Top 10 Most Popular Car Brands In South Africa

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  • Post last modified:October 1, 2022
  • Reading time:8 mins read

If you have ever wondered what the top 10 most popular car brands in South Africa this 2022 are, then you have come to the right place as in this article, we will enlighten you on the leading car companies that many South Africans love to patronise in the country today.

Top 10 Most Popular Car Brands In South Africa

The 21st century has seen the advent of modern, sophisticated cars which were before now, only a figment of the imagination. Today, many top international car companies have taken the South African market by storm, rolling out different models of the same vehicle brand year after year to the delight of their customers.

Many of these car makers have a long and rich history in the vehicle manufacturing/production industry, with their longevity and consistency playing a vital role in endearing them to their customers here in South Africa. As we proceed, we shall be looking at the best and trusted leading car brands in the country currently, kindly read along.


Below are the 10 best and most popular car brands in South Africa 2022:


Toyota is arguably the most popular and most patronised car brand in South Africa presently. Almost everywhere you go, you will see a Toyota car, be it a Corolla, a Camry, a Highlander jeep, Land Cruiser jeep, Sienna SUV, etc, this car brand is really very popular.

The company was founded in 1937 by Kiichiro Toyoda in Japan, and the Toyota car brand was first introduced into the South African market in 1965. By the year 1976, the number of Toyota distributors had grown to five and ten years later, Toyota Motor Corporation, Japan (TMC) appointed two additional distributors because of poor performance by some of the appointed distributors.

During this period, South Africa was passing through a phase of economic transformation that led the government of the day to adopt an economic Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) in order to stabilize the system. This led to major changes in the South African business environment of which the automobile industry was affected.

In 1995, four distributors; which included Elizade South Africa Limited were the only surviving distributors for Toyota Motor Corporation, Japan. However, for ease of business processes and efficiency, Toyota Motor Corporation, Japan, decided to consolidate its operations by appointing Toyota (Nigeria) Limited as its sole distributor in South Africa.

This consequently paved the way in 1996 for Toyota (Nigeria) Limited (TNL) to commence operations as the exclusive distributor of Toyota Motor Corporation in South Africa. In its early days in South Africa, the Toyota brand had to strive for acceptance, particularly in the face of stiff competition from the established brands at the time.

For over two decades now, the company has remained the exclusive franchise owner of the Toyota brand in South Africa and has consistently sustained the top spot for the brand in the South African automobile industry. Some of their car brands include the following: Avensis, Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Corona, Highlander, Yaris, Rav4, Rush, Fortuner, Prado, Previa, Land Cruiser, Hiace, Coaster, to mention but a few.


Honda is another Japanese car brand that is loved by many South Africans, especially those in the northern part of the country. The company was founded in 1946 by Soichiro Honda and Takeo Fujisawa, and ever since its incorporation in 1948, it has gone on to become a global car brand with South Africa serving as one of its major markets in Africa.

Honda Manufacturing (Nig.) Limited (HMN), a fully fledged South African company, which is a subsidiary and an important member of the global Honda brand, was incorporated in 1979 with its registered office at KM 6, Ota-Idiroko Road, Ota, Ogun State. Some of the best and most popular Honda car brand models in South Africa include the following: Accord, Pilot, Civic, City, Cross Tour, Element, etc.


Mercedes Benz is a German car brand that is very popular in South Africa today. It is one of the best car brands in the country due to its very classy design and irrespective of the fact that it is quite expensive, many people who can afford the cars from this particular car making brand really go for it.

Mercedes Benz was founded by the German inventor Karl Benz in 1886 and has gone on to become a global market leader in the automobile industry from humble beginnings. The company has undergone some series of transformation over the years to what it currently is and their products are some of the choicest possessions anyone could wish for in a car. Some of the vehicles that make up this car brand include cars in different classes ranging from A-V. The Mercedes G-Wagon is one of the most popular cars in South Africa presently.


Lexus is the luxury vehicle division of the Japanese automaker Toyota. It was established by Eiji Toyoda in 1989 to Rival Honda’s Acura and Nissan’s Infiniti range of luxury cars. The Lexus brand is marketed in more than 70 countries and territories worldwide, including South Africa, and it is Japan’s largest-selling make of premium cars. Ever since it was first introduced into the South African market to date, many South Africans simply cannot have enough of the Lexus car brand.


The Land Rover is a British car brand that many South Africans have come to love. This car maker has been in the country for over many years now and it is particularly preferred to many other motor brands because its vehicles have four-wheel drive, off-road capabilities and they are mostly jeeps.

There are many impressively built Land Rover cars, chief of which is the Range Rover series which many South Africans have a particular love for. Some of the car brands manufactured by this automobile maker include the following: Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar, Range Rover Evoque, Range Rover Autobiography, Land Rover Discovery, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Land Rover Defender.


BMW is the acronym for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which when translated to English means Bavarian Motor Works. It is a German car brand developed in Bavaria with a long line of history going all the way back to 1913.

The BMW car brand is loved by many South Africans due to its durability and capability. It is a car brand with the right balance and speed made for South African roads. Although BMW cars are expensive, that doesn’t put off many South Africans who desire quality cars in their fleet.


Volkswagen (VG) is a German car maker that was founded in 1937 by the German Labour Front. It is popular for the iconic Beetle. The company is headquartered in Wolfsburg. This car brand is one of the most popular in South Africa today because of its durability. Since the Beetle was first seen on South African roads, Volkswagen has evolved to produce other more sophisticated cars over the years, some of which include: Passat, Jetta, Touareg, etc.


Hyundai Motors South Africa has gained the momentum and trajectory needed to attain status as a world-class automotive brand. Their automobiles are custom designed to meet local tastes of South Africans who desire value for money. It is a subsidiary of Hyandai Motors, a multinational conglomerate in South Korea.

This vehicle brand is the largest car maker in South Korea headquartered in Seoul and it was established in 1967. Hyundai operates the world’s largest integrated automobile manufacturing facility in Ulsan, South Korea and its vehicles are sold in 193 countries in the world, through some 5000 dealership and showrooms.

Their products are very stylish and the company is known for keeping up with the latest technological trends. South Africans love Hyundai cars and you can hardly go a day without seeing this car brand on the road.


Kia is South Korea’s second largest car maker after Hyundai. Their car brands are very popular here in South Africa. The name Kia stands for Korean International Automotive and it was established in 1944. A beautiful thing about this brand of cars is that they are environmentally friendly. Some of the popular cars manufactured by Kia include: Picanto, Sorrento, Rio, etc.


Nissan is a top automobile brand known for producing impressive Passenger, SUV, Sports, Commercial and 4X4 vehicles. It is a Japanese car maker founded in 1933 and ever since its introduction into the South African market, it has gained wide acceptance and is one of the most trusted car brands in the country today. Some popular Nissan cars in South Africa include: Sunny, Primera, Altima, Murano and Pathfinder.

Other worthy mentions include:

  • Peugeot
  • Innoson
  • Mitsubishi
  • Chevrolet, etc.

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