13 of the most popular car brands and models in South Africa right now

 ·6 May 2023

While domestic new passenger vehicle sales slipped slightly by 0.2% in April 2023, there are still some clear brand and model favourites among those who purchased a new car last month.

Domestic new vehicle sales were recorded at 37,107 units – 88 units below the 37,195 new vehicles sold in April 2022.

As of April 2023, Toyota continues as the most popular brand in South Africa, selling 9,423 vehicles. This is partly due to the continued popularity of its flagship bakkie – the Toyota Hilux – which sold 2,187 units. However, this is 1,733 units short of the 3,920 units sold in March 2023.

Volkswagen (VW) also remains the second most popular brand, with 4,644 units sold, while Suzuki is third, with a total of 3,620 units sold.

Toyota comprised 25.3% of all vehicles sold last month. This is more than the combined sales of VW (12.5%) and Suzuki (9.8%), which comprised 22.3% of all vehicles sold.

Of the total reported industry sales of 37,107 vehicles, 90.3% were represented by dealer sales, 5.2% to the vehicle rental industry, 1.7% to the government, and 2.8% to corporate industry fleets.

The top 13 brands that sold the most cars locally in April 2023 were:

  1. Toyota – 9,423 units
  2. Volkswagen Group – 4,644 units
  3. Suzuki – 3,620 units
  4. Ford – 2,804 units
  5. Hyundai – 2,371 units
  6. Nissan – 1,681 units
  7. Kia – 1,546 units
  8. Isuzu – 1,433 units
  9. Renault – 1,367 units
  10. Haval – 1,367 units
  11. Chery – 1,179 units
  12. BMW – 966 units
  13. Mahindra – 809 units

2023 expectations

While some segments show positive year-on-year growth, the overall performance of vehicle and export sales has remained stagnant. Continued monetary policy tightening, domestic and global slowing growth, and energy shortages will continue to impact the industry’s overall performance moving forward, said Naamsa.

“The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that SA’s real GDP growth is expected to decelerate sharply to 0,1% for 2023, citing load shedding, amongst other related supply shocks,” it said.

“These observed economic turbulences and the record-high headline inflation will likely trigger a further SARB Monetary Policy Committee interest rate hike in May 2023. For this reason, Naamsa expects the domestic vehicle market to remain reserved for the greater part of 2023,” it added.

Best-selling models 

Surprisingly, the Toyota Hilux lost its top spot, which it has held for several consecutive months.  The new Ford Ranger came out on top as the best-selling car in April – selling 2,201 bakkies last month.

However, Toyota boasted five models in the top 13 most popular cars – which included the Hilux (2nd), Toyota Corolla Cross (4th), Toyota Hi-Ace (6th), Toyota Starlet (8th), and the Toyota Fortuner (13th).

The second and third most popular brands, VW and Suzuki, also featured models in the top ten – the VW Polo Vivo (3rd) and the Suzuki Swift (5th).

The top 14 best-selling models, including the abovementioned models, and how many units were sold in February 2023 are listed below.

1. Ford Ranger – 2,201 units sold 

  • Starting price: R464,200

2. Toyota Hilux – 2,187 units sold 

  • Starting price: R346,200

3. VW Polo Vivo – 1,510 units sold 

  • Starting price: R247,300

4. Toyota Corolla Cross – 1,281 units sold 

  • Starting price: R392,900

5. Suzuki Swift – 1,216 units sold 

  • Starting price: R199,900

6. Toyota Hi-Ace – 1,190 units sold 

  • Starting price: R528,100

7. Isuzu D-Max – 1,183 units sold 

  • Starting price: R421,200

8. Toyota Starlet – 1,098 units sold 

  • Starting price: R241,200

9. Nissan NP200 – 910 units sold 

  • Starting price: R217,000

10. Hyundai Grand i10 – 807 units sold 

  • Starting price: R219,900

11. VW Polo – 777 units sold 

  • Starting price: R332,400

12. Chery Tiggo 4 Pro – 708 units sold 

  • Starting price: R305,900

13 Toyota Fortuner – 695 units sold 

  • Starting price: R653,500

Read: Crossover SUVs you can get in South Africa for R10,000 a month

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