2022 was the first year the Kia brand outsold Hyundai in Australia. If the first few months of 2023 are any indication, it mightn’t be the last.

    Kia sold 6403 vehicles in the month of March, up 5.8 per cent on the same month in 2022. With 18,409 sales across January, February, and March, it’s up 5.5 per cent year-to-date.

    Hyundai, in contrast, sold 5369 vehicles during March, down 17.6 per cent on the same month in 2022. Its 16,682 sales so far in 2023, it’s down 3.5 per cent year-to-date.

    Kia has bested its in-house rival – both brands are part of the wider Hyundai Motor Group – every month this year.

    In the first quarter of 2023, Kia has sold 18,409 vehicles against a tally of 16,682 vehicles for Hyundai.


    Last year, Hyundai sales slumped by 22.7 per cent to 73,345 sales, while Kia’s rose by 15.4 per cent to 78,330 units.

    The two brands occupy many of the same segments, but there are some vehicle segments each brand uniquely occupies.

    For example, Kia has a micro car with the Picanto and a large car with the Stinger, while Hyundai has a cargo van with the Staria Load and a mid-sized sedan with the Sonata.

    In the first quarter of 2023, the Hyundai i30 trounced its Kia Cerato rival (4499 vs 1147 sales), while the Ioniq 5 EV outsold its EV6 platform-mate (288 vs 159), the Venue its Stonic rival (1665 vs 1449), and the mid-sized Tucson crossover comfortably outsold the related Sportage (4493 vs 3348).

    March salesOverall 2023 sales

    But Kia had the upper hand in the small SUV segment, with its updated Seltos pushing past the ageing Kona (2137 vs 2002), and the Carnival decimating the upstart Staria (3038 vs 344).

    The Kia Sorento outsold Hyundai’s Santa Fe and Palisade combined, with 3165 sales against 817 and 1452, respectively, for the Hyundais.

    Kia will gain a new large electric SUV later this year with the supply-restricted EV9, with Hyundai’s Ioniq 7 rival not launching until 2024.

    March salesOverall 2023 sales
    Ioniq 5112288
    Ioniq 66167
    Santa Fe4181452
    Staria Load290794

    The brand will also launch updated versions of the Sorento and Picanto, though it will lose the popular Rio and Stinger.

    Hyundai recently gained a third EV with the Ioniq 6, while one of its best-sellers – the Kona – is getting a redesign this year which will offer a hybrid for the first time in Australia.

    That will help fill the void left by the discontinued Ioniq hybrid.

    The i30 Sedan’s upcoming facelift will also bring a hybrid option.

    Hyundai also has an updated version of its Sonata coming in the second half of this year, though it’ll continue to be offered exclusively in hot N Line trim in Australia.

    MORE: Kia sales in Australia in 2022
    MORE: Hyundai sales in Australia in 2022

    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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