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Buying a New Car: Here Are the Cars Owners Keep the Longest

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author photo by Russ Heaps February 2019

For most, many considerations go into the decision-making process when buying a new car. For consumers who tend to keep their cars the longest, function apparently plays a significant role in choosing their pick. At least that's the conclusion of the analysts at iSeeCars.com after reviewing the results of its recent study of 6 million used vehicles sold by their original owners.

Of the top 10 vehicles the study found to be kept the longest, most have seating available for more than five or loads of cargo space or both. Only two of the top 10 are outliers to the functionality theory: the Chevrolet Corvette and the Honda Accord. And, an argument can be made that functionality plays a part in owners hanging on to the Accord. The other two sedans on the list (the Ford Taurus and the Toyota Avalon) are full-size sedans featuring lots of passenger and cargo space.

Corvette's No. 2 position on the list can be attributed to two possible reasons. First, it's an aspirational car that many owners dreamed of owning for years before actually purchasing one. Finally attaining their dream vehicle, they resist parting with it. Second, it's often a second or third vehicle, spending a good deal of time garaged. Lacking as much wear and tear as a primary driver, Corvettes often remain in better shape than every-day drivers.

Barely squeaking into the top 10 is the highly functional Honda Odyssey minivan. It's passenger- and cargo-carrying capacity, as well as its versatility, strengthens the function-leading-to-longevity argument.

Finally, SUVs dominate the top 10 with five entries. Here would seem to be the core support for the conclusion that function plays a primary role in keeping a vehicle longer than average. All have either 3-row seating as standard or at least have a third row available. The Ford Expedition, the Toyota Sequoia and the Chevrolet Suburban also offer tremendous towing capacity.

The experts at iSeeCars.com explain the lack of any luxury vehicles making the top 10 (or the top 20, for that matter) to the large percentage of luxury vehicles that are leased for fixed periods of time, like two or three years.

When buying a new car, keep in mind that, on average, vehicles are kept for more than seven years by their original owners. In the case of those vehicles on this top-10 list, the average is even higher.

Here, then, are iSeeCars' top 10 and their average years of ownership:

  1. Ford Expedition 9.0 years

  2. Chevrolet Corvette 9.0 years

  3. Toyota Sequoia 8.9 years

  4. Toyota 4Runner 8.8 years

  5. Toyota Avalon 8.6 years

  6. Ford Explorer 8.4 years

  7. Chevrolet Suburban 8.4 years

  8. Honda Accord 8.3 years

  9. Ford Taurus 8.3 years

  10. Honda Odyssey 8.3 years

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Buying a New Car: Here Are the Cars Owners Keep the Longest - Autotrader