September’s VFACTS sales figures are interesting, with sales growing by 17.3% compared to the previous month, but remaining around 6% below the same period last year.

But the big surprise this month is the dramatic rise in electric vehicle sales. New models from Tesla and others mean that EVs now represent 7.7% of all new car sales in Australia. This is a dramatic climb from last year when just 20,665 EVs were sold in total.

Overall, the data shows that 811,130 new cars have been sold for the year to date. The top three best-selling models are the Toyota HiLux, the Ford Ranger and the newly launched Tesla Model Y, which comes in third on the list.

So, which brands are hot in Australia right now? In this blog, we’ll look at the 11 best-selling car brands in Australia and explore the best-selling models of each brand, discussing why they are performing so well.

1. Toyota: 14,852 sales

Toyota topped the charts again this month, despite suffering a dramatic 26.5% fall in market share. This was the result of supply problems caused by global microchip shortages, rather than any changes to the product lineup.

But it highlights the dominance Toyota has over the Aussie car market, when, despite losing nearly a quarter of sales, they still outsold their nearest rival by two-to-one. Why do Aussies love Toyota? It’s simple, they’re great value, come with 5 year warranties and are supported by a comprehensive dealer network.

Most popular models

2. Kia: 7,290 sales

Kia had another bumper month, grabbing second in the sales charts with 7,290 sales, displacing Mazda down to third in the process. Aussies love Kia’s for their reliability, affordability and crisp modern styling.

But Kia is also reaping the benefits of investing in a substantial dealer network across Australia. This means buyers have the support they need from dealers when and where they need it, which makes Kia a compelling choice in a crowded market.

Most popular models

Kia Sportage - 1775
Kia Cerato - 1257
Kia Stonic - 906
Kia Carnival - 697
Kia Picanto - 460
Kia Stinger - 98

3. Mazda: 7,259 sales

Mazda has lost its usual silver place and has been demoted to bronze this month, but the gap between Kia and Mazda is small, and we expect these two brands to swap places several times over the next few months.

But ultimately, we think Kia will solidify their presence in second place over the long term. This is nothing against Mazda – all the latest Mazdas benefit from sharp styling, crisp handling and good value, but sales momentum is definitely behind Kia at the moment.

Most popular models

Mazda CX-5 - 2439
Mazda CX-3 - 1094
Mazda CX-30 – 942

4. Mitsubishi: 6,784 sales

Mitsubishi had an impressive month, with the updated Triton model benefiting from Toyota’s supply problems and the Outlander also continuing to perform well. The result is an incredible 47.3% climb in sales, pushing them up to fourth in the rankings.

Mitsubishis are renowned for offering good value motoring and bulletproof reliability. So, if you are looking for a great value workhorse, your local Mitsubishi showroom is a good place to start.

Most popular models

5. Ford: 6,635 sales

Ford was pushed down to fifth place this month, displaced by Mitsubishi, but we don’t expect that to be a long-term position. Sales of the impressive new Explorer are just getting started, so we expect a strong quarter from them over the next three months.

Ford still has an impressive following in Australia, especially in remote regions. New products such as the Explorer are giving Toyota a run for its money and the brand is heavily focused on EVs for the future of both its car and commercial vehicle ranges.

Most popular models

6. Hyundai: 6,501 sales

Hyundai continued its stellar sales success in recent months with another impressive performance in September. The Korean brand sold 6,501 cars, a climb of 19.1% over the same period last year.

The i30 and Tucson were the two best-selling models. These are proving popular due to their incredible value and performance. The Tucson was Australia’s second best-selling car overall for a brief period in June.

Most popular models

7. Tesla: 5,969 sales

The newly launched Tesla Model Y propelled the world's most popular EV brand up the sales charts this month - a record 5,969 Teslas found homes in September, of which 4,359 were the new Model Y. That means Tesla is now the 7th most popular car brand in Australia.

Why is Tesla proving to be so popular? Well, they have invested heavily in developing their own charging network and Tesla's range is far better than rivals right now, which makes them a more practical choice for most family buyers.

Most popular models

8. Volkswagen: 3,698 sales

Volkswagen sales were down 2.5% in September compared with the same period last year. The German brand only managed to sell 3,698 cars this time around, which is partly due to supply problems which are impacting most major brands.

However, while a little dated, the current range of VW products is some of the most refined on the market, so if you are looking for a well-packaged car, with fluid handling, smooth power delivery and a quality interior, the German brand is hard to beat.

Most popular models

9. MG: 3,261 sales

The reinvigorated MG brand continues to impress. Sales were up 8.3% compared to the same period last year, and that is without any major new product launches during the period.

The MG3 and MGZS remain the most popular models. Both of these cars offer incredible value compared to Japanese and Korean rivals, but neither has an ANCAP 5* rating due to missing safety technology. However, MG offers great value for budget-conscious motorists.

Most popular models

MG 3 - 1423
MG ZS - 994

10. Subaru: 3,167 sales

When it comes to cars capable of dealing with the harsh road and weather conditions in the Outback, few cars do it better than Subaru. The appropriately named Outback is the brand's best-selling model, with 815 of them sold in September.

While you don’t get any of the glitz and glamour on offer from other brands, what you do get with a Subaru is a go-anywhere chassis, bulletproof mechanicals, and a solid 5-year warranty. So it’s no wonder Subaru continues to find favour with buyers in remote areas.

Most popular models

Subaru XV - 952

11. GWM: 3,050 sales

The Chinese brand has been steadily climbing the sales charts since it launched its first homegrown product back in 2016. A record 3,050 cars were sold in September, a healthy climb of 69.4% over the same period last year.

GWM products are renowned for their solid mechanicals, and good value for money. They even look the part – park a Haval H6 next to a Landcruiser and you won’t feel outclassed. But you will feel smug, knowing you saved the best part of $50,000.

Most popular model


The rise in electric car sales is a bit of a watershed moment in the Australian car market. EV sales in Australia have historically lagged behind other developed economies such as Asia and Europe due to a lack of leadership from the government.

But the recent announcement that ACT will ban the sale of petrol and diesel-powered cars by 2035 has lit the touchpaper for electric car sales. Going forward, we expect EVs to take an increasingly larger chunk of overall sales.

But the ICE is not dead yet, we expect petrol or diesel-powered cars will remain at the top of the sales charts for the next few years. However, the dominance of ICE-powered cars is coming to an end.

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Jordan Ballard

Jordan Ballard

Automotive Content Editor

Jordan is a car finance and automotive industry specialist at Only Cars. With over 20 years of experience with frontline and management roles in sales, finance and other areas, Jordan has an incredible understanding of the automotive industry. As Automotive Content Editor, Jordan loves sharing his passion for cars with the Only Cars audience.