Australians purchased almost 1.6 million new 4×4 utes over the last decade, equal to about 14.5 per cent of all new vehicle sales between 2013 and 2022.

    Meanwhile, the annual market share of these lifestyle-focused workhorses has steadily climbed from 12.2 per cent a decade ago to 18.1 per cent last year.

    These are some of the interesting findings in our latest analysis of a particular vehicle segment – in this case, the one that has become Australia’s largest and most lucrative.

    Rather than focusing on the ute market as a whole, we’re honing in on the 4×4 side – the majority of which are dual-cabs, as tend to be favoured by private buyers.

    We’ve become used to a 4×4 ute being the country’s top-selling vehicle, even since the Toyota HiLux first took the crown (which it maintains to this day) back in 2016.

    Today, we regularly see a trio of utes in the top five overall models, with the Ford Ranger and Isuzu D-Max there or thereabouts, the majority being 4x4s rather than 4x2s.

    We thought it might be interesting to have a look at some of the changes over this period.

    Back in 2013 the 4×4 ute market was much more utilitarian in focus, with 138,084 sales from this segment equating to 12.2 per cent overall market share.

    The Toyota HiLux was number one in 4×4 utes in 2013 just like today, with 29,344 sales. Next was the Nissan Navara (21,758) in D40 and D22 generations, ahead of the Mitsubishi Triton (20,546), Ford Ranger (16,913) and Holden Colorado (13,947).

    There were 14 nameplates in the 4×4 Ute segment in 2013, including models that have since disappeared including the Land Rover Defender pickup, SsangYong Actyon Sports, Great Wall V-Series, and Nissan Patrol cab-chassis.

    Fast forward to 2022 and the sales of 4×4 Utes were 195,208, up some 41 per cent on raw volume. More telling is the growth in market share to 18.1 per cent, up 48 per cent.

    The Toyota HiLux was number one in 4×4 Utes and the overall market in 2022, with 47,329 sales. Next was the Ford Ranger with 43,128 sales.

    Rounding out the top five were the Mitsubishi Triton (23,953), Isuzu D-Max (20,124), and the ancient Toyota LandCruiser 70 (11,390 sales despite being on stop-sale due to shortages).

    There were 18 nameplate in the segment, four more than in 2013, with new models joining in the interim including the GWM Ute, LDV T60, SsangYong Musso and Jeep Gladiator, plus the booming Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado V8 American pickups.

    By the way, a few nameplates came and went during the gap between 2013 and 2022, chiefly being the Mercedes-Benz X-Class and Foton Tunland. RIP.

    Despite this growth, 4×4 Utes were the second-largest segment by market share in both years, behind Small Cars in 2013 and Medium SUVs in 2022. It’s just that the market has become more concentrated.

    Top segments by market share in 2013

    1. Small Car: 23 per cent
    2. 4×4 Ute: 12.2 per cent
    3. Large SUV: 11.1 per cent
    4. Medium SUV: 10.5 per cent
    5. Light Car: 10.0 per cent

    Top segments by market share in 2022

    1. Medium SUV: 20.0 per cent
    2. 4×4 Ute: 18.1 per cent
    3. Small SUV: 13.3 per cent
    4. Large SUV: 12.9 per cent
    5. Light Car: 8.2 per cent

    4×4 Ute sales since 2013-22 overall

    YearSalesMarket shareTotal market

    We’ve also tracked the sales of all 4×4 Ute models since 2013.

    4×4 Ute sales 2013-22 overall by model

    1. Toyota HiLux: 345,562 (sold 2013-22)
    2. Ford Ranger: 329,725 (sold 2013-22)
    3. Mitsubishi Triton: 200,408 (sold 2013-22)
    4. Nissan Navara: 137,118 (sold 2013-22)
    5. Isuzu Ute D-Max: 128,686 (sold 2013-22)
    6. Holden Colorado: 119,024 (sold 2013-20)
    7. Mazda BT-50: 91,308 (sold 2013-22)
    8. Toyota LandCruiser 70: 90,691 (sold 2013-22)
    9. Volkswagen Amarok: 74,314 (sold 2013-22)
    10. LDV T60: 25,300 (2017-22)
    11. Great Wall V-Series/Steed/GWM Ute: 19,953 (sold 2013-22)
    12. Ram 1500: 15,697 (2018-22)
    13. Mercedes-Benz X-Class: 5998 (2018-21)
    14. SsangYong Actyon Sports/Musso: 5960 (2013-17, 2019-22)
    15. Chevrolet Silverado: 3973 (2020-22)
    16. Jeep Gladiator: 3243 (2020-22)
    17. Foton Tunland: 2353 (2014-17)
    18. Nissan Patrol: 1755 (2013-17)

    MORE: Which brands have gained and lost the most share since 2013?
    MORE: How small car sales have collapsed over the past decade
    MORE: Sales collapse tracked: Where did all the cheap small cars go?

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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