Longest Lasting Cars On The Road Today

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Longest Lasting Cars On The Road Today
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Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.  See our disclosures for more info.

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When it comes to buying a car, most consumers focus on things like brand, model, color, size, and possibly even eco-friendliness. Of course, here at ChooseFI, we think this tiny factor called price is kind of important too. Which is why we’re big advocates of buying used over new. But there’s another factor that can tend to be overlooked but is critical to getting the most bang for your buck on a car purchase: reliability.

The “great deal” you got on a car can feel like a swindle later on if the car seems to spend more time in the mechanic’s garage than yours.

But how can you know if you’re buying a dependable car? iSeeCars can help with that.

  • Each year they publish a list of the top 10 most reliable cars.
  • Each vehicle’s reliability rating is based on the percentage of its vehicles on the road today that have logged over 200,000 miles.

Would you like to find a car that has a realistic chance of making it to 200,000 miles and beyond? You should. Here’s why.

The Triple-Savings Potential Of A Reliable Used Car

One of the biggest reasons we’re huge fans of buying used is that it allows depreciation to work for you instead of against you.

Here are some frightening depreciation numbers, provided by CarFax:

  • Cars can lose up to 10% of their value within the first month of leaving the dealership lot.
  • Cars can lose up to 20% of their value in the first 12 months of ownership.
  • Over the next four years, cars will lose on average another 10% per year.

This means that after five years of ownership, you could have a car that’s worth only 40% of its original value. Of course, no car depreciates at the same rate. Some will fare better than this average and some worse. But no matter how you slice it, depreciation is a killer.

So how do you avoid this massive depreciation drop in the first few years of a car life? By buying used cars in the 3-5 year range that have already taken their biggest depreciation hit.

Related: Why You Should Never Buy A New Car

Maximizing Depreciation Savings While Minimizing Repair Costs

There is, of course, a downside to buying used cars–they will usually require more frequent repairs. That’s why buying a reliable used car is so important. When you do, you can essentially double your savings.

Think of it like this:

  • Buying a used car = Depreciation savings
  • Buying a reliable used car = Depreciation savings + repair savings

But there’s actually one final way that a reliable car can save you money. They simply don’t have to be replaced as often. If you’re only having to buy a new vehicle every 15 years instead of every 10, that’s a big deal. To really take into account how much money a reliable used car could save you, you have to take all three factors into account: depreciation savings + repair savings + car replacement savings.

Reliable Cars Depreciate Too

And here’s the best part (for used car buyers, at least)–even the most reliable cars suffer depreciation loss in their first few years of ownership. That means you can still get great deals on these cars when you buy them in the 3-5 year range.

For instance, take the Ford Taurus, which is the 4th most reliable car on the iSeeCars list (excluding SUVs and trucks). Kelley Blue Book fair purchase prices show the Ford Taurus at various ages:

  • Brand new: $27,800
  • 2017 – $15,890 (typical mileage = 29,719)
  • 2015 -$13,959 (typical mileage = 50,845)
  • 2012 – $9,541 (typical mileage = 77,983)

You may be thinking, “But wait, a 2012 car is seven years old, not five.” And you’re right. But when you’re buying one of the most reliable cars on the market, that still may not be a bad choice.

Think of it this way–by buying one of the vehicles listed below, you could find a $10,000 used car that could feasibly still have over 100,000 miles of life left in it. That’s insane!

Now that we’ve discussed why car reliability matters so much, let’s take a look at the top 10 lists from iSeeCars.

Top 10 Most Reliable Vehicles (Overall)

You’ll notice that the top 10 overall list is very SUV-heavy. Of the 10 vehicles most likely to last 200,000 miles, 7 out of the 10 are SUVs.

If SUVs aren’t your thing or if you need something bigger for your family, we’ll break down the top 10 of other vehicle types later.

  • The #1 vehicle (Toyota Sequoia) has 6.6% of its vehicles over 200,000 miles
  • The #10 vehicle (Honda Odyssey) has 2.4% of its vehicles over 200,000 miles

The national average is 1.2%. This means that all of the vehicles on this list are at least twice as likely to reach 200,000 miles as the average vehicle.

Taking the list for the longest lasting vehicles and then doing a car search in Kelley Blue Book gave us data for two Tables. One based on a 2016 car, basically three years old. And the other table representing the cars by price, just under $10,000.

After our basic parameters of year and price, we kept the requirements as “used, base or basic model, and in good condition.” Changes in those factors will cause some variability in price and availability when doing your own car search. Of course, location matters too. These cars happen to be within 500 miles of Phoenix AZ. But even if you can’t find these exact cars near you, I think the info is still useful as a guide.

Vehicle Search By Year, 2016

Make And ModelYearPriceAverage MileageAverage MPG% Over 200,000 Miles
Toyota Sequoia2016$40,40044,500156.60%
Ford Expedition2016$25,70045,800185.40%
Chevrolet Suburban2016$42,70036,058195.20%
Toyota 4Runner2016$29,90027,300194.20%
GMC Yukon XL2016$42,00039,848193.90%
Chevrolet Tahoe2016$42,00035,194193.80%
GMC Yukon2016$38,00032,700192.80%
Toyota Tacoma2016$21,50033,600212.60%
Toyota Avalon2016$23,00016,500242.40%
Honda Odyssey2016$21,00018,663222.40%

Vehicle Search By Price, Under $10,000

Make And ModelYearPriceAverage MileageAverage MPG
Toyota Sequoia2007$9,999144,17315
Ford Expedition2007$9,495116,57915
Chevrolet Suburban2007$9,900119,38816
Toyota 4Runner2004$8,446169,03218
GMC Yukon XL2007$9,997171,48716
Chevrolet Tahoe2007$9,991128,27016
GMC Yukon2007$9,499142,72916
Toyota Tacoma2012$9,499131,61621
Toyota Avalon2011$9,995134,30023
Honda Odyssey2009$9,988109,79718

Top 10 Most Reliable Cars (Excluding SUVs and Trucks)

SUVs may be the most reliable type of vehicle on the market, but they also tend to be gas guzzlers. Fuel-efficiency is another key factor in the True Cost of Car Ownership that it is wise to consider when buying a vehicle. Using FuelEconomy.gov to include average MPG in the table Car Search By Year gives a good comparison to another cost factor.

The tables below could help you find a smaller, more fuel-efficient car, that’s still dependable and long-lasting.

Car Search By Year, 2016

Make And ModelYearPriceAverage MileageAverage MPG% Over 200,000 Miles
Toyota Avalon2016$23,00016,500242.40%
Honda Odyssey2016$21,00018,663222.40%
Honda Accord2016$18,90026,100292.00%
Ford Taurus2016$16,70020,238191.80%
Toyota Sienna2016$18,00051,431211.70%
Toyota Camry2016$18,50017,300181.50%
Chevrolet Impala2016$13,30034,688251.50%
Toyota Prius2016$18,99028,322521.30%
Nissan Maxima2016$16,47030,672251.30%
Chrysler Pacifica2016$17,75033,436201.30%

Car Search By Price, Under $10,000

Make And ModelYearPriceAverage MileageAverage MPG
Toyota Avalon2011$9,995134,30023
Honda Odyssey2009$9,988109,79718
Honda Accord2009$9,99581,30524
Ford Taurus2014$9,99983,78921
Toyota Sienna2010$8,888127,81719
Toyota Camry2014$9,989115,37128
Chevrolet Impala2014$9,99865,55424
Toyota Prius2010$9,38175,51750
Nissan Maxima2010$9,999108,42422
Chrysler Pacifica2013$8,995113,61820

Some interesting notes while doing this research was that the Chrysler Pacifica replaced the Chrysler Town and Country at the end of 2016. Sometimes a search will turn up one or the other depending on the year you are searching for. Also, note that the Toyota Prius is almost double the MPG than the other cars. If long commutes are a part of your every day, it may be worth considering.

The Top 8 Most Reliable Trucks

When it comes to trucks, iSeeCars was only able to identify 8 that performed better than the average truck on the road.

But the ones that did make the cut can provide some serious value. The Toyota Tacoma (the #1 truck on the list) has 2.6% trucks over the 200,000-mile mark, which is more than twice the average vehicle.

Truck Search By Year, 2016

Make And ModelYearPriceAverage MileageAverage MPG% Over 200,000 Miles
Toyota Tacoma2016$21,50033,600212.60%
Honda Ridgeline2017$25,55528,318222.20%
Toyota Tundra2016$29,99033,400172.20%
Chevrolet Silverado2016$26,20040,700192.10%
Ford F-1502016$24,78042,980211.90%
GMC Sierra2016$26,45048,300191.80%
Nissan Titan2016$29,50020,166171.70%
Chevrolet Colorado2016$24,20042,900221.50%

Truck Search By Price, Under $10,000

Make and ModelYearPriceAverage MileageAverage MPG
Toyota Tacoma2012$9,499131,61621
Honda Ridgeline2006$9,87795,80017
Toyota Tundra2005$9,796173,33118
Chevrolet Silverado2012$9,800122,96217
Ford F-1502012$9,995115,31315
GMC Sierra2009$8,99571,99517
Nissan Titan2006$8,988123,75514
Chevrolet Colorado2009$9,995126,75520

Note that the Honda Ridgeline went out of production at the end of 2014, with a new model being released mid-2016 and marketed as a 2017 model.

Conclusion

Minimizing the cost of car ownership is one of the 10 Pillars of FI for a reason. It’s important and you need to take it seriously.

That’s why buying used is really smart.

But buying used AND reliable is down-right brilliant.

Have you ever owned a car that hit 200,000 miles on the odometer? If so, connect with us on social media and tell us which vehicle got you there!

Related Articles

Longest Lasting Cars On The Road Today

ChooseFI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. ChooseFI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
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17 thoughts on “Longest Lasting Cars On The Road Today”

  1. Still driving my 2005 Toyota Corolla (bought new); it has 230K miles on it. Hoping to squeeze another year or two out of it! (Granted–it looks like CRAP… but it runs and is still reliable!)

    Husband drove his 2000 Toyota Echo for 17 years until buying a 2-year old Kia in 2017.

  2. Great post, worth the read. My interest in Sequoias makes more sense now, those SUVs are so good!

    My list of personal vehicles from 2012 forward, and none of these have given any major problems:
    1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee: 320,000 miles when I sold it (260k when purchased), little problems here and there (4 radiators though).
    2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee: 235,000 miles when i sold it, minor problems here and there, including a radiator :).
    2004 Chevy Tahoe: 175,000 miles when sold, typical upkeep/repairs, plus exhaust manifolds and $400 fuel pump.
    2000 Toyota Sienna: 250,000 miles when I sold it (212k when purchased for $1,000), AMAZING vehicle, no real problems
    2002 Toyota Tundra: 284,000 miles, still driving it, purchased with 250k last year. AMAZING truck, reliable, no issues, planning to run it up to 400k or until it falls apart, if that ever happens. Same drivetrain/engine as the Sequoia.
    2010 Toyota Camry: 209,000 miles, still driving it, no problems to speak of. Again, running it till it dies or becomes economically irresponsible to repair it.

    Had several other Jeeps with 180-200k miles, good vehicles, but require some mechanic skills to keep them running well. Relatively easy to work on though.

  3. We sold our 1998 Toyota Camry at 320K miles and it was still going strong and getting 30 mpg. We’ve had two Toyota 4Runners(1992 and 2006) that both broke 220K miles. The 2006 is still going strong and hopefully will continue to do so for many years to come. And the ongoing maintenance costs have been very modest. Glad to see them on the list!!!

  4. We are in the market for a used car, so this is very timely! We own a 2007 Honda Odyssey that is almost at 200,000 miles. Since we’ve had good luck with that, we’ve been thinking about a Honda CRV for our next vehicle. However, I don’t see the CRV on your list. Just curious if you have any insight to that specific vehicle’s reliability?

    • Hi Sarah,

      Congrats on almost hitting 200,000 miles with your Honda Odyssey. I, unfortunately, don’t have any personal experience or insight on the CRV. I would recommend searching for “Honda CRV reliability” and see what pops up. Consumer Reports, JD Power, and iSeeCars specifically are all reliable sources. Good luck!

  5. My 2004 Toyota Matrix (Corolla frame with hatchback), bought at 1yo with 54k miles, is now within spitting distance of 270k, & I intend to keep it as my workhorse commuter past 300k!

  6. I bought a 2007 Honda Civic with 44K miles and at 263,000 miles took to shop because it was hot & discovered a hole in the engine block. Then a week later I hit a deer & insurance totaled my 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid (bought with 26K miles). I had 205,000 miles on highlander hybrid. Both were excellent vehicles & low maintenance. Now I own another Honda Civic & a Toyota 4-runner.

  7. Interesting take on longer lasting transportation contributing towards FIRE.
    Can the case be made that longer lasting actually contributes to reducing the long run cost of transportation though?
    Fuel, insurance, maintenance are all factors to also consider.
    Is an SUV or Minivan necessary for most drivers?
    Likely, a sedan with a removable cargo box could work just as well, with less initial and ongoing cost.
    Thanks for the research.

  8. I have a 2005 Toyota Rav-4 that we bought used, and only had 19,000 miles on it. Fast forward 11 years later and it has over 250k miles on it and is still going!

  9. We have a 2001 Ford F-150 with 345k miles on it and still running fine. Also have a 2005 Hyundai Tucson that is at 190k miles and still going strong. Plan to run them both for years to come.

  10. Toyota Matrix here! 2004 model. I purchased in 2008 with 70k miles for $10k. Now I’m at 185,000 miles still chugging along.

    Toyota Tacoma. 2006 model, purchased 2 years ago with only 66k miles and super clean for $16,000 (less than half the cost of comparable trim. I’m at 108k miles today. This thing kicks ass and takes us on many adventures camping and exploring.

    Love my Toyotas

  11. My 98 Toyota Corolla had about 210K when I sold it for about $800. My wife’s family has a few Volvos that are also over 200K. We now have a used Prius and Accord, both around 170K and fully expect them to last well over 200K. If you’re not into self maintenance, it pays to have find a trustworthy local shop that charges reasonable prices, and take it in for scheduled maintenance. Many people start neglecting this after 100K miles, but manufacturers publish a maintenance schedule all the way up to 200K for most cars. Plus, the more popular your car is, the easier (re: cheaper) it is to find parts!

    I’ve found that buying well built cars pays off especially when you’re buying used cars with a checkered past. I’ve owned two late-90s Corollas from people who definitely didn’t take care of them properly, but they were still reliable cars partly because they were made to be reliable.

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