THERE were just 196 sales separating the Toyota Hilux and the Ford Ranger in the overall 2016 sales figures.

The relatively small difference in volume is the closest call the Hilux has had to being overtaken as the number-one favourite Australian 4WD for years. In fact, even at the end of November 2016, the Ranger was ahead of the venerable Hilux by a mere 158 sales.

The Hilux’s hefty 3225 units sold in December (354 sales ahead of the Ranger) gave it the boost to pull ahead for the year.

The Ranger increased volume by 32.8 per cent year on year, while the Hilux is up 19.8 per cent.

A solid 36.8 per cent growth for the month saw the Isuzu D-Max land in fourth position in December.