No surprises as Volkswagen's Polo Vivo takes top spot.
No surprises as Volkswagen's Polo Vivo takes top spot.

These were South Africa's 10 top selling hatchbacks in 2019

By Jason Woosey Time of article published Jan 21, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - SUVs might be on the rise to sales stardom, but hatchbacks still form the backbone of South Africa’s passenger car market as 2019’s sales figures attest to.

In fact, exactly half of the country’s 20 top selling vehicles last year - and we’re including bakkies here - were hatchbacks. 

But which ones were the most popular?

In this sales feature we’re taking a look at South Africa’s 10 best selling hatchbacks, and it’s interesting to note that all of them are compact vehicles, with none competing in the C-segment where the Golf rules the roost. In fact, eight of the top 10 hatchbacks have starting prices of less than R200 000, which shows that in these tough economic times, the country is hungry for affordable cars.

Nothing illustrates this more than the fact that Renault’s Kwid surged to third place in the hatch rankings with a monthly average of just under 1000 units a month in 2019. 

The top two spots are still occupied by Volkswagen’s old and new Polos though, with the Vivo pipping its newer sibling with a monthly average of 2468 versus 1797.

In the lower half of the list we see Korean hatchbacks dominating, while Japan’s Indian-built Datsun Go and Suzuki Swift rounded out the top 10. 

It’s worth noting that the Toyota Etios and Ford Figo numbers also include sedan sales as the two body styles are not listed separately by these manufacturers, however given the proliferation of hatchbacks in those ranges, we are confident that both would still make the top 10 quite comfortably even without the booted variants’ sales.


1. Volkswagen Polo Vivo

Total sold - 2019: 29 618

Monthly average: 2468

2. Volkswagen Polo 

Total sold - 2019: 21 563

Monthly average: 1797

3. Renault Kwid

Total sold - 2019: 11 848

Monthly average: 987

4. Toyota Etios

Total sold - 2019: 9445

Monthly average: 787

5. Hyundai Grand i10

Total sold - 2019: 8520

Monthly average: 710

6. Ford Figo

Total sold - 2019: 7985

Monthly average: 665

7. Hyundai i20

Total sold - 2019: 6993

Monthly average: 583

8. Kia Picanto

Total sold - 2019: 6924

Monthly average: 577

9. Datsun Go

Total sold - 2019: 6335

Monthly average: 528

10. Suzuki Swift

Total sold - 2019: 6242

Monthly average: 520

Best of the rest

Narrowly missing the top 10 was Renault’s Sandero hatch, which in our book deserves to do a little better than its monthly average of 506 units. 

In a distant 12th place was Volkswagen’s Golf 7, with an average of 306 units a month. This was followed by the Kia Rio and Ford Fiesta.

IOL Motoring

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