These are SA’s most popular used vehicles by fuel-type

The Ford Ranger is the most popular diesel-powered vehicle in South Africa. Picture: Ford SA

The Ford Ranger is the most popular diesel-powered vehicle in South Africa. Picture: Ford SA

Published Apr 8, 2024


As the world’s automotive industry stands at a crossroads, motorists have never been so spoilt for choice when it comes to their vehicle’s propulsion system.

Alternative energy vehicles such as hybrid and electric cars are no longer a far-flung concept but a reality, as car buyers begin to embrace the reduction of emissions and pollutants.

Although new sales of new fully electric vehicles grew by over 80% in 2023, they still accounted for less than 0.2% over the overall market.

That share, albeit off a small base is likely to grow rapidly over the coming years and we’re also seeing a great deal of interest in EVs on the used market, with Auto Trader data showing a 132% increase in sales last year of vehicles listed on its platform.

However, when viewing the most sold used cars by fuel-type in 2023, we can see that South Africans are still one with their diesel bakkies.

* AutoTrader Data: January 1 to December 31, 2023.

The Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux occupy the top two spots for the most sold used diesel cars in 2023. The utility and reliability of these vehicles are what keeps them appealing in an evolving automotive landscape.

In the 93 and 95 octane range, our local petrol heads seem to favour the Volkswagen brand, as the Volkswagen Polo and Polo Vivo take first and second place respectively.

This is no surprise as Volkswagen spent decades cementing its place in the heart of South African generations, with many notable models offering consumers the benefit of reliability, value for money, and fuel efficiency.

When it comes to consumer electric model preference, the Volvo XC40 Recharge sits at number one, retailing for an average price of R1 165 587 for a 2-year-old vehicle with 6 044km on average. The BMW i3 and Mini SE followed closely in second and third position.

AutoTrader CEO George Mienie said, “Many of the initial hurdles associated with EVs, such as range anxiety and charging infrastructure have been ironed out. Certain electric cars now offer ranges over 500km, making them more appealing than ever.”

Where hybrid cars are concerned, the list offers three great models. However, one stands out from the rest. The Toyota Corolla Cross, a proudly South African-built product ranks first on this list. In 2023, a 2-year-old Corolla Cross with an average of 13 257km sold for an average price of R487 246.

Toyota has been selling the Corolla Cross in sizeable volumes since its inception owing to its great price positioning, which translates into value for money for the consumer. The pricing is thanks to local production of this Corolla model, shaving off import and other costs.

IOL Motoring