Report: It seems South Africans can't get enough of the humble hatchback

By Pritesh Ruthun Time of article published Aug 3, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - While sports utility vehicles (and bakkies) are amongst the fastest-growing in terms of popularity in the automotive sector both here in South Africa and globally, local motorists remain besotted with hatchbacks.

This is according to the 2020 AutoTrader Car Industry Report, which reveals not only which body types South Africans like most but also which used cars top the rankings of each body type.

According to the report, the hatchback is still the most sold body type in the used car market – and the most searched for too. This is one of many findings in the latest report, which covers the most sold used cars in SA to which car colours are the most popular among South Africans.

The report is based on data gleaned from AutoTrader for the year ending June 2020. As the country’s largest motoring marketplace, AutoTrader's technologies – based on its comprehensive vehicle taxonomy database – provides some interesting insight into the automotive industry and the interactions of in-market car shoppers.

When it comes to value, hatchbacks are the hottest

IOL Motoring spoke to AutoTrader CEO, George Mienie, about why the hatchback remains a popular choice amongst South African car buyers despite this global shift toward SUVs, crossovers and pick-up trucks: “Hatches accounted for 31% of the total used cars sales. The second and third most sold body types went to SUVs and sedans, which contributed 27% and 17% of the total cars sold respectively,” he reveals. "There's no denying that South Africans want value, particularly right now, and hatchbacks are traditionally are very good value proposition, covering a number of bases in one vehicle."

These are the most popular cars sold (by shape) in SA

So which is the most sold car per body type ranking? The 2020 AutoTrader report shows that the most sold SUV in SA is the Toyota Fortuner, which comfortably outsells the second-placed SUV – the Ford EcoSport. The average price paid for the Fortuner is R349 814 (average model year 2015; average mileage 104 085 km) while the average price paid for the EcoSport is R208 523 (average model year 2017; average mileage 51 725 km).

In the sedan category, the frontrunners – the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class – are neck and neck, with the 3 Series just pipping the C-Class to the post. The average price paid for the BMW 3 in SA is R286 345 (average model year 2013; average mileage 91 737 km) while the average price paid for the Mercedes rises to R341 538 (average model year 2013; average mileage 85 420 km).

On the sportier side of things, looking at coupes, the C-Class dominates, with almost double the number of sales of the second-placed vehicle, namely the BMW 2 Series. The average price paid for the C-Class is R471 203 (average model year 2013; average mileage 67 742 km) while the average price paid for the BMW is R432 932 (average model year 2016; average mileage 47 310 km).

Hatchbacks still on top

Hatchbacks remain the body type with the lowest selling price and mileage combination – and this body type category sees two Volkswagen models in first and second place, namely the Polo and Polo Vivo.

The average price paid for the Polo is R209 695 (average model year 2016; average mileage 57 434 km). The average price paid for the Polo Vivo is R163 446 (average model year 2017; average mileage 44 782 km).

Who wins the bakkie battle?

Well, the Ford Ranger comes out tops in the double cab ranking, followed by the Toyota Hilux. The average price paid for the Ranger is R341 714 (average model year 2016; average mileage 79 505 km). The average price paid for the Hilux is R366 601 (average model year 2014; average mileage 104 436 km). The Ranger outsells the Hilux by nearly 2:1.

When it comes to single cab bakkies, the Nissan NP200 takes first place followed by the Toyota Hilux. The average price paid for the NP200 is R139 557 (average model year 2017; average mileage 60 037 km). The average price paid for the Hilux is R237 022 (average model year 2012; average mileage 104 013 km).

For more insights, you can download a full copy of the report from the Autotrader website.

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