As you may have heard, these are not the best of times to go car shopping. An unprecedented convergence of factors, including pent-up consumer demand and a lack of supply due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage, have conspired to undermine car dealers’ inventories and send transaction prices through the roof. But many motorists can’t wait for the market to settle down to obtain a new car, truck, or SUV, and most are reportedly now paying in excess of a new vehicle’s sticker price, with the average model now going out the door for more than $46,000.
What’s more, car buyers are financing their rides for increasingly longer terms, with si72x- and seven-year financing becoming more widespread to help keep monthly payments affordable. Things aren’t much better in the used-vehicle market, either, with the average pre-owned model selling for over $28,000, which is more than 40 percent higher than it was before COVID-19 entered the picture.
Whether you’re shopping for a new or used model, it’s always prudent to choose one that can deliver many years of reliable use, but at these inflated prices and extended loan terms, it becomes imperative to choose a model that can be expected to go the distance. Fortunately, with the proper maintenance and timely repairs, today’s vehicles can be expected to run for 150,000, even 200,000 miles or more, though some tend to live longer and age more gracefully than others.
To that end, the automotive search engine iSeeCars.com looked at more than 14.9 million used-vehicle transactions that took place during 2021 to determine which mainstream models are most likely to reach and surpass 200,000 miles, and still have life left in them.
As it turns out, the longest-lasting cars on the road aren’t cars at all, with nine out of the top 15 being large truck-based SUVs; three are pickup trucks and another two are minivans, which leaves just two passenger cars on the most-reliable list. Eight out of the longest-lasting models come from Toyota, with the large (and soon to be discontinued in the U.S.) Land Cruiser SUV being the most likely to join the 200K-mile club.
“With new and used car prices at record highs, many consumers are likely keeping their vehicles on the road for an extended period of time or are looking to buy a reliable vehicle to get the most return on their investment,” says iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “Toyotas account for the majority of the top ten longest-lasting vehicles, which validates the brand’s reputation for building enduring and reliable vehicles.”
All of the models on iSeeCars.com’s 200K-plus list were found to have at least 3.0 percent of their original production still on the road and racking up maximum mileage (compared to the industry average of 1.2%). That includes the only two four-door cars on the list, the Toyota Avalon, and the Prius hybrid. Of note, a third of the top 15 models are domestic-brand full-size SUVs from Chevrolet, Ford, and GMC. We’re featuring the full list below.
Among individual brands, Toyota leads the pack in terms of the largest percentage of its models expected to break the 200,000-mile barrier (2.3%), followed by Honda (1.9%), GMC (1.8%), Chevrolet (1.6%), and Ford (1.5%). “The majority of the longest-lasting SUVs and pickups are American vehicles from these brands, which helps contribute to their above-average ranking on this list,” Brauer says.
Here are the vehicles most likely to still be in operation after better than 200,000 miles, according to iSeeCars.com:
- Toyota Land Cruiser (18.2% still running after 200,000 miles)
- Toyota Sequoia (14.2%)
- Chevrolet Suburban (6.6%)
- GMC Yukon XL (5.2%)
- Toyota 4Runner (4.6%)
- Ford Expedition (4.5%)
- Chevrolet Tahoe (4.4%)
- Toyota Tundra (4.0%)
- Toyota Avalon (3.9%)
- Toyota Prius (3.9%)
- Toyota Highlander Hybrid (3.8%)
- GMC Yukon (3.7%)
- Honda Ridgeline (3.7%)
- Honda Odyssey (3.2%)
- Toyota Sienna (3.2%)
You can read the full study here.