These are Mzanzi’s 10 most loved hatchbacks

20 January 2021 - 14:48 By Motoring Reporter
According to AutoTrader the Volkswagen Polo was the country's most searched for hatchback in 2020.
According to AutoTrader the Volkswagen Polo was the country's most searched for hatchback in 2020.
Image: Supplied

Hatchbacks are SA’s most sought-after body type, but which used hatch is most loved in this country? An analysis of the 2020 AutoTrader search data reveals all.

The hatch that South Africans most want is the Volkswagen Polo. This can be ascertained by an analysis of AutoTrader search data for the 2020 calendar year. AutoTrader is the largest digital automotive marketplace in SA. As such, it provides unparalleled insight into car-buying patterns in the country.

The hatchback segment is by far the most active within the used car market in SA. According to AutoTrader’s latest annual Car Industry Report, which covers the period July 2019 to June 2020, hatches accounted for 31% of all used cars sold — making it the most sold body type. (The second and third most sold body types went to sport utility vehicles — commonly known as SUVs — and sedans, which contributed 27% and 17% of the total cars sold respectively.)

The same report reveals that the Polo is also the most sold used hatchback, followed by the Volkswagen Polo Vivo and Ford Fiesta in second and third positions respectively.

Somewhat surprisingly, there are two glaring differences between that sales data and 2020s search data.

Top 10 most searched for hatches in 2020.
Top 10 most searched for hatches in 2020.
Image: Supplied

“The Ford Fiesta doesn’t rank in the top three when it comes to search data; it slips down to seventh position. And the Volkswagen Golf, which is not in the top three when it comes to sales, sneaks in second when it comes to search data,” points out George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO. Practically, this means that — while consumers are searching for a Golf — they could end up buying a Polo or Fiesta as they are generally more affordable

The two other features of the 2020 search data worth noting are the inclusion of the Kia Rio in fifth spot and the emergence of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class in sixth. In 2019, the Rio only clocked in ninth while the A-Class didn’t make an appearance on the list of the top 10 most searched for hatches whatsoever.

Originally launched on local shores in 2017, the Rio range was refreshed and revised towards the end of 2020, which would have piqued interest in the vehicle. The A-Class, on the other hand, got a shot in the arm when it was named the 2019 AutoTrader South African Car of the Year. The A-Class established the compact car segment for Mercedes-Benz in 1997 and, since then, more than six million of these compact car models have been delivered worldwide.

“With 2021 looking to be another tough economic year, I anticipate that hatchbacks are likely to continue to be one of the more popular body types, because of their general affordability,” concludes Mienie.


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