Top 10 cars owners keep longest are mostly from Toyota and Honda

You might say the Toyota Highlander has reached the mountaintop, the Toyota Prius is sitting pretty, and the Toyota Sienna is big among minivans.

They lead the list of the top 10 cars original owners keep longest based on a study by iSeeCars.com. If you bought one new, there’s a better than 20 percent chance you’ll keep it 15 years or more.

Besides the Highlander SUV, Prius electric vehicle and Sienna minivan, the top 10 cars original owners keep longest includes three other Toyotas, three Hondas and one Subaru, according to iSeeCars.com. Four more Toyota models also appear among the top 15 vehicles.

Highlander on assembly line
Image credit: Toyota via newspress USA
Well-kept Toyota Highlanders continue to roll off the assembly line in Indiana.

Nearly one in five buyers of new Toyota Highlanders keep their SUVs at least 15 years, and about one in six Prius and Sienna owners make it that long. All three, along with the Honda Pilot stay with their original owners twice as long as the average vehicle, said iSeeCars.com based on its analysis of more than 750,000 used cars from model years 1981-2003 that were sold in 2018.

Following is a list of the top-10 vehicles along with the percentage of original owners who kept their vehicle 15 years or more, based on the research:

The Top 10 Vehicles

  1. Toyota Highlander, 18.5 percent
  2. Toyota Prius, 16.2 percent
  3. Toyota Sienna, 16.1 percent
  4. Honda Pilot SUV, 15.3 percent
  5. Toyota Tundra pickup truck, 14.1 percent
  6. Toyota Sequoia SUV, 13.5 percent
  7. Toyota Tacoma pickup, 13.4 percent
  8. Honda Odyssey minivan, 12.6 percent
  9. Honda CR-V crossover utility, 12.4 percent
  10. Subaru Forester compact SUV, 12.1 percent

The top 15 vehicles on the iSeeCars.com list also include the Toyota RAV4 compact SUV (12.1 percent), Toyota Camry sedan (11.5 percent), Acura MDX luxury SUV (11.4 percent), Toyota 4Runner SUV (11.2 percent), and Toyota Avalon sedan (10.8 percent).

Overall, 36 models out of 662 considered were ranked above average in the percentage of original owners who kept their vehicles at least 15 years from the time of purchase.

The average of the original owners keeping a particular model at least 15 years was 7.5 percent.

“While SUVs account for the majority of vehicles … the list includes a mix of additional vehicle types, including pickup trucks, sedans, minivans, and even a hybrid, showing that consumers can find an enduring vehicle to match their unique needs,” said Phong Ly of iSeeCars.com.

Other cars, pickups and SUVs

Following are other vehicles that ranked average or above for their category in the percentage kept by their original owners at least 15 years:

Crossovers and SUVs (7.5 percent category average) – Hyundai Santa Fe (9.3 percent), Kia Sorento (8.3 percent), and GMC Yukon XL and Chevrolet Suburban (7.7 percent).

Pickup trucks (7.7 percent) – Nissan Frontier (10.7 percent) and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (8.7 percent).

Luxury cars (5.2 percent) – Acura MDX (11.4 percent), Lexus GS 300 (8.7 percent), Mercedes-Benz C-Class (7.6 percent), Lexus IS 300 (7.2 percent), Mercedes-Benz E-Class (6.8 percent), Cadillac CTS and BMW X5 (5.5 percent), and Audi A4 and BMW 5 Series (5.3 percent).

Sports cars (3.6 percent) – Mazda MX-5 Miata (6.1 percent), Audi TT (5.1 percent), Chevrolet Camaro (4.2 percent), and BMW M5 and Ford Mustang (3.6 percent).

“Vehicles that are kept for so many years show that they can stand the test of time,” Ly concluded.

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