Autos

This Is the Longest-Lasting Car on the Road

The average age of an American car on the road today is 12 years, according to research firm IHS Markit. That is up from 9.8 years in 2001. It was a myth, but it used to be said that people would trade in their cars every year to get the most current model. Why are people keeping cars longer? Among the most obvious reason is that they are built better. Long gone are the days when cars started to break down after a few years. The price of a car is up from a decade ago too. Some people don’t buy a new car so they can save money. Finally, and recently, the COVID-19 pandemic kept people out of dealers. Soon after these restrictions ended, buyers found there was a car shortage. Part of this was due to pent-up demand. Another reason is a significant shortage of the semiconductors used in the electronic systems of cars.

One way to measure longevity is by how many miles a car has driven. While only about 1% of all cars drive over 200,000 miles in their lifetime, there are 16 models that tend to last longer. For these models, more than 2.5% of cars still on the road have already crossed the 200,000-mile threshold.

To determine the longest-lasting car on the road, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a study from automotive research firm and car search engine iSeeCars. The firm found which vehicles have the largest percentage of models on the road that got to at least 200,000 miles. Only models that were still available as of 2020 were considered. Additional price data also came from iSeeCars.

Toyota makes eight of the 16 longest-lasting cars on the road, by far the most of any automaker. Honda, GMC and Chevrolet are the only other imprints to feature multiple times on the list, with two cars apiece. Most the longest-lasting cars are sport utility vehicles, particularly truck-based ones. In these kinds of SUVs, the chassis is separated and bolted to the same steel frame as the engine and wheels, helping make the vehicles more durable and rugged.

The longest-lasting car on the road is the Toyota Land Cruiser, which will be discontinued in 2022. Here are the details:

  • Percentage of cars with over 200k miles: 16.3
  • Average price of a used vehicle: $53,294

Click here to read about all the longest-lasting cars on the road.