Toyota Motor's Aqua hybrid was the top-selling car in Japan in October, selling 24,192 units to top the rankings for the first time since its debut in December last year, industry bodies said Tuesday.

The small hybrid car has thus replaced Toyota's Prius hybrid, which had remained the best seller for 16 months in a row through September.

The ranking data were compiled by the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Mini Vehicles Association.

In October, the Prius retreated to third place with its sales totaling 18,116 units, down 38.9 percent from a year earlier.

Hybrid cars remained popular, but the Aqua, which is smaller than the Prius with a lower price tag, attracted more interest following the end of the Japanese government's subsidy program for purchases of environmentally friendly cars in September.

Coming in second in the October rankings was Honda Motor Co.'s N BOX minivehicle, which sold 18,203 units.

Newly launched models sold well, with Nissan Motor Co.'s fully remodeled Note compact car coming seventh.

Six of the top 10 sellers were minivehicles.