Top Selling Cars in New Zealand

Kiwis love their cars, but which vehicles do we love the most? Canstar takes a look at the top selling cars in New Zealand.

Top Selling Cars in New Zealand

According to the most recent government statistics, from 2012 to 2022, the number of cars, utes and motorbikes on our roads grew by a third, from 3.3m to 4.4m.

And our appetite for new automobiles remains strong, despite the tighter economic climate. The number of new cars sold last year was only slightly down on the previous two years’ figures:

  • 2021: 112,008 new cars
  • 2022: 116,334 new cars
  • 2023: 110,488 new cars

And, these numbers don’t include new utes, which fall into the commercial category. Last year the Ford Ranger (9907 sales) and Toyota Hilux (8054 sales), were, respectively, the first and third most popular new vehicles overall on our roads.

→Related article: Top Selling Utes in New Zealand

So what are the top selling cars in NZ, Canstar takes a look.

In this article


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Toyota RAV4: NZ’s top selling new car

Top 10 selling car models New Zealand

The top five best selling cars in NZ have been the same for the past two years. However, this year, one former top performer has gotten off to a far from electric start in the sales race: the Tesla Model Y.

Just 336 new Tesla Model Ys have hit our roads this year. That’s a drop of 72% on the Model Y’s sales numbers (1192) at the same point in 2023. Has the end of the Clean Car Discount, the introduction of road user charges for EV owners and increased competition in the EV market pulled the plug on Tesla sales? It certainly looks like it!

Top Selling Cars 2023 Top Selling Cars May 2024 Top Selling Cars Year to Date 2024
1 Toyota RAV4 (8757) 1 Toyota RAV 4 (761) 1 Toyota RAV 4 (3647)
2 Mitsubishi Outlander (4058) 2 Mitsubishi ASX (328) 2 Mitsubishi Outlander (1433)
3 Tesla Model Y (3936) 3 Suzuki Swift (246) 3 Mitsubishi ASX (1429)
4 Suzuki Swift (3922) 4 Mitsubishi Outlander (224) 4 Suzuki Swift (1185)
5 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (3638) 5 Kia Seltos (201) 5 Kia Seltos (1167)
6 BYD Atto 3 (3171) 6 MG ZS (185) 6 Ford Everest (969)
7 MG ZS (3123) 7 Ford Everest (154) 7 Kia Stonic (866)
8 Toyota Yaris Cross (2310) 8 Mazda CX-5 (151) 8 Toyota Corolla Cross (763)
9 Toyota Corolla (2284) 9 Kia Stonic (143) 9 MG ZS (758)
10 Honda Jazz (2176) 10 Hyundai Kona (136) 10 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (677)

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Top 10 selling electric car models New Zealand

In 2022, EV and hybrid cars accounted for just over a third of all new car registrations. And last year that percentage increased to 41%. Overall, pure EV models increased from a 10% market share in 2022 to 14.5% in 2023.

However, it’s clear the end of the EV subsidies has had a big effect. While hybrid sales are holding steady, EV numbers have plummeted. Just 4% of vehicles sold so far this year were EVs, compared to 11% in the first five months of last year.

Sales by Engine Type 2023 Sales by Engine Types 2024
30% Diesel 39% Diesel
29% Petrol 32% Petrol
26.5% Hybrid 25% Hybrid
14.5% EV 4% EV

Top selling totally electric vehicle models:

This year’s total EV sales are well down. In a rush to beat the Clean Car Discount shut-off date, a record 3361 EVs were sold/registered in the last month of 2023 alone, compared to a total of 1700 in the first five months of this year.

However, despite many new models on the top-seller list, Tesla remains the country’s most popular EV:

Top Selling EVs 2023 Top Selling May 2024 Top Selling EVs Year to Date 2024
1 Tesla Model Y (3936) 1 Tesla Model Y (44) 1 Tesla Model Y  (336)
2 BYD Atto 3 (3171) 2 Tesla Model 3 (32) 2 Tesla Model 3 (185)
3 MG 4 (1793) 3 Hyundai Ioniq 5 | Volvo EX30 (24) 3 MG4 (95)
4 MG ZS (1648) 4 BYD Atto 3 (21) 4 BYD Seal (88)
5 Tesla Model 3 (971)  5 MG4 (18) 5 BYD Atto 3 (69)
6 Kia EV6 (955) 6 Toyota BZ4X | Volkswagen ID.4 (17) 6 Volkswagen ID.4 (66)
7 Kia Niro (660) 7 Ford Mustang Mach-E (13) 7 Ford Mustang Mach-E (61)
8 Hyundai Kona (597) 8 Audi Q4 E-Tron | Skoda Enyaq (11) 8 Toyota bZ4X (56)
9 Hyundai Ioniq (558) 9 BYD Seal | Hyundai Ioniq (10) 9 Hyundai Ioniq 5 (51)
10 Polestar 2 (541) 10 BMW X1 | BMW 4 | Polestar 2 (9) 10 Volvo EX30 (49)

→Related article: Best Hybrid Cars in New Zealand


Looking for a Great Car Loan?

The table below displays some of the unsecured personal loan products available on Canstar’s database for a three-year loan of $10,000 in Auckland (some may have links to lenders’ websites). The products are sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest) followed by company name (alphabetical). Use Canstar’s personal loan comparison selector to view a wider range of products on Canstar’s database. Canstar may earn a fee for referrals.

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New Zealand’s favourite passenger car brands

Japanese brands have long been the top selling cars in NZ, especially if you also count commercial vehicles. Between them, Toyota and Mitsubishi share roughly a third of the market.

However, while Japanese brands hold a large share of the overall market, Korea’s Kia and Hyundai are big players in the passenger sector. But it’s the upstart brands of BYD, GWM, MG and Tesla that have made the biggest inroads into the top car charts over the past few years.

New passenger car/SUV registrations by brand, no. sales and market share %:

Top Selling Brands 2023 Top Selling Brands May 2024 Top Selling Brands Year to Date 2024
1 Toyota 21,913 (20%) 1 Toyota 1384 (22%) 1 Toyota 7385 (22%)
2 Mitsubishi 10,284  (9%) 2 Kia 680 (11%) 2 Mitsubishi 3733 (11%)
3 Kia 10,065 (9%) 3 Mitsubishi 660 (10%) 3 Kia 3492 (10%)
4 Hyundai 7092 (6%) 4 Suzuki 505 (8%) 4 Suzuki 2365 (7%)
5 Suzuki 6817 (6%) 5 Mazda 349 (5%) 5 Ford 1633 (5%)
6 MG 6105 (6%) 6 Hyundai 333 (5%) 6 Mazda 1407 (4%)
7 Ford 5446 (5%) 7 MG 258 (4%) 7 Hyundai 1369 (4%)
8 Tesla 4907 (4%) 8 GWM 221 (3%) 8 Honda 1334 (4%)
9 Mazda 3829 (3%) 9 Ford 218 (3%) 9 GWM 1247 (4%)
10 BYD 3715 (3%) 10 Honda 191 (3%) 10 Nissan 1213 (4%)

Searching for the Cheapest Personal Loan?

If you’re looking for the cheapest personal loan, Canstar’s personal loan comparison tables can help. The table below displays the sponsored unsecured personal loan products available on Canstar’s database for a three-year loan of $10,000 in Auckland, with links to lenders’ websites. Use Canstar’s personal loan comparison selector to view a wider range of products on Canstar’s database. Canstar may earn a fee for referrals.

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About the author of this page

Bruce Pitchers

This report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce has three decades’ experience as a journalist and has worked for major media companies in the UK and Australasia, including ACP, Bauer Media Group, Fairfax, Pacific Magazines, News Corp and TVNZ. Prior to Canstar, he worked as a freelancer, including for The Australian Financial Review, the NZ Financial Markets Authority, and for real estate companies on both sides of the Tasman.


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