The small Mazda boosted its appeal in 2011 with the introduction of the Skyactiv-powered SP20 and a number of styling and feature tweaks.
With a quieter and more refined drive, along with improved fuel efficiency, the SP20 has proven a welcome addition for buyers - and a solid player for Mazda as it works on an all-new model.
- MORE: Strong new releases from Toyota in 2012, the Camry and Corolla both featured in TMR's 2012 Best Buys list.
Toyota's HiLux also remains a performer in fourth position for December, and despite new competition from the Ranger, BT-50 and Amarok, is still the best-selling pickup in the country. Nissan's Navara closed out the top five.
Toyota didn't snag the top spot for an individual model, but its overall sales made it the top brand in the country.
Watch for TMR's full 2012 sales wrap-up, with official figures due to be released tomorrow. Overall market growth of around 16 percent is expected, making for a new record of around 1.1 million sales.