The Ford Ranger ute was the top-selling vehicle for 2015 because it can be used for work and play, the Motor Industry Association says.
A record 134,000 vehicles were registered last year, and a third of all cars sold were SUVs.
Motor Industry Association chief executive David Crawford said most people who bought utes were still farmers and tradespeople.
However, he said the traditional work ute had become more of a passenger vehicle.
"The utes have maintained their toughness and their purpose - which is really workhorse. But they've become so much more car-like."
Mr Crawford said that was because many people said they felt safer in SUVs and had better visibility.
While the Ford Ranger was the top-selling vehcile, Toyota was the most popular vehicle make, with 20 percent market share, followed by Holden with 10 percent.