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 292 new Tesla Model Ys have hit our roads this year. That’s a drop of 73% on the Model Y’s sales numbers (1115) at the same point in 2023. Has the end of the Clean Car Discount and increased competition in the EV market pulled the plug on Tesla sales? We’ll have to wait and see:

Top Selling Cars 2023 Top Selling Cars April Top Selling Cars Year to Date 2024
1 Toyota RAV4 (8757) 1 Toyota RAV 4 (1012) 1 Toyota RAV 4 (2886)
2 Mitsubishi Outlander (4058) 2 Suzuki Swift (257) 2 Mitsubishi Outlander (1209)
3 Tesla Model Y (3936) 3 Mitsubishi Outlander (245) 3 Mitsubishi ASX (1101)
4 Suzuki Swift (3922) 4 Kia Seltos (207) 4 Kia Seltos (966)
5 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (3638) 5 Ford Everest (182) 5 Suzuki Swift (939)
6 BYD Atto 3 (3171) 6 Mitsubishi ASX (180) 6 Ford Everest (815)
7 MG ZS (3123) 7 Toyota Yaris Cross (152) 7 Kia Stonic (723)
8 Toyota Yaris Cross (2310) 8 Kia Stonic (132) 8 Toyota Corolla Cross (680)
9 Toyota Corolla (2284) 9 Kia Sportage (129) 9 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (586)
10 Honda Jazz (2176) 10 Nissan X-Trail (128) 10 MG ZS (573)

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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.

Although given the scrapping of the Clean Car Discount, and the introduction of Road User Charges for PHEV and EV drivers, it will be interesting to see if electric and hybrid sales experience continued growth throughout 2024.

While hybrid sales are holding steady, it’s already evident that EV sales have plummeted. Just 3.5% of vehicles sold so far this year were EVs, compared to 12% in the first four months of last year.

Sales by Engine Type 2023 Sales by Engine Types 2024
30% Diesel 39% Diesel
29% Petrol 33% Petrol
26.5% Hybrid 24.5% Hybrid
14.5% EV 3.5% EV

Top selling totally electric vehicle models:

This year’s total EV sales are well down on last December’s, when the top selling car, the MG 4, shifted 623 units, and the 10th placed car, the Ford Mustang Mach-E sold 90 cars. In a rush to beat the Clean Car Discount shut-off date, a record 3361 EVs were sold in the last month of 2023, compared to a total of 1343 in the first four months of this year.

However, it’s still early days, and there are some interesting new additions to the best selling EV car list, notably the BYD Seal, the Omoda E5 and the new EVs from Toyota, the bZ4X, and Subaru, the Solterra:

Top Selling EVs 2023 Top Selling April 2024 Top Selling EVs Year to Date 2024
1 Tesla Model Y (3936) 1 Tesla Model Y (48) 1 Tesla Model Y  (292)
2 BYD Atto 3 (3171) 2 Tesla Model 3 (19) 2 Tesla Model 3 (153)
3 MG 4 (1793) 3 BYD Seal (16) 3 BYD Seal (78)
4 MG ZS (1648) 4 Volkswagen ID.4 | Volvo EX30 (15) 4 MG4 (77)
5 Tesla Model 3 (971) 5 Ford Mustang Mach-E (12) 5 Volkswagen ID.4 (49)
6 Kia EV6 (955) 6 MG4 | Polestar 2 (11) 6 Ford Mustang Mach-E | BYD Atto 3 (48)
7 Kia Niro (660) 7 BYD Atto 3 | Omoda E5 (10) 7 Toyota bZ4X (39)
8 Hyundai Kona (597) 8 BMW X1 | Nissan ARIYA (7) 8 BMW i (37)
9 Hyundai Ioniq (558) 9 Hyundai Kona (8) 9 BMW X1 (35)
10 Polestar 2 (541) 10 KIA EV9/EV6/EV9 | Toyota BZ4X (6) 10 Audi Q4 E-Tron | BMW 4 (33)

→Related article: Best Hybrid Cars in New Zealand


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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 April 2024 Top Selling Brands Year to Date 2024
1 Toyota 21,913 (20%) 1 Toyota 1664 (27%) 1 Toyota 6002 (22%)
2 Mitsubishi 10,284  (9%) 2 Kia 595 (10%) 2 Mitsubishi 3073 (11%)
3 Kia 10,065 (9%) 3 Mitsubishi 542 (9%) 3 Kia 2813 (10%)
4 Hyundai 7092 (6%) 4 Suzuki 489 (8%) 4 Suzuki 1860 (7%)
5 Suzuki 6817 (6%) 5 Ford 321 (5%) 5 Ford 1415 (5%)
6 MG 6105 (6%) 6 GWM 248 (4%) 6 Honda 1145 (4%)
7 Ford 5446 (5%) 7 Hyundai 219 (4%) 7 Nissan 1069 (4%)
8 Tesla 4907 (4%) 8 Nissan 214 (3%) 8 Mazda 1059 (4%)
9 Mazda 3829 (3%) 9 MG 208 (3%) 9 Hyundai 1036 (4%)
10 BYD 3715 (3%) 10 Mazda 182 (3%) 10 GWM  1026 (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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