Earlier this week, we published the “10 Toughest Trucks and SUVs,” a list made possible by data provided by the car classifieds site iSeeCars.com. By using a pool of 30 million classified ads published through its channels, iSeeCars.com is able to determine which cars — or trucks and SUVs — are staying on the road the longest, judging by the percentage of a certain vehicle with an odometer that has a reading of 200,000 miles or more.
“iSeeCars.com analyzed 30 million used cars listed on iSeeCars.com over the last year and studied the vehicles with models years between 1981 to 2010 and those with over 200K miles on the odometer,” the website said. “For each vehicle model, the number of 200K mile cars as a percentage of the total number of vehicles listed for the model was calculated; the number was then used to rank each model.”
Needless to say, General Motors (NYSE:GM) dominated the truck and SUV list; however, once SUVs and trucks are removed from the equation, the rankings shift dramatically in favor of Japanese manufacturers, as we’ll soon see. Remember, these are cars that have already driven 200,000-plus miles, not ones deemed most likely to.
“Many of today’s car owners like to see how far they can take their cars, whether it be for financial reasons or based on principle,” said Phong Ly, co-founder and CEO of iSeeCars.com. “And, unlike many cars from the 20th century, there are a variety of vehicles built these days that are made to — and will — go the distance.”
Here are the ten longest-lasting cars, per iSeeCars.com‘s data.
10. Subaru Outback
With 0.8 percent of the Subaru Outbacks for sale on iSeeCars.com, the wagon-turned crossover caps off the top ten cars with more than 200,000 miles on the clock. Subarus make ideal cars for outdoor enthusiasts, with their standard all-wheel drive, capable and practical interiors, and torquey boxer-format engines. It makes it all the more impressive, then, that so many vehicles subjected to the wilds live to see the big 200K.
9. Acura TL
Honda (NYSE:HMC) has long had a knack for building reliable vehicles, and its Acura luxury line is no different. An even 1 percent of all Acura TLs for sale on the site have breached the 200,000 milestone, implying that more sensible, casual performance-oriented luxury cars might be the key to longevity. Given that the TL isn’t as potent as its German competition, it can be argued that less thrashing might explain its longer lifespan.
8. Honda Civic
To further drive that point home, the Honda Civic — among the brand’s best-selling models — is the next longest-lasting vehicle, according to the data. It’s tied with the Acura, interestingly enough, at 1 percent. However, it should be noted that the Civic is a much higher-volume vehicle than the TL, and therefore the same rate encompasses a greater number of cars.
7. Ford Taurus
The Ford (NYSE:F) F-150 was the longest-lasting vehicle on iSeeCars.com‘s report, and though the Taurus didn’t quite reach the 4.2 percent seen by the heavy-duty pickup, it manages a respectable 1 percent as well, tied with the Acura and Civic. What’s interesting is that the Taurus is rarely thought of as being an unusually reliable car; typically, the Japanese have reigned in that regard.
6. Toyota Camry
The Toyota (NYSE:TM) Camry was once thought of as being one of the most reliable, long-lasting cars on the market, but that distinction is getting increasingly difficult to quantify. The Camry barely leads the Acura, Honda, and Ford, with 1.1 percent of the available vehicles on the site having reached or breached the 200,000 mile marker. The Camry has been America’s best-selling car for some time, often falling just behind the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado.
5. Nissan Maxima
Although it’s the Nissan (NSANY.PK) Altima that is frequently on the country’s best-selling list month after month, it’s the Maxima, its larger sibling, that is apparently going the distance. Tied with the Camry, 1.1 percent of the Nissan Maximas for sale through iSeeCars have surpassed the 200,000 mile threshold, though compared with the Altima, the Maxima is again a lower-volume vehicle.
4. Honda Odyssey
With the amount of abuse that most minivans take from the inside (granted, that’s what they’re built for), it’s somewhat miraculous that anyone holds on to them for longer than 200,000 miles. Nonetheless, about 1.2 percent of the Honda Odysseys — arguably one of the most respected members of the minivan family — for sale on the site have surpassed that milestone, putting it just outside the top three.
3. Toyota Avalon
Interestingly, Toyota’s Avalon sedan — the largest it makes — has a better rate of longevity than the seemingly bullet-proof Camry, as 1.5 percent of the vehicles are over the 200,000 mile hump. One theory of ours is that in the past, the Avalon was generally favored by older drivers and buyers, which in turn translates into fewer miles driven at a time, less wear-and-tear, and a more gentle approach to driving in general.
2. Subaru Legacy
Like the Outback, the Legacy is geared toward an outdoor lifestyle, though perhaps not to the extent that its wagon sibling is — and partially explanatory of why 1.5 percent of Legacy vehicles currently on sale on iSeeCars.com are past 200,000 miles, versus just 0.8 percent for the Outback. The Legacy lacks the body paneling, higher ride height, and soft-road credentials of the Outback, which might explain why more of them are lasting longer, as they’re likely used for more gentle road conditions.
1. Honda Accord
Just edging out the Legacy was the Honda Accord, with a 1.6 percent rate of over-200,000 mile vehicles on the market. For those who have owned one, you already know; for those who haven’t, the data seem to back up what has been said for the last several years — decades, even — about the Accord being among the most reliable and long-lasting vehicles on the road.