If you are looking for a car — and hoping it will last for a decade and a half — we’ve got one bit of advice for you: Buy Japanese.
That was the takeaway of iSeeCars’ 2021 ranking of vehicles that people keep the longest.
The car search engine found that all 10 vehicles that original owners were most likely to keep for 15 years or more were from Japanese manufacturers.
Toyota models dominate the latest annual ranking, taking seven of the top 10 spots. Honda models hold two spots, and a Subaru holds one.
Karl Brauer, executive analyst for iSeeCars, notes:
“Japanese vehicles, especially Toyota and Honda, are known for their reliability and durability and attract practical consumers who want vehicles that can be kept on the road as long as possible. Drivers are more likely to hold onto cars that they know they can rely on and don’t require a great deal of expensive maintenance.”
The top 10 vehicles in the 2021 ranking are:
- Toyota Prius — 13.7% of cars that are 15 years or older are kept by their original owners
- Toyota Highlander — 12.4%
- Toyota Tacoma — 11.6%
- Toyota Sienna — 11.5%
- Toyota Tundra — 11.3%
- Honda CR-V — 10.7%
- Honda Pilot — 10.4%
- Subaru Forester — 9.8%
- Toyota 4Runner — 9.4%
- Toyota Sequoia — 9.1%
In compiling its latest annual ranking, iSeeCars analyzed data on more than 660,000 cars from model years 1981-2005 that were sold in 2020.
On average, 6.1% of all those vehicles had been kept by the original owner, the analysis shows.
In other words, Toyota Priuses that are at least 15 years old, for example, are more than twice as likely to still be in the hands of their original owners, compared with the average car that age.
That’s perhaps unsurprising, considering that Brauer says the Prius is known for its fuel economy — and owners effectively maximize their gas savings by driving the car longer.
The hybrid vehicle also boasts low ownership costs, Brauer notes.
A recent survey by Consumer Reports supports that, too, as we detail in “This Type of Car Costs Less to Fix, Needs Fewer Repairs.”
The poll of hundreds of thousands of Consumer Reports members found that owners of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles spend half as much on car repairs and maintenance as owners of gas-powered cars,
In the United States, the Prius was first introduced for the 2001 model year, and the plug-in version has been available since the 2012 model year.