- The top 2 models are Toyota SUVs, with the Sequoia and Land Cruiser both enduring nearly 300,000 miles over the past 20 years
- Toyota dominates the list, with 10 of the top 20 models able to reach over 230,000 miles
- SUVs and trucks are the most common vehicle types to rank high, confirming the long-term, heavy-use value of highly functional and highly flexible vehicles
- Three hybrids, all of them Toyotas (Prius, Highlander, Camry), and two minivans (Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey) also make the top 20
Toyota drivers, along with 3-row SUV and truck drivers, are getting the longest potential lifespan from their vehicles, as confirmed through a new study by automotive research firm and car search engine iSeeCars.com.
iSeeCars analyzed over two million cars produced and sold for at least 10 of the past 20 model years, ranking each model by its highest mileage-achieving cars. All 20 models had at least 2.5 percent of the top-ranking 20 models clear 200,000 miles, and the top 1 percent of these vehicles delivered between 230,000 and 297,000 miles over the last two decades. For example, 1% of Toyota Sequoias on the road have at least 296,509 miles on the odometer.
“What we see is a list of highly-durable vehicles, capable of more than a quarter-million miles of use if properly maintained,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “And to be clear, this study isn’t reporting the maximum lifespan of these vehicles. This is simply a measure of current odometer readings. Most of these cars are still in use and going strong.”
Top 20 Greatest Potential Lifespan Cars: Toyota 3-Row SUVs lead the packThe top 20 models with the greatest potential lifespan include 10 Toyotas and three Hondas, along with two Chevrolets, two GMCs, two Fords, and one Nissan.
|Top 20 Cars Offering the Greatest Potential Lifespan – iSeeCars Study|
|2||Toyota Land Cruiser||280,236|
|5||GMC Yukon XL||252,360|
|10||Toyota Highlander Hybrid||244,994|
|20||Toyota Camry Hybrid||230,547|
Trucks are the second-most common vehicles to achieve over 230,000 miles of potential lifespan. However, despite the dominance of domestic trucks in annual sales volume, Japanese trucks show the greatest lifespan potential, making up four of the five trucks in the top 20. “Trucks also offer a compelling blend of durability and utility, but they aren’t as flexible at hauling both people and cargo as SUVs, resulting in lower use and only half as many trucks making the list,” noted Brauer.
Passenger cars, including the Prius, Avalon, and Camry, earn three slots on the list, while the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey minivans, two more highly utilitarian vehicles, snag two. “Cars like the Prius and Camry Hybrid offer exceptional fuel economy,” remarked Brauer. “They can save car owners up to $10,000 in fuel costs over the course of 250,000 miles compared to similarly-sized non-hybrid vehicles, making all those miles much easier to afford.”
Greatest Potential Lifespan SUVsSUVs continue to be the most popular vehicle type, with automakers producing – and dealerships selling – more SUVs of varying size and price every year. Larger, three-row models offer the most utility, and thus see the highest use. But a couple of two-row models make the top 20 list, including the Honda CR-V and Subaru Outback. All of these models have seen high mileage use, clearing between 200,000 and 300,000 miles over the past 20 years.
|Greatest Potential Lifespan SUVs – iSeeCars Study|
|2||Toyota Land Cruiser||280,236|
|4||GMC Yukon XL||252,360|
|6||Toyota Highlander Hybrid||244,994|
|12||Cadillac Escalade ESV||228,449|
|18||Lincoln Navigator L||214,341|
|20||Hyundai Santa Fe||206,398|
Greatest Potential Lifespan Pickup TrucksPickup trucks often see the harshest use by owners, which makes regular maintenance crucial to extending their life expectancy. But as the mileage numbers indicate below, truck drivers committed to routine maintenance, including regular oil changes, injector service, coolant flushes, and brake pad inspections, can keep these workhorses going long after the factory warranty expires.
|Greatest Potential Lifespan Trucks – iSeeCars Study|
|6||Chevrolet Silverado 1500||230,515|
|7||GMC Sierra 1500||222,691|
Greatest Potential Lifespan MinivansMinivans, with their low step-in height, flexible seating arrangements, family-friendly convenience and safety features, plus highly space-efficient exterior shapes, remain the best vehicles for transporting people. And while their new vehicle sales have fallen as SUV sales have increased, minivans can still clear 200,000-plus miles for mindful owners who follow their recommended maintenance schedule.
|Greatest Potential Lifespan Minivans – iSeeCars Study|
|3||Dodge Grand Caravan||209,350|
Greatest Potential Lifespan Sedans/HatchbacksSedans and hatchbacks continue to serve buyers looking for comfort, convenience, and a modicum of utility. Like minivans, these models offer an easier entry/exit process compared to SUVs. They are also easier to drive and park, and because their engines have less mass to move around compared to an SUV, they get better gas mileage.
|Greatest Potential Lifespan Sedans/Hatchbacks (Conventional Fuel) – iSeeCars Study|
|5||Lexus GS 350||207,794|
|8||Lexus ES 350||204,642|
Greatest Potential Lifespan HybridsMost hybrids are relatively new to the market, putting them at a disadvantage against traditional models when considering potential lifespan. And hybrid drivetrains are certainly more complex than standard internal combustion engines. Yet Prius owners, following proper car maintenance, are potentially clearing 250,000 miles, with Highlander and Camry hybrids not far behind. Better still, all of these models are saving their drivers substantial money on fuel costs.
|Greatest Potential Lifespan Hybrids– iSeeCars Study|
|2||Toyota Highlander Hybrid||244,994|
|3||Toyota Camry Hybrid||230,547|
|4||Lexus RX 450h||196,826|
|5||Hyundai Sonata Hybrid||184,887|
|6||Kia Optima Hybrid||183,632|
|7||Lincoln MKZ Hybrid||177,678|
|8||Ford Fusion Hybrid||175,670|
|10||BMW 7 Series||133,545|
Greatest Potential Lifespan Electric CarsA car’s engine health and maintenance is critical in determining its maximum lifespan, or even average lifespan. But electric cars forego service schedule tune-up tasks like changing engine oil or flushing a radiator. And like so many modern vehicles, their vehicle management systems can essentially keep owners and dealership technicians updated – in real time – if anything needs service. This greatly simplifies the process of keeping an electric car running, which suggests they should save owners time and money over the course of the car’s life. Only two electric vehicles have been around for at least 10 of the past 20 years, though both show potential for long-term durability.
|Greatest Potential Lifespan EVs– iSeeCars Study|
|1||Tesla Model S||133,998|
How to Extend a Car’s Lifespan?The average age of cars on the road keeps getting older, as technological advancements in today’s cars make them increasingly durable. Drivers who switch cars every few years probably don’t worry themselves with the “how long do cars last?” question. But shoppers looking to maximize their vehicle’s longevity should consider a model’s potential lifespan when shopping for their next new car – or new-to-them used or old car.
While nobody can guarantee the lifespan of a specific vehicle, the typical lifespan of a newer car at the top of these lists will almost certainly be longer than vehicles ranked lower. The highest mileage car on record is a 1966 Volvo P1800S, with over 3 million certified miles. That’s obviously an extreme case regarding vehicle life, but everything from driving habits to following the proper maintenance schedule (as outlined in the owner’s manual) will extend a car’s lifespan while reducing long-term wear and tear.
When car shopping for a new or used vehicle, buyers should also remember that, even if they don’t plan on testing a car’s lifespan by hitting the 200,000-plus mile mark, durable and reliable cars also tend to hold their resale value better than the average car.
If you’re considering a high-mileage vehicle purchase, you’ll want to get a vehicle history report to check for past accidents and identify if any major repairs, including a timing belt replacement or transmission service, have already been performed. A pre-purchase inspection by a certified mechanic can spot underbody grime and corrosion, as well as the status of the car battery, tires, and other parts that commonly wear out. If the check engine light is on, the mechanic can identify the cause and likely provide an estimate to address it.
iSeeCars.com analyzed over 2 million used cars on the road between January and October of 2022. The mileage over which the top one percent of cars within each model obtained was calculated and used to rank models. Only models with at least 10 model years of production between 2002 and 2021 (20 model years) and in production as of the 2020 model year were included for further analysis. Heavy duty vehicles were also excluded from further analysis.
iSeeCars.com is a car search engine that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars free VIN check reports and Best Cars rankings. iSeeCars.com has saved users over $325 million so far by applying big data analytics powered by over 25 billion (and growing) data points and using proprietary algorithms to objectively analyze, score and rank millions of new cars and used cars.