It’s not the newest ute on the block – that would be the Ford Ranger – yet the venerable Toyota HiLux just broke its second successive monthly sales record.

The HiLux was Australia’s top-selling vehicle in July with 6441 sales, up 40 per cent over July 2021. This result follows a record June in which the HiLux managed 7582 sales – its best single monthly tally ever

A great deal of these were deliveries to customers who’d been waiting quite some time, with dealers reporting typical wait times on high-demand grades of HiLux of around 6-12 months.

This period is shorter than various other Toyotas, led by the LandCruiser 70 for which orders are paused, and the top-selling RAV4 Hybrid.

HiLux sales so far this year sit at 38,412 (up 17.5 per cent year-on-year) compared to 22,728 for the Ford Ranger. Of this HiLux tally, 28,693 are the more expensive 4×4 versions.  

This YTD growth figure suggests current shortages – as far as Toyota is concerned anyway – are as much a result of demand spikes, as they are supply snags.

The new Ranger is just coming on stream now, although Ford launched holding close to 20,000 orders and claimed to be bringing 10,000 units to dealers across July and August.

Ford ended up selling 2934 new and runout Rangers in July, though it was still strong enough to be the market’s number-two vehicle overall, while outgunning the rival Isuzu D-Max (1930) and Mitsubishi Triton (1879) as well.

We’re expecting big, big Ranger tallies in August and September.

While the HiLux is starting to look very dated next to the Ranger – not that it’s hurting popularity yet – Toyota has promised some updates before the end of 2022 in a bid to maintain the rage.

It’s giving the Australian-developed HiLux Rogue flagship a major makeover, giving it a meaner look, wider track and height, revised suspension, and upgraded brakes. It’s also planning on some minor feature improvements for the SR and big-selling SR5. 

Of perhaps the most interest, Toyota Australia will axe the HiLux Rugged X flagship and replace it with a new “apex off-road variant” – clearly with one eye on Ford’s hot-selling new Ranger Raptor which has 4000 pre-orders and counting.

Without confirming much in the way of detail, the unnamed HiLux halo will be designed and suitably modified by Toyota Australia at its Melbourne Product Centre – as was the case with the Rugged X, and the upgraded Rogue spinoff.

Ute sales for January to July 2022

  • Toyota HiLux – 38,142
  • Ford Ranger – 22,728
  • Mitsubishi Triton – 18,799
  • Isuzu D-Max – 15,392
  • Mazda BT-50 – 8822
  • Toyota LandCruiser 70 – 6911
  • Nissan Navara – 7489
  • GWM Ute – 3270
  • Ram 1500 – 2580
  • Volkswagen Amarok – 2343
  • LDV T60 – 2121
  • Jeep Gladiator – 932
  • Chevrolet Silverado 1500 – 729
  • SsangYong Musso – 718
Mike Costello
Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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