How long is “forever” for a car or truck? It wasn’t long ago that a vehicle hitting 150,000 miles was considered a true warrior. However, standards keep getting higher. We have seen the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape Hybrids steam past 300,000 miles with regularity. Nowadays, a car needs to surpass 200,000 miles just to enter the conversation.
Luckily, if that mark is the new standard, used car buyers have options. In a March 2017 study, iSeeCars.com identified all the cars with at least 200,000 miles on the odometer that have changed hands over the previous year. Sorting through over 13 million cars from the 1981 model year on, the auto research company singled out the ones with the most high-mileage units. As long as it was still in production and sold in any volume, a car was fair game.
An iSeeCars study on vehicle longevity showed big American cars leading the pack. | Ford
In a bit of a surprise, American-made SUVs dominated the list. They may not be fancy and will definitely guzzle gas, but the crop of large vehicles offers used car buyers affordable, safe options for years to come. Here are the 20 longest lasting cars on the road in 2017.
20. Chevrolet Impala
While the Chevrolet Impalas weren’t big award winners in the early 21st century, the’ve certainly proven to be durable. iSeeCars found 1.5% of the Impalas sold in 2016 had more than 200,000 miles to their credit. You sacrifice some curb appeal and exhilaration behind the wheel with one of these, but you are likely to get durability. Just avoid 2010 models, which were labeled problematic by Consumer Reports.
19. Toyota Camry
It will surprise no one that Toyota Camry showed up among the most bulletproof cars. If you buy a Camry, chances are you aren’t looking for thrills on the road. Rather, you know the brand of reliable vanilla you like and expect it to start every morning. There’s nothing wrong with that formula, and Toyota has built an empire delivering on it for consumers. What may be a surprise about Camry: It’s one of the most American-made cars on the U.S. market.
18. Nissan Maxima
The parade of durable family cars continues with Nissan Maxima, which joined Camry and Impala in the top five of passenger cars. Maxima has posted solid reliability scores for nearly every year since 2007, so used car buyers might want to consider this one for the long haul. Also, Consumer Reports has never put a Maxima on its list of used cars to avoid. Overall, the ’12 and ’14 model years are your best bets.
17. Cadillac Escalade
While 2015 and 2016 models got the thumbs-down on reliability, earlier Cadillac Escalades rank among the top-performing luxury cars in the iSeeCars study. An impressive 1.6% of ESV models sold with over 200,000 miles on the odometer in 2016. That was nearly three times the average for luxury cars, which aren’t exactly known as workhorse commuters. Escalade’s popularity in ride-hailing fleets suggests this trend will continue.
16. Ford Taurus
From its time as America’s best-selling car in the 1990s to its segment shift in the 2000s, Ford Taurus has quite a history on American roads. That history includes remarkable longevity. Whether you pick up one of the last midsize models from 2007 or choose a larger Taurus from 2008 on, you might have yourself a true warrior. Taurus’s 1.9% with 200,000 miles was more than double the average for cars.
15. Lincoln Navigator
The Ford Expedition platform turned out to be rock-solid. While the Blue Oval model was a major star of the iSeeCars study (more on it later), the Lincoln-branded Navigator posted the best record of any luxury vehicle. Nearly 2% of all Navigators sold in 2016 showed 200,000 or more miles on the odometer. That was more than double the nearest Mercedes.
14. GMC Sierra
Considering the massive number of pickups Americans buy every year, any truck making this list had many thousands of models with 200,000 miles. GMC Sierra 1500 cracked the top 15 of all vehicles with 2.0% of models reaching that mark. Some heavy-duty Sierra models had bad reliability ratings in 2011 and later, but the 1500 has proven to be durable for most of the better part of this century.
13. Ford F-150
In the four decades since Ford F-150’s release, the iconic truck has been a winner on every front. Therefore, it came as no surprise that 2.1% of F-150s showed 200,000 miles or more on the dash when they sold in 2016. If you check on Consumer Reports ratings of used cars, you won’t find a single light-duty Ford pickup that is not recommended.
12. Chevrolet Silverado
Full-size pickups compete on a grand scale, so Chevrolet Silverado 1500’s top ranking in its segment is a real accomplishment. Some 2.2% of Silverados have shown they are very much like a rock when it comes to durability. While you may see a few heavy-duty models score low on reliability, the 1500 has been solid for a decade and counting.
11. Honda Odyssey
SUVs may be the new minivans, but Honda never stopped making durable family haulers like Odyssey. You would expect families to dig in for the long haul when buying a minivan, but no model has been as game for the challenge in this century as the Honda. Overall, the mechanical reliability of Odyssey may be its strongest suit. Its engine and transmission performance has been way above average almost every year since 2007. The lone weak link was the 2011 model.
10. Honda Accord
Like the Odyssey, Honda Accord posted nearly perfect reliability scores in the decade leading up to the 2017 iSeeCars study. Given that record, it’s no surprise finding so many examples of the midsize sedan on the road with 200,000 models. In fact, with 2.3% of old models hitting that mark, Accord had about three times the rate of the average car. According to iSeeCars.com CEO Phong Ly, this car is known to pass from one generation to the next, so many of these miles accumulate in the same family.
9. Toyota Tacoma
Whereas Chevy Silverado topped the pack of full-size pickups, Toyota Tacoma ranked best among midsize trucks. The truck’s flawless electrical system, engine, and transmission just refuse to quit before buyers get their money’s worth. In fact, you would have a hard time finding a more reliable vehicle made since 2007. There were a few flaws with the 2016 model, but if you want a truck for the long haul, choose from 2015s or earlier.
8. Toyota Avalon
iSeeCars.com data showed a remarkable 2.6% of Toyota Avalons sold in 2016 with 200,000 miles or more on the odometer. Best among all passenger cars in the study, Avalon posts one of the most impressive reliability histories you will find from Consumer Reports. If you are planning to drive a car for a decade before eventually handing it off to your child, Avalon should be on your short list.
7. GMC Yukon
Looking at the GMC Yukon of model years 2011 through 2013, you will find excellent reliability scores across the board. That generation likely powered 3% of the models that turned up with 200,000 miles or more in the iSeeCars study. That percentage was more than double the average and makes a strong case for picking up one of these full-size SUVs on the used market. If you find the target model year, there is a great chance it will last for many more years.
6. Chevrolet Tahoe
Since Chevrolet Tahoe is simply an alternate look at GMC Yukon (and vice versa), no one should be surprised to find these corporate siblings with a similar performance. However, Tahoe showed an even higher number (3.5%) of cars that hit 200,000 miles sold in 2016. The same timeline holds: Models made from 2011 through 2013 featured superior reliability scores. More recent models (2014 through 2016) rated poorly on that front.
5. GMC Yukon XL
You won’t make any friends at the local parking lot in a Yukon XL, but you do stand a good chance of driving this behemoth into the next decade. In the 2017 iSeeCars study, an impressive 4.2% of the vehcles sold in 2016 had covered 200,000 miles or more. That figure meant Yukon XL performed three times better than the average. Go with a 2011 or 2013 model for your best shot at reaching those high-mile marks.
4. Toyota 4Runner
In eight out of the last nine model years, Consumer Reports rated Toyota 4Runner reliability as “well above average.” Likewise, the last time iSeeCars crunched the numbers on durability, 4Runner landed in the top five with a high percentage hitting 200,000 miles. This study showed almost as many 4Runners being sold with huge mileage totals in the bank. Some 4.7% of units changing hands in 2016 already hit that mark.
3. Chevrolet Suburban
Like the pricier GMC Yukon XL and Cadillac Escalade on the same platform, Chevrolet Suburban has proven its durability. iSeeCars data showed 4.8% of the units sold in 2016 had already logged 200,000 miles. In what’s more than just a coincidence, Suburban posted its best reliability scores in 2011 and 2013. Used car shoppers who need to go big and want a shot at long-lasting should focus on those model years.
2. Toyota Sequoia
The Toyota Sequoia was never a stranger to durability lists in the past. However, in 2017, the large SUV had an even more remarkable number of cars with 200,000 miles sold on the used market. Just how did Sequoia compare to the average vehicle? Its 5.6% share was more than four times the average of 1.3%. If you own one that’s already paid off, sit tight. You probably won’t need to pony up for anything but gas and insurance in the near future.
1. Ford Expedition
iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly broke down the appeal for the top performer in the durability study. “Super-sized SUVs such as the Ford Expedition…are often workhorses for families,” Ly said. “For those parents who don’t want to drive a minivan, these vehicles transport the kids from one activity to the next.” So expect to bring them to a lot of activities in this model.
Based on the F-150, Expedition has the pedigree you’d expect in a bulletproof vehicle. It was in a class of its own with 5.7% of cars resold showing 200,000 miles or more. A consumer’s best bets are model years 2014, 2015, and editions from 2011 or earlier.