The 10 Best Cars for a Long-Term Relationship


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It's the season of love -- a perfect time to find the car that you can rely on for the long run.

Even if you don’t plan to drive your new car for 10-plus years, it’s great to know you can likely do so. Such reliability certainly means more money if you trade it in or sell it.

But how do you know which reliability study is accurate? Some studies rank cars based on the first three years of ownership. Others rely on data limited by a publication’s subscriber input or skewed toward or away from certain brands. And many base opinions on one or two test drives.

Car search engine iSeeCars released “The Cars Owners Keep for 10 Years or More,” a report based on more than 25 billion data points and proprietary algorithms. Missed the report? No worries – we detail the findings with commentary from other auto experts to guide you toward your next long-lasting car relationship.

Here are a few highlights of the study, which analyzed 2.5 million cars from the 1981-2006 model years sold during 2016: All of the top 10 were Japanese models; SUVs and minivans were favorites; and hybrids were well-represented. According to iSeeCars, here are your top choices and why:

10.  Honda Odyssey

Honda / Money Talks News

Percentage of owners who keep the car 10-plus years — 24.0 percent

How that compares with all cars — 1.9 times more likely to be kept that long

Highlights: Top handling, ride and spacious interior. Car and Driver gives the minivan extra kudos for its built-in vacuum in the cargo area.

9.  Lexus RX (hybrid)

Lexus / Money Talks News

Percentage of owners who keep the car 10-plus years — 24.1 percent

How that compares with all cars — 1.9 times more likely to be kept that long

Highlights: The comfortable ride mimics a passenger car, according to the Edmunds review.

8.  Subaru Forester

Subaru / Money Talks News

Percentage of owners who keep the car 10-plus years — 24.2 percent

How that compares with all cars — 1.9 times more likely to be kept that long

Highlights: Roomy interior, unobstructed views and engine options were among the features praised by Car and Driver.

7.  Toyota RAV4

Toyota / Money Talks News

Percentage of owners who keep the car 10-plus years — 24.9 percent

How that compares with all cars — 1.9 times more likely to be kept that long

Highlights: A bird’s-eye-view camera system, optional hybrid drivetrain and standard active safety features won praise from Cars.com.

6. Honda CR-V

Honda / Money Talks News

Percentage of owners who keep the car 10-plus years — 25.2 percent

How that compares with all cars — 2.0 times more likely to be kept that long

Highlights: Versatile, competent, reliable, roomy, handsome, quiet — Car and Driver’s review is packed with praise.

5.  Honda Pilot

Honda / Money Talks News

Percentage of owners who keep the car 10-plus years — 27.2 percent

How that compares with all cars — 2.1 times more likely to be kept that long

Highlights: This three-row SUV won praise from Edmunds for its versatility, comfort and efficiency.

4. Toyota Sienna

Toyota / Money Talks News

Percentage of owners who keep the car 10-plus years — 28.7 percent

How that compares with all cars — 2.2 times more likely to be kept that long

Highlights: Car and Driver gives the Toyota Sienna its highest rating, calling it “the Camry of minivans.” Enough said.

3. Toyota Highlander

Toyota / Money Talks News

Percentage of owners who keep the car 10-plus years — 29.0 percent

How that compares with all cars — 2.2 times more likely to be kept that long

Highlights: The styling, comfort and performance of the Toyota Highlander all received high scores from Cars.com, but reliability is what truly sets it apart.

2. Toyota Prius

Toyota / Money Talks News

Percentage of owners who keep the car 10-plus years — 32.0 percent

How that compares with all cars — 2.5 times more likely to be kept that long

Highlights: The Toyota Prius’ fuel economy (up to 50-plus miles per gallon), comfort and utility won it Edmunds’ highest rating.

1. Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Toyota / Money Talks News

Percentage of owners who keep the car 10-plus years — 32.1 percent

How that compares with all cars — 2.5 times more likely to be kept that long

Highlights: Interior niceties, storage and that hybrid motor all won praise from Car and Driver.

It’s important to remember when considering these cars that they didn’t always score the highest overall with reviewers. If you want a vehicle that you can keep for 10 years or more, though, these are the ones to beat.

Do you covet one of the cars listed here? Share your thoughts in comments below or on our Facebook page.

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