By on December 15, 2016

Manoj Prasad/ Honda Civic 2001 VTi

A few billion years from now the sun will swell up, engulf the Earth with its plasmatic mass, and the only evidence of our existence will be a handful of fully operational Japanese cars from the late 1990s.

You probably don’t even need model names, as you’re already imagining them cruising down the street or parked in a neighbor’s driveway. They’re bland, extremely common cars in perplexingly good condition because someone continues to love them.

Now, a new study has shown which car models owners tend to hold on to for longer than ten years. Researchers from iSeeCars.com analyzed over 2.5 million vehicles from the 1981-2006 model years sold in 2016. Ten models were over 1.9 times more likely than average to be held onto by the original owner for better than ten years. While I’m positive you could correctly guess the automakers behind those vehicles, I’m unsure whether you could do the same with the model names. 

The list includes four brand names you might have expected: Toyota, Lexus, Honda, and Subaru. The percentage of initial owners who kept their new car for more than a decade ranged between 4.0 percent and 32.1 percent.

iSeeCars study 10 year ownership

“The top ten cars that people hold onto are all from Japanese automakers, which isn’t surprising since they have a reputation for reliability. But the makeup of the cars is unexpected,” said Phong Ly, CEO of iSeeCars, in reference to the SUVs and minivans. “These kinds of cars tend to be used as family cars, so they might be expected to be kept for many years if they’re bought just as their owners start their new families.”

Seeing hybrids on the list is also a little surprising, especially considering early concerns about the longevity of batteries. However, the cost benefits of enhanced economy doesn’t begin to take shape until an owner has racked up many miles on the odometer. “For hybrids, the savings from fuel costs accrue only after several years of ownership, so one reason owners may be keeping these vehicles is to offset the higher cost of a hybrid,” Ly said.

Missing from the list were some of North America’s most popular vehicles. Of those, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord stayed with the most owners the longest. The Honda Civic was, unsurprisingly, also above the national average, while Chevrolet’s Silverado 1500 was the only domestic vehicle to do so.

The percentage of initial owners of the other two popular pickups trucks were closer to — or just below — average. This could potentially be attributed to their common role as working vehicles, subjecting them to more abuse in their lifetime. However, it doesn’t explain the Silverado’s slightly superior staying power.

iSeeCars study 10 year ownership

At the bottom of the list was a sea of commonly leased autos and domestic cars popular with fleets. Obviously, these markets don’t have much use for a decade-old vehicle and would have seen those cars change hands at least once already. The Ford Taurus only saw 5.6 percent if its ownership sticking around for the full ten years, while the frequently leased BMW 7 Series topped out at 4 percent.

Japanese brands take up the largest share of cars that owners hold onto for a decade or longer, with Korea trailing behind. GMC was the only American brand to make the top ten, though the percentage of original buyers keeping them was only slightly above average.

iSeeCars study 10 year ownership

[Image: Manoj Prasad/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)]

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192 Comments on “Study: Which Car Models Do Owners Keep for 10 Years or More?...”


  • avatar
    threeer

    I’m a little surprised that the 9th gen Corolla isn’t there. My mom owned her 2003 for, yep…you guessed it…10 years. Nary a problem and actually pretty decent since she bought it topped-out loaded with leather and sunroof. Other than regular care and feeding, it ran without fail. When I went to sell it, the eventual buyer actually offered me more than I was asking, and I had only listed it for one day. If it had been a manual shift, I may have even considered keeping it for myself. Say what you want about being a soulless cockroach of a car, it served her well, and I still see plenty of that model running around.

    • 0 avatar
      MoDo

      Had an 01 Civic coupe and the used vehicle package showed that the original owner had it from new until 2010. I had it less than a year, thing was so slow and under powered that it was scary. Tin cans that can barely merge onto an 8-lane highway loaded with 18-wheelers wasn’t fun. At all.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        “cans that can barely merge onto an 8-lane highway”

        As I recall the base engine in those was a 115hp-ish 1.7L 4cyl. Even with the automatic, while not particularly pleasant sounding in doing so, that car had plenty of power to get up to speed. You just need to depress the gas pedal further.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        There’s always one. “OMG I CAN’T GO 120 BY THE END OF THE MERGE LANE IT’S NOT SAFE”

        115 hp in a 2600-pound car is more than enough to get up to speed anywhere. It may not be enough to blast past people, but you don’t need that to merge safely.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          You want unsafely underpowered, take a ride in a 1987 Moskvitch loaded with 5 people and camping gear up a mountain pass in Altai. Started overheating near the summit, opened up the radiator once it cooled and found what basically looked like silt inside. Later did the same trip in a newer Lada 2107 with the carbureted 65hp motor and 4spd and it was much better. Better yet the same trip in a worn out ’94 Corolla with a 4AFE 1.6L (105hp) and 4spd was a breeze.

          Sorry if I don’t have much sympathy for your dangerous inability to merge.

        • 0 avatar
          raph

          Getting up to speed is one thing. Picking where you want to be is another.

          I’ve been on both sides (adequate power in the 80’s was something like 55hp) and vastly prefer the latter especially when you have enough power in excess that its almost like teleporting.

        • 0 avatar
          wumpus

          A lot depends where you live. I live near Frederick Md, and the main road is I-270/Rt 15 and has *tiny* 15mph ramps and 70mph bumper to bumper traffic. You come way to close to needing such.

          I’ve also seen a Johnson City, TN driver absolutely panic because I was accelerating next to her on an entrance ramp. Presumably cars near there are like FAA jets “within 3 miles is a near-miss”. Obviously you could get away with the power of a CVCC in such a place (rejet if using carbs up and over Sam’s Pass).

          Back in the 70s-80s, pretty much every car (save for some rusting muscle cars resting under a tarp) could out accelerate such a car (the ones with V-8s often had 160hp or less and weighed much more).

        • 0 avatar
          ptschett

          Concur. My Dakota has a similar power/weight ratio, and I can merge just fine as long as I’m not trapped on the ramp behind someone that dawdles down the ramp then finally accelerates hard at the end to compensate for their poor momentum management.

      • 0 avatar
        sutherland555

        I had a 99 Civic w/4 spd auto with a whopping 106 HP. I had no issues merging or keeping up with traffic in 95% of driving situations. You just need to give it the gas.

    • 0 avatar
      Sjalabais

      When our ’96 Corolla was to be sold, I found the most expensive, comparable one in the country (Norway) and added 25%. It was priced like a 2003 model then, but I figured we have all the time in the world to sell it – and went to bed.

      I later learned that my wife took the first call and sold it one hour later. When the buyers arrived, I showed them around, told them there was no haggling, and ended the Corolla-relationship with a grin.

      My wife now drives a Camry, due to its size and power a very rare car in this part of the world. No intention to sell it, no.

  • avatar
    punkybrewstershubby aka Troy D.

    The simple fact is that they are good cars. For a couple of years I have been looking for an early 90’s Honda Accord 2dr EX with a stick. Brown interiors speak to me, I guess.
    I gave up on that quest and bought a ’17 Versa with a stick.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    According to so many postings on this site, a significant portion of the B&B keep their vehicles for 10+ years and many have daily drivers that are 20+ years old.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Must be all of those winter beaters ;)

    • 0 avatar
      philipwitak

      my two-car garage currently accommodates a ten-years-old cayman and a twenty-years-old boxster – bought both new – and that seems more than adequate for an old man like me.

      put four to five thousand miles on each almost every year and so far, single largest expense [other than initial purchase] was $5k when we replaced the original boxster clutch at 93k miles.

      even including its purchase price of $43k, i estimate my boxster has only cost me somewhere around $3000/year to own and operate.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Wow no sedans on the first list.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      The expanded data at iseecars.com indicates the Avalon is #2 on the Passenger Car list at 21.6%, behind the Prius at #1.

    • 0 avatar
      NN

      There is a logical reason for this, and especially for seeing two minivans on this list. When you have kids, you realize sedans are compromised. Strollers, toys, bikes, reverse facing seats, sports, kids friends, etc. You ultimately suck it up and buy a family car, and likely new or newer, because you no longer have time to fix your broken down beaters, and you don’t want to be stuck on the side of the interstate with babies in your car. You also are now broke, because kids are expensive, so you keep your car for a long time. You also learn that kids will trash your car within 2 years, so you lose desire to buy anything new or nice that will only get ruined. The economics very clearly show it makes sense to keep your reliable Japanese minivan or crossover for a long time.

      On the other hand, a single person or empty nester can lease whatever they want and turn it over every couple of years when something new fits their fancy.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        On the other hand, a single person or empty nester can lease whatever they want and turn it over every couple of years when something new fits their fancy.

        I didn’t realize that fixed income “empty nesters” no longer existed. It is good to know that all of Americas seniors can afford to turnover their vehicles whenever they like.

        I would think that at least ONE Buick or Toyota sedan would have made the absolute top 10 based on seniors buying them when they are in their 60s and keeping them until they die in their 80s.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          I’ve been seeing a lot of tempting one owner early-mid 2000s Avalons (2nd gen) with reasonable sub-100k mileage for sale, kind of validates the data, and makes sense. I think the Avalon stepped up to the plate right as Park Avenues were winding down (they even made bench seat+column shifted ones!). Great cars, I could definitely see myself scooping such an Avalon up if ever I needed to replace my ES with a fresher car for commuting.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    My brother is hitting this next year with his 2007 Toyota Yaris. 3 door hatch, manual, base.

    • 0 avatar
      B_C_R

      Such an unloved, yet astonishingly reliable car. This is the champ of low cost ownership right here.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        My friend’s family bought a ’00 Toyota Echo sedan when they came out, I want to say it has power steering and the optional radio, but not much else. 5spd, chain driven 1.5L motor that we still see in the current Yaris. They still have it, it surprisingly still looks quite good with no visible rust despite being actively used in CNY winters with a set of snow tires mounted up. I’ve done several hour drives in the back seat of it, it’s not terrible to be quite honest. Definitely feels like a ‘3rd world special’ but in a charming sort of way. Fairly soft ride with a lot of lean, really springy soft seats. They have more than gotten their money’s worth out of that little thing.

    • 0 avatar
      manny_c44

      My condolences.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      We had a 2008 sedan, “loaded” with 4spd auto. Surprisingly good B-segment car for the time; it was nimble, turned on a dime, interesting interior with some thoughtful details, backseat big enough for adults, and would probably be one of those leftover Japanese sedans when the sun eats the earth.

      But, rear-facing car seats take up more longitudinal space than a 6-foot adult, so it went away shortly after the kids arrived. That, and the IIHS test of B-segment cars against midsize sedans put a final nail in the coffin.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      If your brother drives a 2007 Yaris, that’s the only thing he’s “hitting” it with.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Oh and the only “domestic” brand… a truck.

    I’m also surprised about Nissan. I realize the CVT was “fixed” but they had quite a few MYs of fireworks with it.

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      Surprised about what? It’s not one of the best, it’s listed as 1.0x, meaning it’s entirely average. The Altima is still the blah car you’d expect it to be.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      Me too. I know i keep harping on it, but the 2013 Rogue we have is really a crappy car. I have no idea why someone would buy a base model. (It was given to us and will go to our daughter when she goes to college)

      The isn’t a single feature that is “good” in the car. The best feature in the car I could say is mediocre.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    There are only two reasons why I won’t keep a car well in excess of ten years. One is that my needs changed unexpectedly and nothing I own will satisfy them. The other is that choosing the car was a mistake. I do extensive research before buying to minimize my chances of getting a turkey.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    My problem is that I don’t *want* to keep anything longer than 10 years.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Why not?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Not that I haven’t kept a car longer than that…I had a ’93 Protege that I kept for about 12 years, and I had a Volvo 740 wagon for about ten. My crazy ex ended up with the Volvo and gave it away to charity. THAT was a damn shame.

        I like having new cars – what can I say?

        I don’t like working on them, though I’ve had some fun doing limited work on my 2003 LeSabre, which my daughter is getting now that I have a new car. That old Buick may well be the best car I’ve ever owned. It certainly got me through a very difficult part of my life.

        If I had a garage and tools, and didn’t depend on the car I was working on, maybe that’d be a different story. But at the moment, I’m a single dad and we live in an apartment – I don’t really have the time, space or money to learn how to work on cars.

        In any case, I leased my new car. We’ll see how that works out.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I have access to a shop for the minor repairs I perform personally but I too don’t have a garage and personal set of tools to do work conveniently. I see primary automotive purchases as being a long term cost, with secondary or tertiary ones being ones which I don’t plan to hang on to long.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t want to keep anything longer than two LOL

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I kept my last two cars 10.5 and 12 years, both were Fords.

    My current ride is a Fusion Energi, with the plug in hybrid drivetrain. I intend to keep it for 10 or 11 years. Being that it’s a first generation plug in, I’d expect it to have poor resale value, which is added motivation to keep it.

    I have two teenage daughters, and know lots of other families with children of the same age. It’s very common to buy a new mom mobile when you have young children and keep it until it dies or your children are all in high school. Young children are hard on car interiors, and crowded parking lots full of moms who are all trying to leave at the same time are hard on exteriors, so quite often these vehicles are not worth much after a few years, so there’s the motivation to keep them a long time.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      It does have poor resale values. I’m considering an Energi right now, and prices for the Titanium seem to be $15-$18K. That’s cheaper than the regular Hybrid.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      “I kept my last two cars 10.5 and 12 years, both were Fords.”

      Same here, well Mercury. Had the Mountaineer 15 years when we traded it in. Had the Mystique 13 years when we sold it to the neighbor (3.5 years ago and they still love it).

      It’s curious to me that Honda and Toyota dominate the list. Personally, I don’t like it when people call those brands “boring”, but there might be something to it. If you’re buying an A to B car, maybe you keep it as long as it still serves that function. If you buy a car for other reasons, you may be more likely to move on when something new is available.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    10+ years in any of the top 10 sounds like a prison sentence.

    Just goes to show you guys…. people’s attitudes on cars vary WILDLY.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m more impressed by the 4% of decade-plus one-owner 7-Serieses.

    That is some devotion to the Siebener.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      There’s that dying breed of old rich guy that just buys and holds onto a really nice car and keeps it in immaculate mechanical/cosmetic shape, costs be damned. Old W124 and various S-class Benzos, LS Lexi, 7 series Bimmers, Land Cruisers. Mad respect! I get to see a really nice black 1st gen ES300 driving around my ‘hood every once in a while, yep well dressed older gent driving it.

      • 0 avatar
        whitworth

        I’ll see that from time to time, and wonder if the guy thinks he’s actually saving money or what his goal is.

        Keeping something like a flagship European car on the road when it’s 15-20 years old is not a money saver. You’d probably be better off leasing a brand new one every few years.

        Some people think it’s “normal” to drop like $5,000 a year on maintaining a car.

        • 0 avatar
          Carfan94

          My Grandparents kept their bought new 1997 Mercedes E320 until 2010. It was surprisingly reliable, given the horror stories you read about the W210 and W220. They didn’t have any problems with it, other than the a/c going out, and a few electrical problems. No rust, No window regulator issues. They drove it a lot, I think it had about 140,000 miles when they got rid of it. I loved that car.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Nothing surprising at all Carfan. W210s get a bum rap from the Mercedes faithful because they lost some of the bank-vault “special sauce” of the W124 and earlier benzos. 140k is nothing surprising, the ’97 is a curious blend of the W124’s older I6 motor (known for some headgasket and timing chain stretch issues on higher mile units) but it was the first year of the 5G automatic transmission, a very rugged and reliable gearbox that saw use across the Merc lineup including behind some much higher powered motors as well as all the Chrysler LX cars.

            I see 200k mile W210s for sale fairly regularly, although I bet many have sub-system failures by this point and are horribly neglected, rust becomes a very real issue on northern cars. The 3.2L V6 that replaced the fabled I6 line is objectively better in every way aside from perhaps innate smoothness, and I’d argue is more reliable with fewer weak spots.

            My own uncle drove a ’98 E320 with 500k KM of mostly severe Siberian roads under its belt. Drove and looked great, of course in large part due to my uncle’s golden hands.

        • 0 avatar
          Jagboi

          If you can do any work yourself it’s surprisingly economical to keep a nice European car on the road. I have a couple of 20+ year old Jaguars and I hardly do anything to them. Brakes, oil changes, the usual. certainly nothing approaching $5k a year.

          Depreciation on something like a 7 series BMW or Jaguar XJ is lead balloon, so cheaper to keep it and maintain it than flip it every 3 years.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I know you’ve had some success in this regard but I argue it depends on make, model, and MY.

          • 0 avatar
            jacob_coulter

            You can easily throw big money down the drain keeping an old Jaguar on the road.

            A 7 series BMW is even worse, $5000 would be a good year.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        “dying breed of old rich guy that just buys and holds onto a really nice car and keeps it in immaculate mechanical/cosmetic shape, costs be damned”

        Old dudette a block over does that with her 450 SL. Bloody immaculate but strangely toy-like now 40 years past its cokey awesomeness.

    • 0 avatar
      vwgolf420

      I work in a corporate law firm of about 400 lawyers and there’s a class of attorneys born before about 1945 that still drive their late 80s/early 90s S & E classes, 5 & 7 Series, and LS400s. All in immaculate condition with just that little bit of patina to give them charm and character. I think it’s kinda cool. There’s even one guy with a W123 that looks like it rolled out of the showroom.

    • 0 avatar
      glwillia

      Plenty of well-off people keep luxury cars a long time. The CEO of my company finally replaced his 2001 330Ci with an X3 because he was tired of putting car seats in the back of the coupe. As for me, I have an E39 and E46 bought from older people who’d bought them new or lightly used and kept them 12 years.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    My family has 2 gen 1 Mazda MPV vans in the family that have had quite the ‘staying power” albeit it passed around a bit. Our ’89 bought in ’95 is still in my brother’s possession as a shop trucklet and loaner in a pinch with 240k miles on it, and looking quite a bit worse for the wear. Our ’98 AllSport 4×4 ES bought in ’01 is likewise still in the family with 175k miles, likewise slowly rusting and not daily driven, and also used in on-off hobby farm implement hauling and light sailboat towing. Parts are frankly a pain to find sometimes, but they are easy to work on and quite durable in general thanks to the solid rear axles and longitudinal engine/trans layout.

    I geeked out and did some spreadsheet analysis of my total cost of ownership on a per-mile basis comparing my worn-in 20 year old ES300 compared to the much newer ’12 Civic LX that was sold in a bid to drop a depreciating asset (for a very good price privately on CL). The Civic actually returned a very good 12 cents/mile excluding fuel costs and focusing on depreciation costs and maintenance/repairs (there were no repairs, just one set of tires and oil/filters/wipers). When I added up my Lexus expenses so far, it was a bit sobering to see that it’s actually neck and neck with the new car, I have to drive it to 220k miles from its current 207k to finally see an advantage.

    How it relates to this study, I think it’s the long term owner who buys the car 1-2 years old then drives it for that decade but sells before the higher mile range when things like struts/CV axles/valve cover gaskets will need doing that might just see the maximum bang for the buck. Highly vehicle dependent of course, no sense in buying a 2 year old Subaru when it’s only $1-2k cheaper than the brand new item.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      And the calculation on your ES300 can be negatively impacted by an unexpected part failure. Not as much of a worry as with many other manufacturers/models but still something that may occur within the next 10+kms.

      I have calculated Kms per $ on most of our vehicles over the past 30 years. Surprisingly in some instances, leasing works out as the best overall value as the per Km cost is similar, and you get to drive a new vehicle every 4 years.

      Completing all your own repairs could impact that, as I gave that up years ago. And of course the manufacturer would also influence it. I have had a large number of Dodges during that period, so the ownership cost was impacted by repairs.

    • 0 avatar
      whitworth

      If you can do a lot of repairs and maintenance yourself, keeping a used car for a long time can make a lot of economic sense.

      If it has to be taken to the dealership or shop for everything, I think you can make a convincing case to just lease or buy new every few years.

      I know a pretty successful guy with a used car dealership and he thinks the sweet spot is the 2 year old car and then sell before it gets to 100k miles.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    I have nothing wrong with a car that’s 10 years old or more, but I can’t stay in the same car for more than 5 or so before I lose the connection. I still like my Si that I’ve had for over 6 years, but I don’t love it the way I did for the first 5. Just want something new to me at this point to keep life refreshing.

  • avatar

    I have numbers six and seven in the first chart.

    CRV – six months
    RAV – 4.5 years

    (The RAV has been in my wife’s family since new/2003)

    Between my wife and I, we had our old Civic for six years. Sometimes I regret selling it.

  • avatar
    thunderjet

    Every car I purchase I figure I’ll keep more then 10 years. The plan is till they either suffer an engine/transmission failure that exceeds the value of the car or the body rots away (thanks to salted winter roads). I have 4 cars at home so if I get bored with one I can just drive another. Takes the monotony out of driving the same car day in and out for 10 years.

  • avatar
    86er

    “A few billion years from now the sun will swell up, engulf the Earth with its plasmatic mass, and the only evidence of our existence will be a handful of fully operational Japanese cars from the late 1990s.”

    Not true; the heat will melt those unibody platforms. A Crown Vic chassis should hold up though…

    “Chevrolet’s Silverado 1500 was the only domestic vehicle to do so.

    The percentage of initial owners of the other two popular pickups trucks were closer to — or just below — average. This could potentially be attributed to their common role as working vehicles, subjecting them to more abuse in their lifetime. However, it doesn’t explain the Silverado’s slightly superior staying power.”

    Does it mean Silverado owners have lower disposable income? Ram owners are buying the truck more as a fashion statement? Who knows?

  • avatar
    Rday

    I sold my 2006 Ridgeline bought march 2005. Loved the truck but the new gmc has so many features the RIdge didn’t have. I think I would change at least every 10 years just to keep up on safety and technology. New prius gets over 50mpg. Truly amazing. my 2004 got only 40.

  • avatar

    Kept a 2003 M-B E500 for 8 years from 2007 to 2015 it was quite the experience here is the story http://www.thestrada.net/project-200k/ not for the faint of heart or a tight budget.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Fascinating! You should try to get this featured on TTAC :)

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Personally, I don’t think ~$130 a month on maintenance is too bad for an out of warranty V8 E-class. Especially seeing that you didn’t seem to DIY.

      But the time lost and the depreciation (even on a used one) is a killer.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      You’re apparently brave AND foolhardy!

      I can relate. My mom drove a 1975 450SE until 1987. Like your “Walter,” we named it “Heinrich.” Seemed appropriate for a German car. And it went through money at an astonishing rate…but nothing on Earth drove like it when it was running correctly. Ultimate highway beast. And the build quality was incredible – practically no squeaks, rattles or bangs, and the car was as solid when we traded it as it was when it was new.

      The final blow was when we figured out a new exhaust would run $2,000 (and that’s in 1987 bucks). Sadly, Heinrich got traded on an Acura Integra. And having seen a CLA on the lot a few weeks ago…well, Benzes ain’t what they used to be.

      In any case, your story is terrific. Thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      Carfan94

      I mentioned above about my Grandparents 1997 E320, which they kept for 13 years, and over 130,000 miles. And and how surprisingly reliable it was, although it did develop a few rattles as It aged.

  • avatar
    pdl2dmtl

    I can totaly relate with the findings as an owner of a Toyota Highlander, first gen Made in Japan in the same plant as the Lexus RX which coincidentally is on the list.
    Beat that Buick dealership who almost convinced me to buy a Rendez-Vous!

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      The Lexus RXs moved to Canada pretty quickly (2002? 2003?). The high trim, first gen Highlanders were made in Japan. I don’t think any USDM RXs are made in Japan? Maybe they made some hybrids in Japan but I thought that all the US RXs came exclusively from Canada.

  • avatar
    Sloomis

    12 year old Honda Odyssey here, bought new in December 2004.

  • avatar
    Von

    Kinda surprised there are no Lexus models in there, guess all the really prudent ones buy Toyotas.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      If you look at the expanded data on iseecars.com by Brand, Lexus is the #6 brand right between Kia and Hyundai.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I think Lexus has enough “fashion” buyers these days that are in it for the badge and can’t be seen in something “old looking,” that their numbers suffer. My folks have an ’09 RX350 they bought in 2012 with 15k miles. Knowing their previous car ownership tendencies, they wouldn’t get rid of it unless something catastrophic happened. Heck they won’t sell the ’98 MPV that was gifted to me and then I re-gifted back to them 2 years later.

    • 0 avatar
      Carfan94

      @Von

      Lexus RX Hybrid is #9 on the list.

      The previous owner of my 2007 RX 350 kept it almost 9 years, It has 154,000 miles now and everything on it works perfectly, Except for the dashboard which Lexus has agreed to replace for free!

  • avatar
    gottacook

    I’m part of a subpopulation of 10+-year-old Subaru owners who like the brand, have driven Subarus for 20 years or more, but don’t find the current (U.S.) offerings appealing and wouldn’t buy one. Paying our longtime mechanic to keep our nicely equipped ’03 and ’06 5-speeds healthy (Legacy wagon and Forester, respectively) is the only real alternative; Subaru of America doesn’t offer anything like these cars today. You can argue that some dimensions of the Crosstrek are close to those of the 1997-2008 Forester, but the old Forester is much more usefully shaped, and no car with a steel roof offers better visibility.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    My pattern is to get bored of cars after 5-6 years and start wanting something new. I’ve never managed to keep a car for an entire decade.

    7 years
    6 years
    5 years
    2 years (sudden unexpected life changes; would have kept that one much longer)
    3 years (lease)
    6 years
    Have had current cars for 0, 1, and 2 years

    • 0 avatar
      CobraJet

      I’m just the opposite. I get attached to my vehicles and don’t want to let them go. My current vehicles:

      69 Mustang Owned 27 years
      1994 Silverado Owned 23 years
      2007 Impala Owned 9.5 years

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I’m a mix I’ve got some cars I’ve had my Scouts for over 20 years but I’ve kept a lot of cars for less than a year and most daily drivers I don’t keep for more than 3-5 years.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    We’ve had our Odyssey for only 2.5 years but it’s a 2006 so a 10 year old van. It drives like new and is reliable so far. I can see why the first owners keep them for so long, it’s a good example of trouble-free family transportation.

    Ours has only 148k KM’s and we plan on keeping it until the wheels fall off…

  • avatar

    The only way a Highlander Hybrid pencils out is to keep it for a long time. The difference in price between it and a gasoline Highlander is so large and the fuel savings so small that the U.S. government’s hybrid cost calculator says break-even comes at 11.6 years.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Most hybrids fall into that category. Those guys who have kept 1st and 2nd gen Priui for a decade plus are the ones who got their money’s worth.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      This is only because of a totally artificial situation where those who burn fossil fuels don’t pay anywhere near the real and total cost of doing so.

      And some people would buy ev’s and hybrids even if gas was free.

      The way to avoid the hybrid premium is to buy a used one.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      In most cases the best reason to buy a hybrid isn’t to save money, unless you do a large amount of central city driving (or drive for Uber). It’s some combination of electric power/being able to idle with engine off and heat or A/C on/quiet/technophilia.

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        I got a hybrid to burn less gas. Not to save money or for engine stop/start or for reliability etc., but to reduce climate impact. Two friends have hybrids and they got them for the same reason. It’s the least we can do as responsible citizens.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        “In most cases the best reason to buy a hybrid isn’t to save money, unless you do a large amount of central city driving (or drive for Uber). It’s some combination of electric power/being able to idle with engine off and heat or A/C on/quiet/technophilia.”

        If my FIL’s 2008 Camry Hybrid was any indication, people buy hybrids DESPITE that, not because of it. The whole car shuddering on every (frequent) restart was cheap, nasty, and terrible, certainly not a selling feature.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Keep in mind this is for cars purchased new 10 or more years ago and when gas was $4 a gallon the fuel savings accumulated much quicker. What isn’t factored into those payback calculations is the fact that the Toyota and Ford Hybrids retained more of their value than the standard versions of the same car. So while you payed more up front the higher resale meant that you ended up ahead before the car was payed off for most people. It has only been in the last two years pr so that the difference in value retention has dropped.

      The other thing that is left out of those payback calcs is the fact that the hybrid versions in general cost less to maintain as many specify longer oil change intervals and the brakes last far longer. For our 2010 Fusion hybrid they specified nothing more than oil changes and tire rotations until 100K and at that point it was just changing the cooling systems and spark plugs. I ran ours to ~145K with the only things done besides putting gas in it was rotating and then replacing the tires and changing the oil. It never missed so I didn’t mess with the plugs and since it was only 6 years old I wasn’t in a huge hurry to change the antifreeze.

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    Bought my 2006 Sienna new and traded it back in June for a new one. No issues. Not sure if this one is a ten year keeper, may trade for a 2018-2019 4runner. Unless it gets the Tacoma engine/trans, then maybe not.

  • avatar
    thelastdriver

    Sounds about right. I’m the third owner of my ’89 Camry Wagon — only because the previous one died and left it to me in his will.

    Who cares if it’s 27 years old and a bit rusty? Everything works and with less than 100k it’s less than half used up.

  • avatar
    Dan R

    My youngest car is 17, oldest 23.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I’ll point out that Hyundai and Kia are on that list.

    The cars I’ve kept the longest were both Chrysler products:

    85 LeBaron GTS (kept 12 years, traded in 2000) – only car kept past 10 years.
    96 Grand Voyager (kept 9 years, traded in 2005)

    Since I perform my own car repairs and maintenance, I’m finding that greater prosperity means I’m less interested in keeping a car around forever.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    Interesting that the Truck list has “imports” in the top 5, and the Ridgeline is #1. The most held-on-to domestic full size truck is the Silverado 1500, at just 1.1x the average rate.

    1 Honda Ridgeline 22.3% 1.7x
    2 Toyota Tundra 21.5% 1.7x
    3 Toyota Tacoma 21.4% 1.7x
    4 Nissan Titan 17.9% 1.4x
    5 Nissan Frontier 17.0% 1.3x
    6 Chevy Colorado 15.1% 1.2
    7 GMC Canyon 15.1% 1.2x
    8 Silverado 1500 13.9% 1.1x
    9 Sierra 1500 13.7% 1.1x
    Average 12.9% –
    10 RAM 1500 11.5% 0.9x

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Here in the Great Lakes, a lot of those Honda unit bods and Toyota frames would be aging out due to corrosion. The Dodge bodies might look bad but I think the frame is OK on those.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Never heard of terminal rust on a Ridgeline before, but who knows?

        • 0 avatar
          yamahog

          I help out my dad and brother, they both own first gen Ridgelines that have spent their entire lives in Minnesota – sometimes in heated garages and sometimes not. The bodies are perfect and the underbodies look really good. Some of the suspension bushings look rough but the trucks have 300k miles between them and they’re both doing fine on their factory components.

          The calipers seem susceptible to seizing up (unless you lube them before winter, my mom’s highlander needs service half as often) and the nuts seem to get corroded easier than my Lex or my mom’s Toyota, but they always come off with some heat and an impact driver.

          I really like ’em. Way better deals than Tacomas and they don’t get the tin worm unlike the Tacos in the same price range. But they have a weird issue with the spark plugs, you should make sure the spark plugs are on tight every time you check the oil. And they have a power steering issue (but I don’t know if that’s due to a lack of maintaince and improper use i.e holding it at full lock) my dad’s car went 140k on the factory power steering pump but it broke after my brother borrowed it for a week. My brother has gone through 3 pumps in 180k miles so draw your own conclusion.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            My brother’s friend (Look up South Main Auto on youtube) had a gen 1 Ridgeline that he used in a very legit “trucky” fashion, hauling scrap metal from his shop to the yard and what not, I remember one of his videos being changing the power steering pump. Judging by newer videos he upgraded to a pre-restyle ’13 Tundra doublecab with the 5.7L motor.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        Toyota pickup frames with rot holes in them are a very common site and any given day of the week you will often see as many as 10 frames piled up behind the dealer for scrap. Wasn’t aware of Honda’s with sub frame issues though

    • 0 avatar
      PenguinBoy

      I’ll bet there’s a bi-modal distribution for the lenghth of ownership for domestic trucks. Some fleet buyers run their trucks into the ground in 2 – 3 years (and there are proably a few private buyers who need new trucks as a fashion statement) but I’ll bet there are also a lot of domestic trucks that are held a long time by their initial owners.

      You don’t see that many “import” trucks in fleets, especially in industries that use up HD pickups in the first 2 – 3 years. That probably brings the averages down for the domestics.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Well in gov’t fleets it is common to keep trucks for ~150k or 10,12, or 15 years which ever comes first. So you’ll see some mile out in 5 years while others age out.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Well in the case of those Honda, Toyota and Nissan trucks they have only been updated in the last year or so which means there hasn’t been a big incentive to replace when the new one will be almost exactly like the old one, you’ll just have to spend more on insurance, licensing in addition to the cost of the new truck.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I kept both of my Chevy trucks for 10 years 150,000 miles but they both needed engine rebuilds and more. Had less problems with my Audi than those trucks.

  • avatar

    I used to buy a new car every one to three years. I had five Porsches, three Mercedes, two Datsun Z cars, an Audi, a Volvo and a couple of US cars (a Ford and an Olds Cutlass). In 1994 I bought two new Lexi, an ES300 for my wife and an SC 400 for me. We kept both cars for eighteen years and then traded them for an RX350 and a GS350. The “new” cars are almost five years old now, and they look and run like new. I suspect they may be the last cars we ever buy. In all fairness, we only put six to eight thousand miles a year on each car.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    There is a self-fulling prophecy here. You buy a reliable brand/model because you intend to keep the car a long time, and because the car is reliable, you’re able to keep it longer.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    I do think there’s something to the logic that people usually don’t look to sell a car until they start experiencing problems. So a reliable car gets kept for far longer.

    At least that’s the case I’m experiencing now, my wife has a Lexus we’ve kept now for for 12+ years and we’ve decided to get a new car, but no real issues in a long time, so we just keep driving it because selling and buying a car is such a hassle and there’s no real downside to just keep driving it as it’s past the big milestones.

    If it needed several repairs in a short amount of time, it would be on Craigslist pretty quick.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “we just keep driving it because selling and buying a car is such a hassle”

      Except for the sandbox containing car guys, *this* is the real Truth About Cars.

      There is nothing so compelling about presently available cars that deferring the hassle of obtaining one isn’t always the best choice and modern build quality is quietly extending that option.

  • avatar
    Willyam

    “A few billion years from now the sun will swell up, engulf the Earth with its plasmatic mass, and the only evidence of our existence will be a handful of fully operational Japanese cars from the late 1990s.”

    Thank you Matt, my favorite quote here recently!

    2001 CR-V here. 95k miles, new timing belt, new weird little (15″) Yokohama all-terrain tires, and plenty of attitude. I am the second owner. The first kept it outdoors all the time, so it’s paint and trim is a wreck, but she tinted the windows and covered the interior in carpets and seat covers, so it’s weirdly new inside. I have no door ding fears, bad weather fears, or economy fears (no payments, pennies to insure, and it never breaks).

    I had never intended to keep it, but when I looked at a new Focus Titanium (super cool, but like my first Focus pretty lightly constructed), and across the street was this sad little CR-V. An LX even. Thought about it for a day, and signed on the line. It has been loaned out, taught kids to drive, and does yeoman shopping duty. I have tried to get into about three others in parking lots as it is silver, (what else?), once terrifying the middle-aged occupants so bad they never spoke. After that I keep a weird sticker in the back window to be sure it’s mine. Like the cockroach, they’re everywhere and always will be. Yes, it’s a soulless Japanese appliance, but at this point it’s kind of weirdly cool, and even still has the picnic table in back. No, the kids won’t drive it unless their cars go down with a failure. El cucaracha fires right up happily. I forgot to tag it for six months, but even the ticket was cheap.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      “Thank you Matt, my favorite quote here recently”

      I agree, he has written some entertaining paragraphs lately.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Gen 1 CRVs are perhaps the last Japanese cars here in the US with a lot of that “funky/quirky/utilitarian” vibe that the likes of the Tercel 4wd, Wagovan, Colt Vista, Loyale, and other neat and space efficient 4wd wagons used to bring in spades. 2nd gen CRV is still decent in this regard but started to lose ground clearance and just didn’t quite look/feel quite as special IMO.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        The first generation CRV was basically just a jacked up Wagovan with a heftier price tag. It’s success compared to Wagovan sales heralded the demise of the wagon.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The demise of old Hondas is now being hastened by Takata.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      In that case your old Honda isn’t old enough. :) Mine predates faulty Takata airbags. Not that I’d particularly want to be in an accident with the original 22-year-old airbags; that’s one reason my kids don’t ride in the old car.

    • 0 avatar
      MrF

      Yep. Fortunately, Takata didn’t start with the grenades until 2001-02. I’m sticking with the 20th century (97, 98) until that crap goes away.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    The hybrids being high on the list doesn’t surprise me, it seems like a very practical and spreadsheet-oriented buyer would go for those and then keep them for cost effectiveness.

    I thought the domestic full size pickups would be farther above average, and I didn’t see any analysis of full size SUVs like the Expedition and Suburban family.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    I made a commitment to keep my cars for at least 10 years for financial reasons. I pay myself a car payment. Eventually I cash out at the end of 10 years and buy a car that’s about three years old. My 2013 200 is a car that is a great candidate for long-term ownership. Say what you want about Chrysler’s reliability but the fact is the 200 (at least the first generation) is very reliable and has low TCO. I bought it outright when it was two years old, private party.

    Of course, I could buy new if I wanted to but I can roll in the remainder back into my car fund. 1st-year (or two, or three) depreciation is in my favor.

    Trouble is, I don’t think I’d want anything out on the market once I retire my 200 in seven years. I’ll have about $40k (which wouldn’t be spent completely) but there will be nothing I’ll want to buy. Everything is too ugly and overly complex. It’s only going to get worse.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      They catch a lot of flack around here, but I agree that those older 200s/Avengers are pretty fundamentally sound cars in terms of reliability. Certainly I’d pick one of them over the much fancier and nicer driving Dart-based 200 that replaced it, if it’s a question of picking a car that would last me a decade.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I think if I was picking a ChryslerCo car that could go the distance it would be the 2010 Challenger SE.

        -Uses the 3.5L V6 that was introduced in 1993.
        -Uses the NAG1/5G trans that was introduced in 1990 (and will by quite unstressed by the V6).
        -Was the 3rd year for the Challenger
        -Was the 5th year for the LX platform
        -The SE is light on electric options
        -Lots of interchangeable parts with other ChryslerCo products.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Makes sense!

          I actually wouldn’t mind finding a clean gen 1 300C for a comfy commuter with some brawn. Most have obviously gone to hell by now, but there’s got to be some old guys with the clean low mile unabused ones that they’ll be letting go of at some point. Aside from atrocious visibility from the chopped greenhouse, I find them rather agreeable.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Ugh, that interior.

            A second-gen 300C would actually be something I’d be interested in if I lived in a flat place with straight roads, but the first-gen interior disqualifies it for me.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            The best looking interior on the 1st gen was the Heritage Edition. Really, I think the best-looking 1G 300 in general was the Heritage.

            The 2nd gen’s interior has better aesthetics, but the fit and finish is pretty poor. From the “C” trim and down you really don’t get anything better than I got in the Charger. I think if you’re an interior person you’d have to go with the Platinum or earlier Varvatos to be happy with a 300.

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      To be someone that keeps their cars 10 years and being a Mopar fan is a form of purgatory.

      You must be good friends with your mechanic

  • avatar
    2manycars

    “A few billion years from now the sun will swell up, engulf the Earth with its plasmatic mass, and the only evidence of our existence will be a handful of fully operational Japanese cars from the late 1990s.”

    There might be something left, but I don’t think it will be Japanese cars…

  • avatar
    jdiaz34

    2007 Passat wagon here. The key is to start out with a car that has a terrible reputation, and you are never disappointed.

    Bought a Golf Sportwagen to be the replacement, and its getting bought back by VW. Trying again with a 2017 GTI SE.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      We have a 2004 GTI 1.8T. Just had a bit of rust repaired under the 12-year warranty, we should be good for quite a while yet. New brakes this year but otherwise maintenance/repair costs are low.

      The other German car is just five years old now … only one repair to date on that one (not including the damage incurred by a stray fire carcass on a dark highway).

      • 0 avatar
        jdiaz34

        Dude! We also just had a rusty fender replaced under the 12-year warranty……absolutely no issue getting it fixed at all. Why on earth would Germans allow such a warranty in a country that salts its roads harder than McD’s french fries?

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Used German cars keep my uncle’s business started in 1977 thriving big time. He makes a lot of money off repairs and parts which are most always expensive.

  • avatar
    Dave W

    We had a ’90 Probe till terminal rust out at 11 years. Replaced with an ’01 Elantra, which was succeeded by a ’11 Fiesta as our main driver but replaced in ’12 after it was no longer worth the effort to keep the rust at bay. The plan was to continue the Fiesta for 10 years but as we were looking into getting some rust on the hatch fixed we thought about the first year of production phenomenon and wound up trading it for a ’16 C-Max (with the stupid rebates from Ford, and state knocking off $14,000) one month short of 6 years. My wife’s car is an ’06 Rav4 bought 2 years ago, My Garden business car is an ’01 Taurus Wagon that replaced the Hyundai.

    So, We’ve personally put 10+ years on 2 cars and have mostly had a second car that was over 10 at the same time. Because of my location I pretty much expect any car to rust out from under me before mechanical issues get serious. As we got the Taurus from VA, and it gets put away from mid November ’til late April I may be driving it 10 years myself after the original owner put over 10 on it already.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave W

      I forgot my first car, A Citroen ID19, I was 18 it was 17 when I bought it, and owned for over 10 years.

      Of course it was only actually drive-able for about 2 of those years.

      Well worth for all it taught me but maybe not the best example of longevity.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Not having a car payment is wonderful so long as you really enjoy what you drive. Once repairs, squeaks and a desire for something bigger/more comfy/better stereo settle in, it’s a fun search for the next ride.

  • avatar
    EAF

    No Benz, BMW or Audi/VW on this list, therefore, I would conclude that the data is 100% accurate.

    I am a bit surprised to see Nissan on here, I don’t see many 10+ year old Nissans; about as rare as seeing a 10+ year old Mitsubishi. Orrrrrr maybe I just don’t pay close enough attention.

    • 0 avatar
      vwgolf420

      Really? It’s purely anecdotal, but I hear more people talk about Sentras and Altimas (all pre CVT) with 250-300K than just about any other make. I live in the southeast where rust is seldom an issue. Are Nissans prone to rust?

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Yeah I’d say the Pre-CVT Nissans are pretty robust things assuming you can keep rust at bay. But even in rust country the older VQ30 Maximas easily break 200k miles, albeit they might look really nasty at that point and will likely have some serious issues with the lower radiator support/engine cradle interface rusting off.

        • 0 avatar
          EAF

          GT – you’re always on target! Indeed, I can’t count how many times I have removed those bolts holding the cross member to the radiator support only to have the radiator support disintegrate.

          Seems to occur on every aged Maxima I’ve ever worked on in the N.E.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Certain Nissan’s in the earlier part of the new millennium had serious issues with the catalytic convert going bad which had the disastrous effect of also blowing up the engine in the process. We had quite a few Sentra’s and Altima’s traded in to us with blown motors and bad transmissions.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      In Hampton Roads VA, and I see 10+ y/o Altimas and Maximas all day, every day. Old examples of all the Big 3 Japanese cars are as common as Food Lion and 7-11 in this area (anyone who lives here will know what I mean).

      On a personal level, my Altima’s build date is January 2007 so it’ll be joining the 10 year club very soon. I’ve only had it 2.5 years though. 6MT, so no CVT woes. It has needed very little besides wear and tear parts. The only thing it needs at this moment is a new master window switch… I can let the rear windows down from my seat when I drive, but not back up. I have to use the switches on the rear doors themselves to put them back up. I will try some electrical contact cleaner, and if that fails I’ll have to replace the switch.

      The display screen below the speedo is shot, but that’s a TSB that calls for an instrument cluster replacement, so I live with it.

      The car checks almost all the boxes for me. It’s comfy on long trips, it has a manual and V6, fairly quiet interior (at 10 years, it still has fewer rattles than any of the 3 Mazdas I had when they were brand new), and the stereo was easy to upgrade. If it shifted as sweetly as a Honda (hint: it’s not even close), it would be a perfect car.

      I don’t plan on keeping it 10 years myself (probably sell it in 2018) but I have no doubts that it could last over 15 as long as it’s taken care of.

  • avatar
    DavidB

    2005 Expedition purchased 31 Dec 2006 with 27k, now at 107k miles
    2004 Forester purchased new now at 106k miles
    2002 ES300 purchased March 2015 with 89k now at 106k miles

    The Lexus is the best of the bunch, but our Expedition has been reliable, especially considering all the options such as sunroof, DVD, electric everything. Subaru has had a couple of minor things like a L rear wheel bearing. We intend to keep all three at least 2 more years when we begin empty nesting.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I have had 2 vehicles for 18 years and my wife had her 77 Accord for 17 years. I don’t mind keeping a reliable vehicle for 10 or more years. Better to put the money away than to give it away to the dealers and auto companies.

  • avatar
    walleyeman57

    “They’re bland, extremely common cars in perplexingly good condition because someone continues to love them.”

    By “love” you mean spend money on them.
    Our 2004 Sienna with 409K miles is in the shop now for its third radiator. Four timing belts. Three water pumps. One starter. Two sets of shocks/struts. Three batteries. 4 sets of front brakes. Two rear brake jobs.
    Boring but comfortable and still a good van. Moved our kids around through college and now carts up to seven grandchildren.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      “third radiator. Four timing belts. Three water pumps. One starter. Two sets of shocks/struts. Three batteries. 4 sets of front brakes. Two rear brake jobs.”

      they call them TOYotas bcuz u get what you PAY FOR.

      That seems like an unusual amount of radiators, do you use the denso / OEM ones or what?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      409k? That’s an impressively short list of work.

      Have you had any work done on the seats?

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      It’s funny but most folks with these types of vehicles with high mileage conveniently seem to forget all the money they spent getting it to those miles and would have you believe they rarely ever opened the hood. But car guys like me know better.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        The same is always true for high mileage UAW-3 stuff, but a much lower percentage of those cars can be kept alive at any cost.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Aside from the 3 radiators, that looks like literally nothing but wear parts replaced. You’re correct in general, but in this case that is a very short list of parts indeed.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        “But car guys like me know better”

        Don’t hide that candle under a bushel then. Outside the suspicious number of radiators, in 409K miles what about this van’s repair record is excessive? Should it be running on its original timing belt?

  • avatar
    taxman100

    three of the four vehicles have been owned longer than 10 years:

    2000 Corolla bought new in February 2000 with 199,000 miles
    2002 Grand Marquis bought in Summer 2005 with 142,000 miles
    1967 Galaxie XL convertible bought in 2001.

    It is flat-out cheaper to buy and hold a car.

  • avatar
    raph

    Hmmm… the longest I’ve owned a vehicle is 13 years and only because my 91 foxbody had achieved project car status before I ended up selling it. I had a coupla beaters in between until I bought my first brand new car in 2001.

    The next longest period of car ownership was the 2009 GT500 I bought in august of 2009, kept that until this year when I decided to trade it in on a 2017 GT350.

    I suspect though since Mustangs are getting rather pricey relative to my annual salary as long as I’m in good health this new Mustang will be the keeper. If I lose at the ol’ wheel of cancer or some other debilitating disease (to hell with treatment I’ll just indulge myself until I have to replace the blood in my body with morphine) I’m might just have to squander my savings on something really cool?

    Only one time though I’ve traded a car in before I paid it off and that was my 07 Mustang GT – I owed about 13k when I traded that and some cash on the GT500. Prior to that I had bought an 02 Mustang GT and owned it until I paid it off.

    I might have kept the 02 longer had Ford not been in really dire shape around 2006 or so. I purchased the 2007 Mustang GT thinking that Ford might be in such bad shape that they could have ended up like Dodge and the remnants just part of some other companies portfolio and the thought of say Toyota acquiring the Mustang name and slapping it on say a Celica was enough to motivate me into getting another car just in case.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    In Southern California, the number of 200,000+ mile Toyota and Honda vehicles being sold on used car lots is incredible.

    Every so often, I will hear of someone who paid $10,000+ for a Toyota or Honda with more than 150,000 on it. I just don’t understand that mindset at all. But, they will pass on a GM, Ford, or Chrysler with less than half the miles for $5.000.

    As much as I avoid Detroit vehicles because of repair bills, they can be much better deals used.

    • 0 avatar
      andyinatl

      I think it has to do also with the previous owners of these cars. 150K mile Hondas and Toyotas for the most part tend to be fairly well kept vehicles that would be hard to gauge from outside as having mileage that high. Look around at all the late 90’s/early 00’s 4Runners and Tacomas. They are in incredible shape for the years. On the other hand, majority of the aforementioned $5k domestics have started life on rental lots and then driven largely by people that don’t care about appearance at all. So they haven’t been washed in years, there’s a variety of dents and scratches, etc. I would definitely put more trust in Camcord with 200K miles but used gently, than an abused 75K Sebring/Impala/Fusion

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        You’re so very correct about previous owners.

        Using that same logic, I would put my trust in any well kept Sebring/Impala/Fusion than an abused Camcord. It only makes sense.

        About 25 years ago, I was selling cars for a large dealer group in the Southeast. I mostly worked out of the Toyota store, but worked the Nissan, Chevy, Plymouth and Buick stores occasionally too. I rarely saw a beat up Toyota come on the lot. But at the Chevy store, I’d see people with trashed cars coming in all of the time.

        My dad always told me if you keep up the maintenance of whatever (house, car, your own body), in the long run it pays off.

        I’ve mostly owned used cars for myself and as a case in point my latest acquisition is proof of the previous owner’s habits. A year ago, I bought a 2004 Oldsmobile Silhouette with 150K miles. It looked like Grandma’s minivan, clean, no dents or scratches, minimal rust (for Michigan). Everything worked and still does today. Other cars that I’ve purchased have looked as clean, but after a while it was evident that the bare minimum was done to maintain the car.

        The PO makes all the difference.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      We have loads of GM and Ford’s go through my friend’s used car lot every year with that kind of mileage and are mostly PA rust free vehicles. It’s very common to see 200K mile 3800 equipped cars, 4.6 Panthers, 3500/3900 Impalas, Hemi 5.7’s and 4.7 V8’s and plenty of Vulcan 3.0 Taurus cars. The Jeep 4.0 straigh 6’s are all over with high miles too. We even see plenty of old 3100/3400 engines that were saved with new intake gaskets and have well lover 200K like my dad’s 1999 Lumina and my best partners 1995 Century wagon as two examples. Both have the original engines and transmisison too!

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        Poncho: I live in the Great Lakes region now and see pretty much the same thing you do. I’m long out of the selling business, but I still pay attention to what’s on the road and on the lots.

        It’s kind of funny to me, as I was thrilled when I found my minivan last year. It was a low-mile car! Provided one of the local herd of deer around here doesn’t try to commit suicide using me as the instrument of destruction, I hope to see over 200K, too.

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    This article will be read by an unexplainably large group of stand-up comedians.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I was sitting here thinking that I’ve never owned a car more than ten years.

    Except for my freakin’ screen name. I’ve owned that for 23 years so far.

    I need to drive it more, sheesh.

  • avatar
    andyinatl

    I’m 39 and i’m on my car #52 (between me and my wife that is). Early on in my life i used to buy cars at auctions fix them up and sell. Mostly at profit, sometimes at a loss. For personal cars, most of the time i would buy a used European model drive few months, start getting bored with it, and then sell it mostly at loss, but justifying the sale by all the expensive issues i’d have to fix if i didn’t sell it.

    My current car is 2012 Honda Civic; i’ve gotten bored with it long time ago but i just can’t justify selling it. This is the longest i’ve owned same car at 2.5 years, and they only extra expenses so far has been oil changes. Everything else is the same. Even if i’m bored with it, this is most likely going to be one of these 10+ year cars, that will stay in the family until it completely disintegrates. My next car (after this Civic goes to my kid in couple years) is likely to be an Accord. I don’t have any more appetite for European cars.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Of course this list could be skewed in most any direction depending on location. In Upstate, NY where I live Asian cars from the 1980’s are virtually extinct and very few from the 90’s are left. Meanwhile GM A, B, H and C-bodies are still pretty common as are Ford Panthers/Taurus, F-150’s, Silverado/Siera’s and even many Chrysler products. You also still see the odd 1990’s Audi and Mercedes too but siting a Corolla, Civic, Camry or most any Toyota pickup is a rare event as most of there frames have long since disintegrated.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “GM A, B, H and C-bodies are still pretty common as are Ford Panthers/Taurus”

      Lots of distressed communities like that now.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Now I don’t know what the vehicle fleet was composed of in your part of CNY when new (Buffalo/Towanda has a strong UAW/GM presence and hence many domestics), but to claim that an A body or subframe on an H-body, or any part on a DN-101 Taurus is inherently more resistant to corrosion compared to something like a 92-96 Camry is just silly. Likewise the older Accords, the rear quarter panels might be nasty looking, but none of the rust is structural in terms of suspension mounting points or subframe. To say that there are more 90s and Mercs than said best selling midsize Japanese cars is perhaps even more unbelievable.

      Between all the usual drivel and claiming you need to rip apart the front end on an Accord to change a headlight bulb, I think you’ve lost any shred of credibility you may have had.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Poncho, this list is not about how long the cars run. It’s about how long the first owners keep them. I applaud your obviously unbiased motivation in looking for regional skew to explain the lack of GM on this list, but in doing so you have completely lost the plot of the study.

  • avatar
    brettc

    No VWs on that list, too bad. We owned our 2000 Jetta TDI from September 2004 until May of 2014 when I sold it for about half of what I paid in 2004 for it. Have a 2014 Jetta sedan that we’ll probably keep for 10 years and I planned to keep my Sportwagen 10 years until the scandal happened, but 6 is all I will get out of it.

    Ford Hybrids are a good deal at the moment, but I guess that applies to all hybrids in general when gas prices are “cheap”.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      We were the second owners of an indestructible 2000 Jetta, base of the base. We sold it in 2013 with 134k on it. We did replace the coil springs ($400? bfd) and some front suspension work in the five years we owned it. When we sold it to a good friend of ours, it needed rear shocks, and that’s it. He dabbles in DIY, and found the A/C leak that had eluded us. He is still thankful for that purchase today.

      Our current 2005.5 fully loaded Audi A4 is 12 y.o. and just hit 140k. Rigorous full synthetic oil changes in intervals no longer than 6k, and it has had no major problems in three years. Now it’s time for serpentine belt, loose pulleys, and since they will take the front end out, i’ll have the xenons and ballasts looked into. Mechanic friend says about a thousand.

      Frankly, I am prepared to pay so much more for this driving quality. Also since our driving is mostly highway, we would simply never consider a Honda or Toyota. We want small sedans, and nothing Japanese doesn’t feel like a tin can to us, unless you get into Camry/Accord size.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Uh oh. Soon CoreyDL and other perennial Hyundai/KIA bashers are gonna have to change their mantra to “Sure they’re reliable, affordable and popular, but 50-year durability remains to be seen.”.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Here’s a link to a guy who bought a 57 Chevy pickup in 1976 for $75 and is still driving it.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yGhLa1NzUI Good video but the link was edited out by this site. Hopefully it posts but if not google man bought 57 Chevy truck for $75. He bought this truck in 1976 and is still driving it with a minimum amount of maintenance.

  • avatar
    DownUnder2014

    I find the statistics interesting. I wonder what the mix would be here in Australia. Probably Ford/Holden/Toyota/Mazda would make up a decent amount, and so would Mitsubishi as well. A lot of 10+ year old cars seem to come from those 5 brands, which makes sense, seeing as those brands were at the top of the sales charts back then. But for long-term owners, I’m really not sure at all. Probably those 5 aforementioned brands would appear somewhere…

    At my place, the cars are 3 and 20.5 years old.

    The 3 year old is a 2014 Prius V. Not sporty or fast but it’s practical for what it is and it’s relatively fuel efficient. It’s an unremarkable car but it works I suppose. It’s got 45k (72k km).

    The 20.5 year old is a 1996 Corolla. The combo of 1.6 4A-FE saddled to a 4-Speed A240 Automatic is never going to win stoplight races but it gets from A to B with a minimum of fuss. It has had regular maintenance throughout it’s lifetime but there’s a few items needing replacement soon (Engine Mounts). It’s not maintenance-free as such, but we just don’t see the need for a new car and the cost to keep running isn’t yet exorbitant so until it does, it’ll stay. Plus it’s not worth much anyway. Has 73k (117k km).

    Both were bought new from dealer.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Regular maintenance is a major key to keeping any vehicle a long long time. Most vehicles can last a lot longer than 10 years, but like anything if you abuse them and neglect them then you will not get as many years. There are so many stories on the internet of people who have kept vehicles 20 or more years and quite a few vehicles with 500k to 1 million original miles and these are not just Toyotas and Hondas but GMs, Chryslers, Fords, Mercedes, Volvos, and many other brands. Many of these vehicles have lasted just by doing the routine maintenance that is listed in the owner’s manual. If you can resist the temptation to get a new vehicle every 2 to 3 years and stick to a routine maintenance schedule you can have many years of low cost debt free ownership.

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