Top 10 best-selling cars in 2023 so far in South Africa

 ·15 Jul 2023

In the first six months of 2023, the motor industry showed signs of resilience despite the current economic challenges, and there are some cars that continue to be clear favourites among South Africans.

According to The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers (Naamsa), halfway into the year, the new vehicle market was now 12,284 units or 4,8% ahead of the corresponding period 2022, while vehicle exports were 7,857 units or 4,7% ahead of the first half of 2022.

Additionally, the new vehicle stats for June 2023 surprised on the upside and showed a year-on-year increase of 14% despite the shrinking disposable income of consumers and continued economic hardships.

Aggregate domestic new vehicle sales, recorded at 46,810 units, reflected a significant increase of 5,758 vehicles from the 41,052 new cars sold in June 2022.

Another substantial increase was noted in light commercial vehicles, bakkies and minibuses – showing a year-on-year increase of 57.1% or 5,070 units.

The June 2023 new passenger car and light commercial vehicle market reflected a relatively stagnant but encouraging year-on-year volume increase of 0.8% or 251 units for new passenger cars, recorded at 29,795 from 29,544 recorded for June 2022.

This reflects local motorists’ financial constraints in South Africa, as interest rates, fuel, and food prices remain elevated.

However, overall, the industry showed encouraging growth over the first six months, and it outperformed many other notable industries, highlighting the resistance of South Africa’s consumer base.

Best-selling cars

According to Naamsa, the Toyota Hilux was the top-selling car in South Africa during the first six months of 2023. The bakkie managed to attract 18,801 new customers from January to June, making it a highly popular choice.

In this period, the Hilux alone sold more than most brands in the country, accounting for 7% of the total 265,281 new vehicles sold.

The new Ford Ranger came in second place for sales during the first half of the year. However, it didn’t pose much of a threat to Toyota as it had noticeably fewer transactions, though still an impressive 11,726.

The Toyota Corolla Cross has become increasingly popular and secured third place with 10,604 sales, surpassing the third-most-popular bakkie – the Isuzu D-Max – which achieved fourth place with around 10,000 units sold.

The VW Polo Vivo was fifth with 9,936 units sold, while the sixth and seventh place is given to the Toyota Hiace and Starlet with a performance of 8,469 and 8,355 vehicles, respectively.

The Suzuki Swift took the eighth spot in the top 10 with 8,193 sales during the first half of 2023. The Nissan NP200 was ranked ninth with 6,757 units sold, highlighting the high demand for compact bakkies, which the Nissan is currently the only one available on the market.

The Toyota Fortuner closed out the top 10, with 5,995 units sold over the same period, resulting in five models for Toyota making it on the list.

The 10 best-selling cars in South Africa for the first six months of 2023 are detailed below.

1. Toyota Hilux – 18,801 units

  • Starting price: R356,600

2. Ford Ranger – 11,726 units

  • Starting price: R494,400

3. Toyota Corolla Cross – 10,604 units

  • Starting price: R404,400

4. Isuzu D-Max – 10,000 units

  • Starting price: R431,800

5. VW Polo Vivo – 9,936 units

  • Starting price: R248,500

6. Toyota Hiace – 8,469 units

  • Starting price: R543,900

7. Toyota Starlet – 8,355 units

  • Starting price: R248,400
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8. Suzuki Swift – 8,193 units

  • Starting price: R199,900

9. Nissan NP200 – 6,757 units

  • Starting price: R226,000

10. Toyota Fortuner – 5,995 units

  • Starting price: R673,100

Read: Petrol prices in South Africa vs the world

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