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Car Models With Longevity — Who Takes the Top Spot?

Reliable. Dependable. Just can’t live without it. Nope, we’re not talking coffee, but certain car models. Specifically, Toyotas. According to a new report, folks keep their Toyotas longer than any other models.

A study by i See Cars found that 14 of the top 15 cars that owners keep for 15 years or more are Japanese models. A single German vehicle, the Volkswagen Golf, just made the list in the fifteenth spot, while Toyota dominated with a whopping nine models including the top-ranked Highlander.

Crunching the Numbers

The research firm looked at over 650,000 cars from the 1981-2002 model years sold in 2017. Fifteen car models were at least 1.6 times more likely than average to be kept by the original owners for 15 years or more.

Although the list is dominated by Toyota, Honda had two models (the CR-V and Odyssey), and Acura, Subaru and Nissan had one model make the list.

“While a decade on the road used to be a significant milestone for vehicle life expectancy, the elevated quality of cars being produced has raised this standard to beyond ten years,” said Phong Ly, CEO of “Japanese automakers are known for setting quality and reliability standards, so it is no surprise that they are the most likely to reach the fifteen-year milestone.”

Don’t Forget the Hybrid

Even the tried-and-true Toyota Prius was included. The only hybrid vehicle on the list, it earned the fourth spot. “Hybrid owners have the added incentive to keep their cars on the road for longer in order to accrue fuel savings to offset the increased upfront cost of these vehicles,” Ly noted. “Despite consumers’ concerns about battery durability and the associated high replacement cost, its appearance on the list shows that the reliability of the Prius measures up to Toyota’s conventional-fuel counterparts.”

Toyota fans, rejoice! Your love for the longevity of Toyota is unparalleled.

Owner Retention Table

Editor’s Note: We unintentionally omitted the table highlighting the list of car models discussed in this story. The table has since been added.

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  1. The full list as compiled by iseecars was left off in error. It’s been added. Still, as the article says, most of the cars kept the longest are Toyotas, Hondas and Subarus with some VW and Nissan models. 

  2. Simple reason why they didn’t put a link in this article: it’s a competing website.  There’s probably also a copyright issue re: putting the actual list on AutoTrader.

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