It’s easy enough to fall in love with a popular automobile. But for most Americans the love affair ends after about six years, according to research by automotive industry consultancy firm R.L. Polk. But for some vehicle owners the relationship withstands the test of time, and they hold on to their car, pickup or SUV for 15 years or more.
This type of auto passion appears to be reserved for cars from Japanese manufacturers. Six Toyotas, three Hondas and two Subarus made the list of Popular Cars People Keep the Longest, compiled by iSeeCars.com
The benefit of owning a car for a long time is that the owner knows all the features and quirks of the vehicle. And after 15 years, the car has probably been paid off for a long time. The drawback of owning an older car is that upgrades, like parking assist and automatic braking, are unavailable.
The iSeeCars.com analysis looked at more than 660,000 used cars from model years 1981-2005 that were sold in 2020. For each model, the percentage of cars sold by the original owner was mathematically modeled. The models were then ranked by the original-owner percentage. The analysis excluded models with low sample size, heavy-duty trucks and work vans, and models that were no longer in production as of the 2020 or 2021 model year.