- Some top-20 models are missing spec
- Delays vary from a few months to a year
- Check to see what the impact is on the car you're after
When the COVID-19 pandemic was really just starting to pick up speed around the world, many could not have predicted how far-reaching its impact would be on buying new cars.
Semiconductor chip shortages, shipping problems, sickness and isolation issues have affected manufacturers' ability to keep their production lines going – you name it, it's happened.
So with all that going on, how do you get your hands on a new car, and if you want one of Australia's top 20 best-selling vehicles, what do you need to know about the lengthy wait times and lost features occurring across many models?
Let's take a look.
NOTE: This information is correct as of February 25, 2023. This article will be regularly reviewed and amended as new details come to light.
Top 20 models
Toyota has had six cars consistently in the top 20 sold in Australia in the last 12 months; its popular HiLux ute, mid-size RAV4 SUV, Corolla small car, and the LandCruiser Prado and Kluger large SUVs.
According to Price My Car, the average wait time in January for a Toyota was 242 days – compared to 172 days in January 2022.
The quickest to get hold of is the Corolla at 202 days, followed by the Camry with an average 211-day wait time
The worst affected are the HiLux, Kluger and RAV4 and Corolla, with buyers required to wait, on average, 228, 232 and 352 days, respectively – or longer.
A spokesperson for the Japanese marque said the brand has been experiencing longer wait times than usual for new-vehicle deliveries across its range due to "global supply challenges".
For most models, there is an average wait time of six months or less. But four models do have longer leads: the LandCruiser 300 Series has an extended delay averaging nine months, and the RAV4 Hybrid has an average wait time of 12 months or longer.
Toyota Australia has suspended orders for the LandCruiser 70 due to ongoing supply constraints.
“We’ve paused that car. It’s part of the transparency for the customers. I wouldn’t see that car coming off [pause] for the next six months at least, and maybe beyond that”, said vice president of sales, marketing and franchise operations, Sean Hanley, in October 2022.
LandCruiser 70 Series orders have yet to resume.
“If we can improve [70 Series] production then certainly, but until we clear the current order bank, we can’t do that.”
Toyota said it had not de-specced any of its models for the Australian market and "has no plans to do so" to cut wait times down.
"Demand for new vehicles is at unprecedented levels. In Australia, to support the strong demand, Toyota Australia been working closely with our global production teams to secure as many vehicles for our market as possible," a spokesperson told Wheels.
"Due to the ever-evolving nature of this situation, Toyota dealers are best placed to continue to provide updates to our customers on delivery timeframes for individual orders."
The next-generation 2023 Ford Ranger has launched in Australia with strong demand, meaning newly-placed orders are likely to see an extended wait time
“We’ve worked with our team to do everything possible to get as many Rangers, Ranger Raptors and Everests as we can to customers as soon as we can,” said a spokesperson for Ford Australia.
According to Price My Car, the average wait time in January for a Ford was 186 days – compared to 94 days one year ago.
The quickest arrivals are four-cylinder examples of the Ranger and Everest.
In fact, Ford Australia claims it has unallocated supply of the four-cylinder Ranger and Everest – and less availability of the flagship six-cylinder models.
Due to strong customer demand for the 3.0-litre V6 engine, Ford Australia secured additional volume of the six-cylinder diesel Sport and Wildtrak, and more examples of the Wildtrak with the Premium Pack, in late 2022.
Ford has seen “very strong demand for the optional Premium Pack on the Next-Gen Ranger Wildtrak, which will take some time to work through. If customers choose to remove the Premium Pack from their order, they will be able to take delivery of their Ranger sooner.”
Single-cab, space-cab, and dual cab-chassis variants are now available, with supply initially focused on bi-turbo and V6 dual-cab pick-up variants.
"We apologise to any customers who are facing longer than anticipated wait times for their new vehicles," a Ford spokesperson said earlier this year.
"We are working hard to get as many vehicles to Australia as possible, and reiterate that as the supply situation continues to evolve, we encourage customers to reach out to their local dealer, who is best placed to advise on local availability and wait times."
Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi has three players making regular appearances in the top 20.
According to Price My Car, the average wait time in January for a Mitsubishi was 128 days – compared to 95 days one year ago.
The quickest arrival is the Eclipse Cross small SUV, with an average wait of just 26 days, followed by the Triton at 122 days.
Meanwhile, the worst-affected models in Mitsubishi’s lineup are the Outlander medium SUV and ASX small SUV, with a wait time of 137 days and 145 days, respectively.
According to the company's local arm, supply has improved for the Outlander, while the Eclipse Cross, Pajero Sport, Triton and ASX will improve in the first quarter of 2023.
Regarding the Outlander, specification has already been revised to reduce wait times, and the company says it will provide updates if further changes need to be made.
"The stock situation is constantly evolving and that information we provide is general in nature and not specific to individual orders, who may have a longer or shorter wait time depending on their chosen colour or accessory choices, for example," a spokesperson told us.
"We’d encourage individuals to communicate with their Mitsubishi dealer for their specific needs."
The average wait time for a Mazda, according to Price My Car, is now 73 days – compared to 71 days at the start of last year.
While this data is given on estimated wait times for the CX-3 and CX-5 in the table below, Mazda Australia said dealers are best placed to answer customer questions about delivery updates and all model lines are currently well-stocked.
Mazda's own information is at odds with the Price My Car figures, with the company telling us "stock levels have improved considerably, and are back to pre-COVID levels of availability across almost the entire Mazda range".
"BT-50, CX-3, CX-5, CX-8 and CX-9 models, in particular, are all available in our dealerships right now, and more arrivals are due in the first quarter of 2023," a spokesperson for the brand said.
A spokesperson for the brand reiterated its stance of encouraging customers to speak directly with a dealer to confirm more specific information based on their choice of model, variant and trim etc.
According to Price My Car, the average wait time in January for an Isuzu was 183 days – compared to 169 days in January 2022.
The quickest to get hold of is the D-Max ute, but even that's not a short wait at 175 days. To take delivery of the MU-X SUV, expect an average delay of 185 days.
"Wait time on the Isuzu D-Max and MU-X depends on vehicle specification, colour and accessories ordered," a spokesperson told Wheels.
"Some models are available and in stock currently, while there continue to be ongoing supply delays, especially on certain higher-grade models.
"The supply delays are mainly due to the unprecedented levels of demand and vehicle component supply delays caused by the global semiconductor shortage and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"IUA and all related parties continue to follow up this matter, and we remain committed to keeping dealers informed on their vehicle orders, so they can pass this information onto their customers as quickly as possible."
Though the Korean marque says it has a good and continuous supply of cars coming into the country, around 20,000 in a two-month period either arriving, in transit, in production or scheduled, it also has a large backlog of orders to fill.
According to Price My Car, the average wait time in January for a Hyundai was 124 days – compared to 108 days in January 2022.
The worst affected is the brand's European-sourced i30 N hot hatch, with new orders paused due to overwhelming demand. This also applies to the smaller i20 N hot hatch.
A spokesperson for Hyundai Australia said none of its models are being altered due to the chip shortage, but supply of some is better than others and availability will depend on the model and variant being sought (including trim or colour).
It added that the logistics team is "actively prioritising vehicle allocation to existing customer orders (ensuring we limit customer wait times as much as possible)".
For an indicative wait time for a newly-placed Hyundai order, click on the read-more link below:
According to MG, it is working amongst challenging market conditions when it comes to supply, particularly on the logistics side – but it has managed to land almost 4000 cars a month in Australia for the last year.
It has no plans to modify the specifications of any MG vehicles.
"We are working closely with our supply chain to resolve any bottlenecks and minimise the impact of any delays on customer orders wherever possible,” a spokesperson told us.
According to Price My Car, the average wait time in January for an MG was 54 days – compared to 56 days in January 2022.
The quickest arrival is the MG 3 with an average wait of 47 days.
Meanwhile, the worst affected in MG's non-electrified lineup is the ZST, with a wait time of 57 days.
A spokesperson for Kia Australia said the company is “in constant dialogue with head office to access additional stock to positively impact wait times”.
“Estimating wait times isn’t straight forward as the situation is so fluid and there are many variables to take into consideration such as model, specification, colour and production scheduling,” they added.
Due to the ongoing supply challenges, new orders for top-spec variants, including the Sportage and Cerato, are experiencing longer-than-expected delays
Kia Australia said there were no plans to remove any features from its range in response to the semi-conductor chip shortage.
According to Price My Car, the average wait time in January for a Kia was 151 days – compared to 181 days in January 2022.
Other popular vehicles
Tesla Model 3 and Model Y
For the thousands of Australians seeking to purchase an electric vehicle – often their first – a Tesla is the most popular option.
As such, the Model 3 sedan has stormed up the sales chart in recent months, with the newly-launched Model Y also proving popular in late 2022.
In January 2023, the Model 3 outsold popular SUVs, including the Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5 following a large shipment of vehicles in late 2022.
According to Tesla's online configurator, the current expected delivery time for a new Model 3 is between a few weeks and three months, with some unallocated stock available.
As for the Model Y, there's a slightly longer wait, with deliveries expected between April and June 2023.
Nissan Australia said it has stock of the Navara available across its dealer network, with more continuing to arrive.
A spokesperson said wait times depend on factors such as variant and location.
Like other brands, it encourages customers to contact dealers for more information.
A more accessible version of the Navara Warrior, based on the SL grade, has launched in Australia, with fewer components required compared to the range-topping Pro-4X Warrior.
According to Price My Car, the average wait time in January for a Nissan was 129 days – compared to 123 days in January 2022.
Though not always in the top hit list every month, the Subaru Forester mid-sized SUV remains popular.
According to Price My Car, the average wait time for a Forester is 86 days – compared to 79 days in January 2022.
Overall, the average wait time for a Subaru is currently 92 days.
Late last year, a spokesperson for Subaru told us: "Subaru Australia continues to work closely with Subaru Corporation to deliver vehicles to customers as soon as possible.
"Delivery timeframes for customer orders can vary for a variety of reasons (including model, colour and variant preferences).
"As always, customers are encouraged to speak with their local Subaru Retailer who are best placed to advise delivery timeframes for specific orders."
Top 20 models – sales
|Rank||Make||Jan-23||Change (vs. Jan-22)|
|1||Ford Ranger||4749||up 46.3 per cent|
|2||Toyota HiLux||4131||up 15 per cent|
|3||Tesla Model 3||2927||–|
|4||Mazda CX-3||2417||up 167.1 per cent|
|5||Mazda CX-5||2189||down 31.9 per cent|
|6||Toyota RAV4||1958||up 37.4 per cent|
|7||Isuzu D-Max||1843||down 2.7 per cent|
|8||MG ZS||1852||up 16 per cent|
|9||Mitsubishi Outlander||1674||up 23.8 per cent|
|10||Toyota LandCruiser range||1631||up 13 per cent|
|11||Hyundai Tucson||1615||up 108.4 per cent|
|12||Kia Sportage||1572||41.6 per cent|
|13||Hyundai i30||1565||down 4.7 per cent|
|14||Subaru Forester||1370||down 7.4 per cent|
|15||MG 3||1348||down 13.1 per cent|
|16||Mitsubishi Triton||1253||down 56.4 per cent|
|17||Ford Everest||1230||up 68.5 per cent|
|18||Toyota LandCruiser Prado||1182||down 53.9 per cent|
|19||Toyota Corolla||1116||down 22.6 per cent|
|20||Mitsubishi ASX||1096||up 7.2 per cent|
Top 20 models – wait times
|Model||Wait times, January 2023||Wait times, January 2022|
|Ford Ranger||175 days||69 days|
|Toyota HiLux||228 days||143 days|
|Tesla Model 3||N/A||N/A|
|Mazda CX-3||44 days||67 days|
|Mazda CX-5||58 days||63 days|
|Toyota RAV4||352 days||240 days|
|Isuzu D-Max||175 days||142 days|
|MG ZS||54 days||~50 days|
|Mitsubishi Outlander||137 days||79 days|
|Toyota LandCruiser range||285 days (LC300)||191 days (LC300)|
|Hyundai Tucson||136 days||125 days|
|Kia Sportage||158 days||159 days|
|Hyundai i30||101 days||93 days|
|Subaru Forester||79 days||86 days|
|MG 3||47 days||67 days|
|Mitsubishi Triton||122 days||91 days|
|Ford Everest||203 days||83 days|
|Toyota LandCruiser Prado||N/A||N/A|
|Toyota Corolla||202 days||121 days|
|Mitsubishi ASX||145 days||84 days|
|*data according to Price My Car|
Top 20 models – missing features
|Ford Ranger||Heated side mirrors; alarm system|
|Tesla Model 3||None|
|Mazda CX-5||Hands-free function for electric tailgate (GT SP, Akera)|
|Mitsubishi Outlander||ES – one-touch power operated window on driver's side; LS – power tailgate; Aspire – 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster|
|Toyota LandCruiser range||None|
|Subaru Forester||None; 2.5X Special Edition receives aftermarket touchscreen to reduce wait times|
|Mitsubishi Triton||Proprietary infotainment system – GLX and GLX+ feature an aftermarket 7-inch touchscreen (MY23)|
|Ford Everest||Heated side mirrors; alarm system|
|Toyota LandCruiser Prado||None|