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Making in-roads: the rise of the Small SUV

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Small SUV Considerers (next 4 years), Aug 10-Jul 11 n=193, Aug 13-Jul 14 n=436

As we reported at the start of the year, sales of SUVs in Australia are on the rise – a trend that shows no sign of abating. Since 2011, the proportion of Australia’s new car intenders considering or planning to purchase an SUV for their next vehicle has grown by more than 40%. Small SUVs have experienced an especially vertiginous surge in popularity, with 180,000 potential car buyers now having one on their shopping list – up from 71,000 in 2011.

In terms of what kind of vehicles these Small SUV considerers currently drive, 25.8% (approximately 50,000 people) will be potentially stepping out of a Small Car, an increase of around 33,000 since 2011. The proportion of motorists already behind the wheel of a Small SUV or Light/City car who are considering a small SUV for their next vehicle is also on the rise.

What vehicles are Small SUV Considerers currently driving? 2011 vs. 2014


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Small SUV Considerers (next 4 years), Aug 10-Jul 11 n=193, Aug 13-Jul 14 n=436

Jordan Pakes, Industry Director — Automotive, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Over the last few years, the Small SUV segment has been the fastest growing segment in terms of new vehicle sales; and with purchase consideration continuing to improve, this trend looks likely to continue.

“When it comes to the types of vehicles these potential Small SUV buyers are currently driving, 25.8% are behind the wheel of a Small Car, an increase of almost 6% points since 2011.

“With a number of Small SUVs on the market sharing platforms with their Small/Light car siblings, it appears that the allure of these generally ‘newer’, high-riding vehicles could be swaying some traditional Small/City Car buyers to consider an SUV instead.

“Among the models preferred by potential small SUV buyers, are the Hyundai ix35, Nissan Dualis (renamed the Qashqai in July) and Volkswagen Tiguan – with the Hyundai ix35 the big mover since 2011.

“With a number of new Small SUVs set to launch in early 2015, including the highly anticipated Mazda CX-3 and Honda HR-V, it looks likely that the popularity of this category will continue to rise over the next few years.”

For comments or more information about Roy Morgan Research’s automotive data please contact:

Jordan Pakes, Industry Director — Automotive
Office: +61 (3) 9629 5302
Mobile: 0400 096 969

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About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate



25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%