Toyota Corolla tops best-selling car list - just!

In our last post, we looked at which car manufacturer came out top in the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' (FCAI) annual sales report.

Toyota proved to be the brand of choice for many new car buyers by some margin, followed by Australia's own Holden pulling into second place and Mazda taking third.

However, this only tells half a story. A fleet manager looking for new vehicles this year can delve a little deeper into what models have been Australia's best sellers over the past 12 months. After all, new cars will be one of the most expensive outgoings a manager is likely to approve, so all considerations will need to be taken into account.

Well, 1,113,224 believed it was a good time to buy a new car last year; here's a round-up of what many of them chose:

Toyota Corolla - Australia's best-selling car for the past few years remained so in 2014, with 43,735 vehicles rolling away from dealerships. Reliability has been a key to the Japanese brand's success, and this is epitomised in the Corolla model, while also proving a winner in terms of fuel consumption - a great consideration for many fleet managers. However, sales actually fell by 0.5 per cent over the past 12 months.

Mazda 3 - While Corolla sales dipped, the Mazda 3 found itself with a 2.9 per cent increase. This placed it within a hair's breadth of its closest competitor with an impressive 43,313 sales last year - a mere 423 units off pole position. Mazda completed what has been a successful year, also topping the J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey. Could it finally overtake the Corolla within the next 12 months?

Ford Ranger - Ford's famous ute was a beacon of success for the SUV market - which now makes up almost a third (32 per cent) of all new car sales in Australia. While many utes made the FCAI top 10 list, it was the Ranger that shone brightest, seeing a growth of 22.4 per cent in only 12 months, putting it in sixth place with 26,619 sales.

Toyota Camry - The model had a relatively bad year, falling by 11.3 per cent though still proving popular enough to put it into eighth position with 22,044 sales. The Camry continues to be a sturdy and reliable option for many, ideal for finding value in fleet maintenance. The success of the hybrid model may also see the brand rally for 2015.

Volkswagen Golf - The Golf is one of the most popular models in Europe, and is also the only inclusion from the continent to make it into the FCAI list, in 10th place. It's been a great year for the Golf in Australia, picking up two winner's medals for best car of the year in the recent judging by The National Roads and Motorists' Association. Aussies obviously agreed, buying 19,545 of the models - a rise of 9.7 per cent.

What cars have caught the eye for use in your fleet over the past year?