Special Report

The Longest-Lasting Cars on the Road

Cars are intended to be a long-term purchase. Whether they are used mostly for commuting to and from work, driving the kids to school and other activities, running errands or all of the above, most car owners keep them for years. While some models break down much faster than average, others are longer lasting than others.

A model’s longevity is something most prospective car buyers factor into their decision. 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. Among them are two models that can boast that over 10% of their vehicles have traveled at least that far.

To determine the longest-lasting cars on the road, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a study from automotive research firm and car search engine iSeeCars. The company 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. The majority of the longest-lasting cars are SUVs — particularly truck-based SUVs. In these kinds of SUVs, the chassis is separated and bolted to the same steel frame as the engine and wheels, helping make the cars more durable and rugged.

Just because a car does not make it to 200,000 miles does not necessarily mean it is unreliable. Many drivers buy a new car expecting to swap it out for another before it hits that milestone for different reasons. Some might want an upgrade, while others need something larger for their family, or they might just find a good deal they cannot pass up. 

Still, a large percentage of car buyers get a new model because their previous car needs too many repairs or stopped working altogether. If buyers do not do their research, they can end up with a vehicle that is unreliable, which could wind up costing them thousands in repair bills. These are the new cars that are the most likely to break down.

Click here to see the longest-lasting cars on the road