THREE utes made it into the top ten sellers in Australia in 2014, with the Toyota HiLux the bestselling ute and third most popular vehicle overall.
Only the Toyota Corolla (43,735) and Mazda 3 (43,313) outsold the HiLux, which posted a total of 38,136 for its 4X2 and 4X4 models combined.
It’s not all good news for utes, with the mining downturn sending overall sales down 4.5 percent after two years of strong growth.
For the first time since 2004, sales of 4X4 models dropped. They had more than doubled over the past decade, coming from behind 4X2s to account for more than three-quarters of all ute sales.
The Australian-engineered Ford Ranger came in at number six overall with 26,619 sales, posting a healthy 22.4 percent growth, closely followed by the Mitsubishi Triton in seventh (24,250), making it a trio of utes in the top ten.
It’s not just the usual suspects benefitting from the general strength of ute sales. The VW Amorak is the German maker’s second-best performer behind the Golf, last year recording a 10.4 percent growth to 8285.
Holden and Ford utes remained solid performers, with the Commodore’s 5596, more than doubling arch-rival Falcon’s 2785, with the Holden ute’s sales down a meagre 5.8 percent compared to the Ford’s 40.5 percent nosedive. Despite this, the Ford ute still made up 43.9 percent of the Falcon’s overall sales.
What will make 2015 interesting is the arrival of a raft of new models, including HiLux, Nissan Navara and Triton, as well as a facelifted Ranger.
Who do you think deserves to win the 2017 COTY title? Cast your vote for a chance to win $1,000.
Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.