With a pandemic raging worldwide, Australians couldn’t do much overseas travel this year. That left us looking inwards for travel ideas, with intrastate travel seeing a surge and caravan sales up.

    That could go a ways to explaining why of our top five most-read reviews, one is of a dual-cab ute and two are ute-based SUVs. Or perhaps it’s just because those are hot property anyway, even outside of a pandemic.

    The top five is rounded off by two crossover SUVs. That’s right – even though we have almost a year’s worth of reviews since we started CarExpert.com.au, no passenger car review had quite as many clicks as the following five.

    Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain

    It makes sense this is our most-read review this year. Aussies can’t get enough of Isuzu’s redesigned D-Max, with waiting times of up to five months for some models. The new X-Terrain flagship has proved disproportionately popular, too, as challenger brand Isuzu goes up against high-spec versions of the perennial Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger.

    The Japanese brand is clearly having no troubles selling its much anticipated new model, though it’s having trouble building them thanks to COVID-19-related supply issues.

    2021 Isuzu D-Max X-Terrain review

    Kia Sorento GT-Line diesel

    We’ve been getting behind the wheel of as many Sorentos as possible this year, with the recently introduced fourth-generation model impressing us with its feature content and premium look and feel.

    It’s about to get some fierce competition from its corporate cousin, the redesigned Hyundai Santa Fe, while there’s also an updated Mazda CX-9 plus a new Toyota Kluger coming next year. If you’re in the market for a large, three-row crossover, check out our subsequent reviews of the S, Sport+ and GT-Line diesels.

    2021 Kia Sorento GT-Line diesel launch review

    MG ZST

    Perhaps the most surprising inclusion on this list is our launch review of the MG ZST. Then again, is it all that surprising? The MG 3 is Australia’s favourite light car, after all. And if you bundle ZST and ZS sales, MG’s small SUV range was popular enough to storm to third overall in the small SUV segment last month.

    The ZST, if you’re still getting acquainted with Chinese-owned MG’s newest products, is an updated version of the ZS with the MG Pilot suite of active safety technology. We also did a subsequent review, which you can read here.

    2020 MG ZST launch review

    Isuzu MU-X LS-T

    It isn’t just Isuzu’s fresh new D-Max that’s getting attention. Though it’s at the end of its lifecycle and will be replaced in 12 months time, the MU-X is still selling strongly. In fact, if you look purely at body-on-frame models in the large SUV segment, it’s second only to the Toyota LandCruiser Prado.

    We tested it in top-spec LS-T guise which, despite being the priciest model, lacks commonplace features like automatic headlights, smartphone mirroring, or any active safety technology.

    The good news is you can get the first two in the limited Onyx Edition, while the rest are coming in next year’s model.

    2020 Isuzu MU-X LS-T review

    Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Exceed

    Nipping at the MU-X’s heels and just ahead of the Ford Everest in the 2020 sales race is the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, the Triton-based off-roader from the three diamond brand. We also tested it in range-topping Exceed trim.

    We got this SUV a little muddy and found it stacks up as a good value alternative to the stalwart LandCruiser Prado, while it feels much more refined on the road than a Triton. Later in the year, we also tested the mid-range GLS.

    2020 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Exceed review

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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