Autos

America's Best Used Car for the Money

Car prices spiked well over a year ago. First, it was new car prices because the pandemic locked up the supply chain. Then, as new car prices rose, people turned to used cars for savings. That pushed their prices higher. Fortunately, there is an analysis of which used cars offer the best value based on longevity. The list is topped by the Toyota Sequoia, a large and heavy sport utility vehicle.

iSeeCars looked at a wide portion of the used car market. It considered 2 million vehicles that were sold in at least 10 of the past 20 years. These cars were on the road between January and October of last year. From that universe, it took the “highest achieving cars.” Models that made a list had at least 1% of their cars on the road for over 230,000 miles. “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,” the research showed. (See which cars have been completely redesigned for 2023.)

Admittedly, a tiny number of vehicles made the cut, making the conclusion unstable.

Toyota dominated the list with 10 models included. That should come as no surprise. Toyota vehicles have received high marks for quality for decades.

The Sequoia’s potential lifespan is 296,509 miles. A second large Toyota SUV finished second. The Land Cruiser has a potential lifespan of 280,236.


A number of the other vehicles on the list were heavy SUVs. These included the Chevy Suburban (265,732), GMC Yukon XL (252,360), Chevy Tahoe (250,338) and Ford Expedition (244,682).

Several small sedans and hatchbacks also made the list of 20. These included the Toyota Prius (250,601), which is the best-selling hybrid in history, and the Toyota Camry Hybrid (230,547).


The average age of an American car on the road was well over 10 years as of 2021. That figure increases most years, so it could be higher today. Americans do not want to pay high new car prices. And if they are willing to buy or own quality models that can last well over 200,00 miles, they do not have to.

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