Aussies, this is a lot to invest in for an A to B kind of vehicle. 

Thankfully, car manufacturers are now releasing more mid-priced options, most notably the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, which is priced from $45,000. Prices will continue to drop as the technology becomes more widely adopted and cheaper to manufacture.

The range problem is a tricky one but is slowly being addressed by both car manufacturers and the government. Recently, the Australian Government  invested $6 million into long-range charging across the country to ensure an electric car charging station every 200km.

If you’re concerned about city driving, it’s shown most Aussies drive 40km a day on average. However, most electric car manufacturers claim to give 400km to 600km per charge, so this shouldn’t be a problem.

You’ll be happy to know the cost to recharge an EV is actually cheaper to run long-term than their petrol-powered cousin. Compared to a petrol car’s $16.65 per 100km of travel, or a diesel car’s $7.50 per 100km, an EV’s $5.50 for 100km travel looks pretty good.

Have more of an idea of the car type you want? Find your local car dealership on localsearch.com.au

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      Luke Davidson

      Digital Content Specialist

      Luke Davidson is a Digital Content Specialist at Localsearch, his professional journey ranges from startups to international digital agencies working in content for a wide variety of clients, big or small. When he isn't deep diving content, data and SEO, Luke is an avid guitarist, surfer, coffee nut and gamer. As a digital content specialist and lifestyle fanatic, Luke provides valuable insights on lifestyle musings on the Localsearch Blog.