2021 was a challenging year for the auto industry. Amid the pandemic and rising fuel prices, car buyers became more discerning about which cars deserved their attention and hard-earned money. Many more people are making careful, if not practical choices, and that has reflected in the cars they chose to buy last year.
That said, with data collated in the latest edition of our Industry Insights, let’s take a look at the top-selling vehicles in the Philippines per body type in 2021.
Sedans and hatchbacks
Let's begin with the smallest of the bunch. Amid steady demand for bigger cars in the country, sedans and hatchbacks have mostly kept their popularity through great design, economical engines, and a pure driving experience.
For subcompact cars, the enduring Toyota Vios tops the list. It doesn't come as a surprise, as the Vios has been a bestseller for years due to its affordable price point and reliable Japanese engineering.
Another Toyota is on the list, this time a hatchback. The Wigo is also relatively inexpensive, has a quirky design, and features a frugal three-cylinder mill. The next beloved subcompact sedan is the Mitsubishi Mirage G4. The model received a facelift in 2021, gaining an attractive update inside and out.
The compact cars subcategory has the Honda Civic at the top. As one of Honda's flagship models, the Civic is always a safe bet to get the latest tech and features. Continuing the Japanese trend is the Mazda 3, a sleek sedan that oozes craftsmanship and attention to detail.
The Toyota Corolla Altis finishes off the list with its masterful design and minimalist interior. Notably, Toyota now only sells the Hybrid version of the Altis. Could that affect this year's sales? We'll find out soon enough.
Multi-purpose vehicles have become popular in the Philippines due to their inherent value for money. They're inexpensive for the most part and can augment businesses or serve as a people-hauler.
The top-selling MPVs on AutoDeal in 2021 start with the Mitsubishi Xpander. Introduced locally four years ago, the Xpander has steadily crept into the hearts of many Filipino fans. The Suzuki Ertiga is another hot nameplate, having earned a reputation as a dependable seven-seater.
Last on the list is the Toyota Rush. The Daihatsu-based MPV packs SUV-like styling and attractive safety features. However, having received no significant updates since its local launch, this MPV is getting a bit long in the tooth. Could something like the recently released all-new Toyota Avanza leapfrog the Rush in 2022?
Crossovers have received much attention from buyers for the past couple of years. With that said, some models sell better than others for many different reasons. The crossover segment is competitive, and these models stand out above the pack.
For subcompact crossovers, the Kia Stonic surprised in 2021 by attracting buyers through its modern design, attractive price tag, and generous features. The Ford EcoSport follows as one of the Blue Oval's most recognizable nameplates today. The EcoSport has been due for an update, but even without one, it continues to be a go-to choice for subcompact crossover buyers.
The MG ZS rounds out the subcompact list with its British heritage and aggressive styling. The ZS T model also arrived last year packing a turbocharged motor. It gives fans another solid option to consider.
Let's move on to the compact crossovers. Unsurprisingly, the Ford Territory has been a popular pick among car buyers. Owners laud its fresh design, advanced tech features, and superior drivability. The next entry is a welcome surprise: the Chery Tiggo 7 Pro. The crossover's value proposition has turned out to be tough to beat, and it has translated into sales for Chery.
The Mazda CX-5 is another best-selling compact crossover. It has targeted buyers with more premium tastes, and it's working well for Mazda so far. The Japanese brand's warranty and after-sales services are also among the best you can find today.
SUVs, specifically of the mid-size variety, enjoy an elevated status in the local market. These vehicles satisfy a need for quiet capability and family-friendly sensibility.
With mid-size SUVs in 2021, the Mitsubishi Montero Sport reigns supreme. It's not hard to see why, as the Montero Sport offers performance and reliability in a good-looking package. Of course, the Toyota Fortuner stands close by. The Fortuner has, and perhaps always will be, among the top choices for a mid-size SUV. We also have the Nissan Terra here. Its 2021 update has generally been well received, and it's safe to say we'll be seeing more of this model on our roads.
The Ford Everest has notably dropped down, but that's understandable, as the all-new model is in the pipeline and could arrive towards the end of the year. Can Ford pull a surprise with the 2023 Everest?
Pickups are hardy machines that might be a little underrated in our market. In addition to being rugged off-roaders, many of them can double as reliable and stylish urban rides.
We're seeing more choices pop up in recent years, but the Nissan Navara is still a bestseller. Like the Terra it's based on, the Navara impresses with its spirited performance and solid features. Next up is the Ford Ranger, a well-engineered truck that has endured for years. The Ranger is due for a massive update this year, and the all-new model will likely turn heads at launch.
The Toyota Hilux also joins the top-selling pickups of 2021. Always a dependable truck, the Hilux has ingrained itself in our culture as an undying machine with plenty to offer owners for years and years.
Vans aren't as in demand in our market as they once were, but that hasn't stopped automakers from releasing capable models. The Toyota Hiace sits atop here, enjoying its stature as the go-to choice for a well-made van. The Nissan Urvan also sits high up, attracting buyers with the promise of a more premium and comfortable ride.
The sleeper pick in this category is the Foton Gratour. It undercuts the Hiace and Urvan in both size and price, giving consumers an affordable choice for a van. It's also highly customizable, coming with specific variants for different purposes. It's no wonder the Gratour is a popular choice for commercial needs.
Light commercial vehicles (LCV) are a mainstay on urban roads. These models are inexpensive, relatively simple to maintain, and help support growing businesses and established enterprises alike.
The Mitsubishi L300 is almost synonymous with the LCV segment, having been present in the country for decades now. You get what you see with the L300, and you can't underestimate its sheer value. Meanwhile, the Isuzu Traviz has made its way to the top by banking on Isuzu's solid reputation in performance and reliability. It's a solid choice and always worth looking at when shopping for light commercial trucks.
Lastly, the Suzuki Carry has carved a lucrative niche with its mini size, lightweight construction, and customizable form. Suzuki has more room for growth here, and it may not be long until its sales surge to new heights.