SUV sales surge to a new record as Nissan X-Trail and Mitsubishi ASX join the bestseller list

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SUVs now make up almost half the cars sold in Australia with suburban mums driving a sales surge.

The Mitsubishi ASX and Nissan X-Trail are now the fifth and sixth most popular cars in the country, overtaking the Mazda3 which was once the nation’s top seller.

Small SUV sales surged by a quarter, or 25.7 per cent, in the year to September while large SUV registrations climbed by 10.4 per cent, new data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has revealed.

A record 43.7 per cent of cars now sold in Australia are SUVs.

In September, less than a third of buyers chose conventional passenger cars as motorists made the switch to four-wheel drives and cars with higher ground clearance.

Smaller and medium SUVs were the big winners with sales of the Nissan X-Trail rising by 43.1 per cent as the popularity of the Mitsubishi ASX climbed by 40.1 per cent during the year to the end of September.

The Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson and Toyota Prado were banished from the monthly top 10 list in September, despite the popularity of SUVs.

The larger Toyota LandCruiser fared well last month, with its annual sales rising by 7.9 per cent.

CommSec economist Ryan Felsman said suburban mothers had driven the surging popularity of SUVs.

‘Certainly the soccer mums, as they’re called, seem to have a preference now for those larger SUVs, ones that potentially offer seven seats,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

‘If you’ve got two kids, you might go for a slightly smaller SUV.

‘The preference is to sit up high, see your kids from the back seat, having more room in the back for bikes and for those recreational-type things like body boards.’ 

The Mazda3, Australia’s top selling car in 2011 and 2012 and a perennial in the top four, was the biggest loser in September, with its sales crashing by a third over the year.

It fell to the No.8 spot as its key rivals the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai i30 took out the third and fourth positions.

The Toyota HiLux ute was Australia’s best-selling vehicle again in September, with its sales rising by 13.5 per cent during the year.

It outsold the Ford Ranger, which took out the No.2 position despite suffering a 25.2 per cent sales slide during the year.

Another ute, the Nissan Navara, rounded out the top 10 list following a 45.9 per cent annual sales increase. 

Toyota continued to be Australia’s top-selling marque in September with an 18.7 per cent market share. 

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