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Think hybrid cars and SUVs aren’t reliable? Think again! When iSeeCars crunched odometer data for millions of vehicles to rank the ones with the highest potential lifespan, the mighty Toyota Prius landed in spot number six. That puts it on par with legendary long-lasting full-frame SUVs, and ahead of both the Tacoma and F-150.

First and foremost: how did iSeeCars come up with this ranking? It looked through decades of registration and resale data for millions of cars, ranking every model that has been produced for at least 10 of the past 20 years. Its rankings are based on the average odometer reading of the top 1% highest mileage examples of each model.

So number one goes to the Toyota Sequoia, with the longest-lasting 1% having an average mileage of 296,509. Number two goes to the Toyota Land Cruiser (I’m sensing a pattern here), with a mileage of 280,236.

Black and yellow Toyota Prius taxi cab on the street in  Barcelona.
Toyota Prius taxi | Wirestock via iStockPhoto

The average mileage of a Toyota Prius in the longest-lived 1% of the model is 250,601 miles. Not too shabby. Note that this isn’t the limit of a Prius’ lifespan, these cars were all still on the road.

What’s going on here? With high mileage cars, there often comes a time when you can choose to invest in a new car, or invest the same money in fixing an old one. So there may be a pattern of Toyota Prius drivers choosing to keep their older cars on the road, whether that’s for environmental reasons or just because they love the little thing.

Another potential explanation may be how many Toyota Priuses are doing duty in fleets at taxis or police cars. Fleet vehicles often receive very regular maintenance and often have exceptionally high lifespans as a result. Toyota Priuses are popular taxes and even police cars around the world. It is most certainly going down in history as the mighty little hybrid that could.

A yellow and blue Toyota Prius police cruiser driving in Barcelona.
Toyota Prius police cruiser | Wirestock via iStockPhotos

The latest data shows that hybrids in general are more reliable than regular internal combustion vehicles. Because hybrids have an electric drive unit/regenerative braking unit and a battery, their powertrains are more complicated. So how can they be more reliable? The secret may be in how they use that additional technology.

A hybrid’s electric motor/generator does a good deal of the braking, so the regular hydraulic brakes need less maintenance. It also often is powerful enough to launch the vehicle from a standstill, which means the gasoline engine does less of the acceleration work. In its latest reliability study, Consumer Reports found that hybrid vehicles trounced every other category. The Prius in specific leverages a nickel hydride traction battery that has a reputation of lasting a very long time, further reducing the cost of maintenance.

The Toyota Prius is far from the only hybrid on the list of the vehicles with the longest potential lifespan. Its joined by the Toyota Highlander Hybrid (#10) and the Toyota Camry Hybrid (#20). Here’s the entire list:

Make & ModelTop 1% Avg Mileage
Toyota Sequoia296,509
Toyota Land Cruiser280,236
Chevrolet Suburban265,732
Toyota Tundra256,022
GMC Yukon XL252,360
Toyota Prius250,601
Chevrolet Tahoe250,338
Honda Ridgeline248,669
Toyota Avalon245,710
Toyota Highlander Hybrid244,994
Ford Expedition244,682
Toyota 4Runner244,665
Toyota Sienna239,607
GMC Yukon238,956
Honda Pilot236,807
Honda Odyssey235,852
Toyota Tacoma235,070
Nissan Titan233,295
Ford F-150232,650
Toyota Camry Hybrid230,547

Next, you cand read the details on what makes hybrids more reliable than regular internal combustion cars, or see a review of what makes Toyota hybrids so popular in the video below: