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As drivers, it’s easy to get attached to our vehicles. Unfortunately, the average vehicle lasts between 10 and 14 years. So, American drivers will easily go through at least four or five vehicles in their lifetime. Many drivers will reach a double-digit list of vehicles owned (for better or worse). How much mileage is too much for an SUV? Additionally, which SUVs should you pick for the longest ownership experience?

How much mileage is too much mileage?

Some gearheads will run their SUVs into the ground before giving them up. While waiting to get a new (or another used) vehicle can help save money, some owners should quit driving their SUVs while they’re ahead.

Why would you stop driving a vehicle that can still run? The short answer is costly repair fees. Even if you’re a whiz of a mechanic, replacing important vehicle components can often cost more than a vehicle is worth after it has racked up substantial miles. So, when should you call it quits?

The general consensus among consumers and experts is that the average new vehicle is capable of lasting for 150,000-200,000 miles before needing major mechanical repairs. This works out to roughly 10-14 years of ownership based on the average American’s annual driving distance (about 14,263 miles).

Some drivers will put more wear and tear on their vehicles in a shorter span of time due to more miles driven. The longest-lasting SUVs on the market are capable of lasting for 200,000 miles and beyond. What happens after those 200K miles? Everything from the engine to the transmission could need replacing. The cost of the parts alone involved with an engine or transmission replacement on a heavily used vehicle is reason enough for most consumers to move on to a different SUV. Overall, most new vehicles enter dangerous territory after 200,000 miles.

Longest-lasting SUVs

A blue 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser full-size SUV is driving off-road.
The Toyota Land Cruiser | Toyota

The SUVs listed above have the highest likelihood of lasting for 250,000 miles and beyond. Toyota’s Land Cruiser full-size SUV is the longest-lasting SUV. It’s being reintroduced as a 2024 model year, but we’ll have to wait and see if the smaller, less expensive new version can last as long as its predecessor.

Toyota makes some of the longest-lasting SUVs on the market. Other Toyota SUVs with notable longevity include the RAV4 and Toyota Highlander.

If you want an SUV that can last for over 200,000 miles, a Toyota SUV is a great place to start. The question is, are drivers really keeping their SUVs for that long?

How long do Americans keep their vehicles?

The average new vehicle ownership period is under 14 years. Furthermore, Americans are keeping new SUVs for less than 200K miles on average before getting a different vehicle. Why are drivers giving up their vehicles years before they actually bite the dust?

Part of the reason why most Americans keep new vehicles for under a decade is because of developing technology. Most nameplates get redesigned every few years to remain competitive. Redesigns often mean major quality and tech updates.

It seems like the sweet spot for new vehicle ownership is around 12 years before strongly considering a different vehicle. If this is way too long of an ownership period for you, plenty of excellent SUV leasing deals are available.


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