Updated 30.11.2022

Best SUV in South Africa: Top Selling SUVs

According to the data from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers in South Africa (Naamsa), a substantial number of SUVs are being purchased in South Africa every month. Naamsa reported that 21 out of 50 top-selling cars were SUVs or crossovers. SUVs, which were once considered to be vehicles for individuals who worked from their vehicles, or who needed alternative transportation for large families, have since become the most prevalent inventory items for many manufacturers.

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SUV, an acronym for Sport Utility Vehicle, is a loose term that is used to cover a wide range of vehicles featuring four-wheel drive that can be driven off-road and have the feel of lighter trucks. While, traditionally, the term SUV applied to larger vehicles like Chevrolet, Suburban, Range Rover, and Jeep-like SUVs, it can also be applied to smaller vehicles that do not have four-wheel drive and have limited capability of going off-road such as the Honda CRV as well as the crossover SUVs. The term “Sport Utility” in SUVs also means that the vehicle is capable of getting things done. This is because it has a quality design for the outdoors, such as scaling different terrains in South Africa.

SUVs integrate all the features of a road passenger vehicle with the road presence and size of a 4×4 vehicle. A 4×4 is a vehicle that is built explicitly for off-road usage, whereas Sport Utility Vehicles are designed majorly for road usage. As a result of its large boot space as well as its high ride profile, it continues to grow in popularity, especially for families.

SUVs are Categorized by: 

  • Large body featuring high roof space 
  • Typically available with up to seven seats due to its spacious boot 
  • Raised road presence ideal for tough terrain 
  • Fitted with larger, more rugged tires for off-roading 
  • Optional four-wheel drive models 
  • Reinforced, toughened body panels 

South Africa’s Best-Selling SUVs 

Due to the numerous advantages that come with Sport Utility Vehicles, South Africa buyers continue to flock to SUVs and Crossover markets. According to recent reports, July 2022 sales increased by up to 15.8%, which translates to about 43,130 units, compared with July 2020.

Among the best-selling SUVs in South Africa is the Toyota Urban Cruiser. It was launched in South Africa in 2021 when it made up to 1,827 sales in a month. It was considered South Africa’s most popular SUV after bumping the VW Polo Vivo into the fourth position. The Toyota Urban Cruiser made four times as many sales as its twin the Suzuki Vitara Brezza. Even so, Suzuki had an impressive month by being the third top-selling brand overall behind Volkswagen and Toyota. That made it the first time the Japanese Marque achieved this feat.

Another car that has shaken up the SUV best-selling charts is the Renault Kiger budget crossover. Then there is the Haval H6, South Africa’s best-selling SUV in October 2022 after claiming the spot by selling nearly 1,000 more units during the 31 days. The Haval H6, which had a new hybrid model incorporated into its range recently, was also the brand’s overall top-selling model, bumping out its more affordable crossover counterpart, the Jolion.

Toyota’s tried and tested model, Fortuner, has also not been left behind with up to 847 models shipped out to South Africa’s customers in the month of October 2022. The popular manufacturer features prominently in the top ten best-selling SUVs, with additional entries from Prado, which sold a whopping 200 units with a starting price of over R 1 million, and RAV4, which is the brand’s only Sport Utility Vehicle with a hybrid powertrain currently, which sold over 100 models.

Another hit is the new Kia Sportage. Launched in September 2022, the Kia Sportage is already selling as many as 190 units a month. Kia’s more upmarket model, the Sorento, also sits proudly on the top 15 best-selling SUVs list for October 2022.

Other frequently purchased SUV models in South Africa include the Mazda CX-5, the Hyundai Tucson, the Isuzu Mu-X, and the Land Rover Defender.

Best Selling SUVs 

With the steadily rising popularity of SUVs in South Africa, car brands have launched numerous models in different sizes and styles to suit almost any budget in South Africa. In this article, we highlight the top 20 best-selling SUVs in South Africa for October 2022.

SUV brands that did not reveal individual model sales, such as the Mercedes Benz, BMW, and Porsche, are not included in the list.

Haval H6 – 956 units 

Starting price – R479,500 

Toyota Fortuner – 847 units

Starting price – R623,200 

VW Tiguan – 203 units 

Starting price – R580,300 

Toyota Land Cruiser Prado – 200 units 

Starting price – R1,058,500 

Kia Sportage – 190 units 

Starting price – R539,995 

Mazda CX-5 – 168 units 

Starting price – R508,000 

Land Rover Defender – 138 units 

Starting price – R1,311,500 

Toyota RAV4 -100 units 

Starting price – R637,300 

Isuzu MU-X – 62 units 

Starting price – R725,500

Hyundai Tucson – 43 units 

Starting price – R539,900 

Mahindra Scorpio – 39 units 

Starting price – R389,999 

Kia Sorento 

Starting price – R813,995 

Range Rover Evoque – 33 units 

Starting price – R1,111,200 

VW Touareg – 33 units 

Starting price – R1,312,100 

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport – 32 units 

Starting price – R704,990

Suzuki Vitara Brezza 

Starting price – R248,900 

Haval Jolion 

Starting price – R309,900 

Toyota Urban Cruiser 

Starting price – R264,300 

Nissan Magnite 

Starting price – R277, 900 

Suzuki Jimny 

Starting price – R318,900

SUVs Pros 

A Sport Utility Vehicle combines the hauling and storage of a pickup truck with the comforts of a station wagon. This combination features a large interior space and up to three rows of seating. An SUV will give you flexibility in transporting cargo as well as people. With the large interior space, you can pick up groceries, haul equipment for activities and sports, carry luggage for road trips, and still have ample space for a large group of people of up to seven.

SUVs were originally built and designed to allow a vehicle to drive over rugged terrains without scraping your vehicle’s underside. This design accords them a high center of gravity and seat positions.

SUVs also come with robust engines and powerful towing capabilities. SUVs are often divided into two main types: The first type is for going off-road or hauling heavy loads such as Toyota 4Runner, while the second is known for its secure handling and sleek appearance.

SUVs also provide manual and automatic transmissions. No matter your proffered car configuration, there is an SUV model that suits your preferences and needs.

SUVs come with the latest safety features, making them affordable to insure in South Africa.

SUV Cons 

If you are considering an SUV for your next ride, it is critical to consider its cons. SUV bulk and size make them tough to maneuver, more so when finding a parking space. Not only that, but they are also expensive and are often criticized for their negative environmental impact. This is because they are less fuel-efficient compared to smaller vehicles of the same price range.

Sizes of SUVs 

When contemplating an SUV as your next ride, it is important to consider its size. There are three sizes of sport utility vehicles: Full-size, mid-size, and small 

Full-size SUVs 

Full-size SUVs are the largest, even though some models feature an extended-length body to allow for extra space for cargo and passengers. Full-size SUVs like the 2019 GMC Yukon and the 2020 Cadillac Escalade are either marketed for their off-road capabilities or as luxury vehicles.

Mid-Size SUVs 

While some of the mid-size SUVs are crossovers as they share similar features with passenger cars, others are based on compact and mid-size pickup trucks. Some of the most popular mid-size SUVs choices are the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. This is mainly due to their all-wheel drive, excellent storage space, and quiet interior.

Small SUVs 

The small SUV models, such as the Hyundai Tucson and the Nissan Rogue, are easier to maneuver and park. Some mini-SUVs are also compact crossovers. SUV like the Mazda CX-5 is more of a sporty model with responsive steering and handling.

Are SUVs Safer Than Cars?

In crash testing where vehicles are to provide impressionable results in maintaining passenger safety in order to win the award. SUVs tend to perform way better in crash testing compared to smaller cars due to the reinforced design of their body panels and the additional room inside the vehicle, reducing the impact on the passengers and the driver.

SUVs also allow the driver to have a better view of the traffic due to their raised driving position, making you feel safer and more confident behind your wheel. Today’s advanced safety technology also enables SUVs to provide optimal safety, including driver-assistance and crash-avoidance technology besides the usual safety equipment, such as electronic stability control and airbags.

The spacious cabin and high road position featured in SUVs make them practical for any individual requiring more space in a vehicle for a large family, luggage, or a comfortable ride for commuting.


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Job is a seasoned writer with a good understanding of the emerging markets, Africa to be specific.