The Cars Owners Drive the Most

By Julie Blackley

Full-Size SUVs dominate the list of vehicles with the highest average annual mileage over 10 years

The cars that owners drive the most annually are predominantly full-size SUVs, according to a new study by car search engine iSeeCars.com. While the average 10-year-old-vehicle is driven 11,987 miles per year, these vehicles surpass the average annual mileage 12 to 24 percent.

iSeeCars.com analyzed more than 2.3 million sales of 10-year-old cars to identify the top 13 vehicles with the highest annual mileage, which were all at least 12 percent above average. 

iSeeCars Top 13 Most-Driven Vehicles
Rank Car Avg. Miles Per Year % Above Average
1 Chevrolet Suburban 14,862 24.0%
2 GMC Yukon XL 14,708 22.7%
3 Toyota Sequoia  14,193 18.4%
4 Honda Odyssey 14,120 17.8%
5 Chevrolet Tahoe  14,040 17.1%
6 Honda Pilot  13,920 16.1%
7 GMC Yukon 13,755 14.7%
8 Nissan Armada  13,753 14.7%
9 Ford Expedition 13,704 14.3%
10 Cadillac Escalade ESV  13,615 13.6%
11 Toyota Prius  13,534 12.9%
12 Toyota Sienna 13,442 12.1%
13 Toyota Land Cruiser 13,434 12.1%
Average for All Vehicles 11,987
Download Table

The top 13 most-driven vehicles are predominantly SUVs, with the hybrid Prius hatchback and the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna minivans as the exceptions. Full-size SUVs dominate to account for nine of the 10 SUVs represented. “Full-size SUVs are built on truck platforms so they have the durability of a truck and the cargo space for up to eight passengers, which makes them popular family vehicles,” said iSeeCars.com CEO Phong Ly.

Earning the top spot is the family-oriented Chevrolet Suburban, which is driven 24.0 percent more miles annually when compared to the average vehicle. “The Suburban is known for its expansive cargo room while comfortably seating up to nine passengers, which makes it popular for large families as well as for fleet and livery use,” said iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly.

Five additional domestic full-size SUVs join the Suburban on the list including the second-ranked GMC Yukon XL, the fifth-ranked Chevrolet Tahoe, the seventh-ranked GMC Yukon, the ninth-ranked Ford Expedition, and the tenth-ranked Cadillac Escalade ESV. “The GMC Yukon XL and the Cadillac Escalade ESV have the same underpinnings and manufacturer as the top-ranked Suburban and are both popular livery vehicles,” said Ly. “Meanwhile, the GMC Yukon and the Chevrolet Tahoe are also mechanically identical with the Yukon being more luxurious thanks to its fancier look and nameplate.” Rounding out the list of American full-size SUVs is the Ford Expedition, which is the least expensive vehicle in its class and boasts above-average reliability ratings and passenger space.

Three Japanese vehicles round out the full-size SUVs on the list: the third-ranked Toyota Sequoia, the eighth-ranked Nissan Armada, and the thirteenth-ranked Toyota Land Cruiser. “The Toyota Sequoia and the Toyota Land Cruiser are both three-row full-size SUVs, and the larger Sequoia is more family-oriented while the Land Cruiser is more luxurious and has off-road capabilities to appeal to those who want a sophisticated rugged family hauler,” said Ly, continuing, “The Nissan Armada is at the bottom of its class in terms of passenger space and fuel economy, but it earns praise for its quality interior and its towing capacity.” 

The fourth-ranked Honda Odyssey and twelfth-ranked Toyota Sienna minivans represent the vehicle segment most commonly associated with family hauling. “Minivans offer more cargo space and better fuel efficiency than full-size SUVs, but lack towing capacity and all-weather performance,” said Ly. “Minivans are ideal for people who want extra cargo room and seating capacity, but don’t require a vehicle that performs like a truck.”

The sixth-ranked Honda Pilot represents the only midsize SUV on the list. “Although the Honda Pilot is a midsize SUV, it offers three rows of spacious seats and leads its class for cargo capacity,” said Ly. “For those who require a lot of space, but don’t want a behemoth full-size SUV, the Pilot is an attractive option.”

Standing out as the only passenger car and hybrid vehicle on the list is the eleventh-ranked Toyota Prius. “The Toyota Prius’ appearance on the list is not surprising given that hybrid vehicles are a popular and practical choice for high mileage drivers who want to save on fuel costs,” said Ly. “Despite initial longevity concerns, the Prius’ battery has been proven to last 12 to 15 years on average, which shows that it’s long-lasting to further add to its practicality.” 

Of the list of most-driven vehicles, eight vehicles also appear on iSeeCars’ List of Longest-Lasting Cars to reach 200,000 miles, while the remaining vehicles achieve high rankings in their respective vehicle segments. 

“The vehicles with the highest annual mileage tend to also be the vehicles that last the longest,” said Ly. “People who drive their cars the most are likely to prolong the lives of their vehicles with regular service and maintenance because these vehicles may be a large part of their livelihood, and in the case of large SUVs, they are expensive to replace.”

Passenger Cars Owners Drive the Most

iSeeCars also examined vehicles excluding trucks, SUVs, and minivans to determine the passenger cars people drive the most. Ten models have annual mileage higher than the average vehicle.

iSeeCars Top 10 Most-Driven Passenger Cars
Rank Car Avg. Miles Per Year % Above Average
1 Toyota Prius  13,534 12.9%
2 Nissan Altima 13,184 10.0%
3 Chevrolet Malibu  12,747 6.3%
4 Honda Accord 12,744 6.3%
5 Chevrolet Impala 12,719 6.1%
6 Toyota Camry  12,608 5.2%
7 Honda Civic  12,575 4.9%
8 Volkswagen Jetta  12,472 4.1%
9 Nissan Maxima  12,461 4.0%
10 Ford Taurus  12,420 3.6%
Average for All Vehicles 11,987
Download Table

Earning the second spot behind the Toyota Prius, is the midsize Nissan Altima, which on average is driven 10.0 percent more than the average vehicle.

“Midsize sedans appeal to drivers seeking a comfortable car for commuting or family hauling, but don’t require a large vehicle,” said Ly. “They also provide added savings due to their often lower upfront costs and fuel efficiency.”

While seven of the top ten passenger cars are midsize, the full-size Chevrolet Impala and the compact Honda Civic and Volkswagen Jetta stand out as exceptions. “The Honda Civic and the Volkswagen Jetta provide more cargo room than most compact cars, and both are practical options for families who don’t need extra seating capacity or commute long distances,” said Ly. “The Chevrolet Impala has a comfortable and spacious interior, which makes it a popular fleet vehicle as well as a good option for families.” 

Pickup Trucks People Drive the Most

Looking specifically at the light-duty pickup truck segment, iSeeCars analyzed the pickup trucks that are driven the most and identified six models with above-average annual mileage. “Pickups are commonly used as work vehicles and can accrue high mileage driving workers between job sites,” said Ly.  

Most-Driven Light-Duty Pickup Trucks
Rank Pickup Truck Avg. Miles Per Year % Above Average
1 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 12,802 6.8%
2 GMC Sierra 1500 12,669 5.7%
3 Toyota Tundra 12,594 5.1%
4 Nissan Titan 12,509 4.4%
5 Ford F-150 12,494 4.2%
6 Toyota Tacoma 12,395 3.4%
Average for All Vehicles 11,987
Download Table

Ranked first is the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, which logs 6.8 percent more annual miles than the average vehicle followed by the GMC Sierra 1500 in second. Made by the same manufacturer, the two trucks are built on the same platform and share many of the same features.  “The Chevrolet Silverado is considered to be more of a working truck, while the GMC Sierra markets itself as being more luxurious,” said Ly. “As a result, the Silverado may log more miles since it’s more likely to be used for work purposes.”

Four additional models are driven more than the average car including the third-ranked Toyota Tundra, the fourth-ranked Nissan Titan, the fifth-ranked Ford F-150, and the sixth-ranked Toyota Tacoma. 

“With the exception of the sixth-ranked midsize Toyota Tacoma, the light-duty pickup trucks that accrue more miles than average are full-size pickups,” said Ly.

Cars People Drive the Least

iSeeCars also compiled the top ten cars that are driven the least, with the vehicles on the list having between 29.8 percent and 64.4 percent fewer miles than average.

iSeeCars Top 10 Least-Driven Cars
Rank Car Avg. Miles Per Year % Below Average
1 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible 4,272 64.4%
2 Porsche 911 Convertible 4,360 63.6%
3 Porsche 911 Coupe 4,405 63.3%
4 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe 4,693 60.9%
5 Maserati Quattroporte  4,766 60.2%
6 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Convertible 6,220 48.1%
7 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible 6,650 44.5%
8 BMW Z4 Convertible 6,869 42.7%
9 Ford Mustang Convertible 8,408 29.9%
10 Mercedes-Benz G-Class 8,420 29.8%
Average for All Vehicles 11,987
Download Table

Not surprisingly, the list of vehicles with the lowest annual mileage is dominated by sports cars, which account for eight of the ten cars on the list. Of those eight sports cars, convertibles outnumber coupes by a margin of six to two.

Earning the top spot is the consummate American sports car, the Chevrolet Corvette convertible, which is driven 64.4 percent less than the average vehicle. The Corvette coupe model earns the fourth spot on the list with 60.9 percent less mileage than the average vehicle. 

“Coupes and convertibles are the least driven vehicle segments, with coupes being driven 19.9 percent less than the average vehicle and convertibles 37.1 percent less,” noted Ly. “Sports cars typically aren’t daily drivers, which explains why they don’t accrue high mileage.”

Standing out as the only non-sports cars on the list are the fifth-ranked Maserati Quattroporte sedan and the tenth-ranked Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV. “Although it’s a sedan, the Maserati Quattroporte drives and feels like a sports car,” said Ly. “The Mercedes Benz G-Class is a gas guzzling off-road vehicle that doesn’t ride comfortably, so drivers might not use it for daily driving.”

Comparison of Mileage by Body Type

iSeeCars examined the average annual mileage for vehicles across body types to see which are the most- and least-driven.

Average Mileage by Body Type
Rank Body Type Avg MPY
1 Minivan 13,235
2 SUV 12,531
3 Pickup Truck 12,300
4 Wagon 11,996
Average vehicle: 11,987
5 Sedan 11,876
6 Hatchback 11,498
7 Coupe 9,597
8 Convertible 7,535
Download Table

Minivans are the vehicle segment that is driven the most, with an average annual mileage of 13,235, which is 10.4 percent higher than the average vehicle. “The main reason why parents pick minivans is to comfortably accommodate families, which makes these vehicles popular for road trips and daily family hauling,” said Ly.

Most-Driven Vehicles by Metro Area

iSeeCars further examined the data to determine the most-driven vehicle in the top 20 most populous metro areas.

iSeeCars Most-Driven Vehicles By Metro Area
Metro Area Vehicle Avg. Annual Mileage
Atlanta, GA Chevrolet Suburban 15,692
Boston, MA-Manchester, NH Toyota Land Cruiser 14,068
Chicago, IL GMC Yukon XL 14,324
Cleveland-Akron (Canton), OH Chevrolet Suburban 14,486
Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX Chevrolet Suburban 15,213
Denver, CO Chevrolet Suburban 14,936
Detroit, MI Chevrolet Suburban 15,117
Houston, TX GMC Yukon XL 14,795
Los Angeles, CA Dodge Durango 12,876
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL Chevrolet Suburban 14,157
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN GMC Yukon XL 16,043
New York, NY Chevrolet Suburban 13,225
Orlando-Daytona Beach, FL GMC Yukon XL 14,971
Philadelphia, PA Toyota Land Cruiser 13,946
Phoenix, AZ Toyota Land Cruiser 14,769
Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, CA Chevrolet Suburban 14,232
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA Chevrolet Suburban 13,647
Seattle-Tacoma, WA GMC Yukon XL 14,050
Tampa-St Petersburg (Sarasota), FL GMC Yukon XL 15,293
Washington, DC (Hagerstown, MD) GMC Yukon XL 14,121
An expanded list to include the top 50 metro areas can be found here

Echoing national trends, the vehicle that logs the most miles annually in the most metro areas is the Chevrolet Suburban. Full-size SUVs accounted for the most-driven vehicle across the top 20 largest metro areas with the exception of the midsize Dodge Durango in Los Angeles.

“Whether you are looking for a rugged family vehicle or a comfortable and efficient car for a long commute or something, there is a vehicle that has proven to endure years of high mileage to suit your needs,” said Ly. “However, it’s important to note that the best way to achieve high mileage for your vehicle is to make sure you undergo the proper care and maintenance.”

Methodology

iSeeCars.com analyzed over 2.3 million used ten-year-old cars sold from 2015 to 2018. The average annual mileage of each car and body style was mathematically modeled from the data. Full-size vans and heavy-duty trucks, models with fewer than four model years represented in the dataset, and models not available for the 2019 or 2020 model years were excluded from the analysis.

About iSeeCars.com

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 VIN check report. iSeeCars.com has saved users over $190 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 cars and thousands of dealers. Based in the Boston area, iSeeCars.com was founded by TripAdvisor and SAP veterans determined to improve the car shopping experience for consumers.

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