Toyota Hilux (Image: Wikimedia)

Can you see much when you’re driving? If the answer is yes, it probably means you recently bought a new car.

Almost everyone who bought a car back in the sedan era is these days trapped at bumper-bar level. Holden’s factory is gone, the Commodore is gone, as is the Holden brand — and Australians don’t care. We are now delighted by enormous American-style SUVs and trucks.

The Toyota Hilux has gone from being a work beast to the new Corolla. It was Australia’s top selling car in November. Again. In second place was the 1.85-metre, 2.2-tonne Ford Ranger, which is another 4×4 ute. Sorry, a “pick-up truck”, according to Ford marketing material.

Third place is the Toyota RAV 4. On release in 1994 it was cute, weighing only 1.2 tonnes. To maintain popularity is underwent relentless expansion, growing taller, longer and wider. It now weighs 1.6 tonnes (despite many design improvements that have made cars lighter).

In fourth place for sales in November is the Toyota LandCruiser, an enormous SUV.

Oh say can you see? If you bought a car before 2010 the answer is probably no. And the solution you will probably take is to join the arms race and buy a bigger car yourself.

Peter Fray

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