The 10 Best Cars for a Long-Term Relationship

Photo by Dmytro Zinkevych / Shutterstock.com

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.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
8 Key Steps to Planning for Retirement as a Couple
8 Key Steps to Planning for Retirement as a Couple

Ready for retirement? Not so fast. You might be surprised at some of the issues that come up for couples when they plan.

Secret Ways to Save on Netflix
Secret Ways to Save on Netflix

These little-known savings tactics can help whittle down what you pay for your streaming video subscription — every month.

14 Uses for WD-40 That Save Money, Time or Headaches
14 Uses for WD-40 That Save Money, Time or Headaches

WD-40 is handy in a lot more situations than you likely realize.

10 Ways Retailers Trick You Into Spending More
10 Ways Retailers Trick You Into Spending More

Think you’re a savvy shopper? Find out how retailers persuade you to dig more deeply into your wallet.

12 Ways Retirees Can Earn Passive Income
12 Ways Retirees Can Earn Passive Income

These simple ways of earning income without a lot of active, ongoing effort can stretch your retirement dollars.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar
9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar

Cleaning with vinegar can save you a lot of money, but using it like this can cost you.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50
7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

7 Things I Never Buy at Costco
7 Things I Never Buy at Costco

A bulk buy isn’t always the best buy.

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.