Sales of big SUVs with genuine off-road and towing abilities skyrocketed in November across Australia – perhaps because more Australians are set to go on regional family adventures in lieu of overseas travel.

    The boom in big 4x4s – largely body-on-frame and diesel-fuelled – was one intriguing aspect of a buoyant November new vehicle market. These are not cheap vehicles, generally priced between $50,000 at the lowest and well above $100,000 in some cases.

    As you can read in detail here, sales across the industry grew 12 per cent, marking the first monthly growth in 2.5 years. As the table below shows, though, the sales growth of certain big 4x4s was far, far higher than this market average.

    The big winner among 4×4 devotees was Toyota, as we’ve come to expect. The market’s dominant player sold boatloads of LandCruisers and Prados, many of which will doubtless be hitched to caravans before too long.

    Sales of the recently updated Prado were 2602 units in November, compared to 1204 in November 2019. That’s growth of 116 per cent. For context, this made it the market’s overall number-five selling vehicle for the month.

    Toyota also sold 1981 LandCruiser wagons, 95 per cent of which were 200 Series’. Coincidentally this also equals growth of 116 per cent over the same month in 2019. The drive-away pricing for this car is between $90,000 and $140,000 depending on spec.

    There’s a sense in some quarters that buyers are flocking to the 200 Series ahead of the new 300 Series model’s premiere next year. That’s because the next LandCruiser will swap the beloved V8 diesel for a six-cylinder unit, albeit (likely) one with more power.

    Another strong performer was Isuzu’s MU-X, which is actually now nearing the end of its life cycle, since a brand new iteration touches down in 2021. This renowned and sharply-priced staple still found 848 buyers last month, up 17 per cent.

    Ford’s Aussie-engineered Everest – basically a Ranger wagon – is doing far better these days than earlier in its life. The company sold 710 of them in November, equal to growth of a tick over 90 per cent.

    It just edged out Mitsubishi’s similar Pajero Sport, which found 705 monthly buyers and grew in volume by 72 per cent.

    The Y62 Nissan Patrol defies the segment norm by being sold with (V8) petrol power, yet its keen pricing compared to the 200 Series ensures it traction. Its 440 sales in November (up 91 per cent) was an all-time record for this generation.

    A resurgent Jeep sold 361 Grand Cherokees, up 70 per cent. Toyota sold 325 updated Fortuner models, up 51 per cent. And Jeep also sold 156 Wranglers, up 47 per cent. This latter model isn’t primarily a family adventure vehicle, but it could do the job for some.

    “Given our inability to travel internationally, many Australians are choosing to purchase a new vehicle and holiday at home this year – and we fully expect to see a notable increase in family driving trips over the Christmas season,” reckons Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief Tony Weber.

    It’s also worth noting that while the overall market grew 12.4 per cent in November, sales to private buyers actually jumped 32 per cent.

    It was business, government and rental fleets that reduced this overall growth. Thus, the majority of 4×4 customers were real consumers.

    VehicleNov 2020 SalesSales Growth
    Toyota Prado 2602+116.1%
    Toyota LandCruiser wagon1981+116.3%
    Isuzu MU-X 848+17.3%
    Ford Everest 710+90.9%
    Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 705+72.0%
    Nissan Patrol440+91.3%
    Jeep Grand Cherokee361+70.3%
    Toyota Fortuner 325+51.2%
    Jeep Wrangler157+46.7%

    MORE: Check our our archive of VFACTS and industry sales content

    If you have any questions – perhaps you want to know how your car did – ask in the comments and a member of the CarExpert team will respond.

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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