Trucks & SUVs

These Are the Trucks People Keep the Longest

Ever wondered which trucks people hang onto for years? The folks at iSeeCars.com have published a survey that reveals the top 15 vehicles that original owners have hung onto for at least 15 years. Curiously, all 15 vehicles are Japanese and most of them are Toyota.

The survey also took a look at trucks that people hung onto for 15 years or more. At the top of the list: the Toyota Tacoma and Toyota Tundra. How long did owners hang onto these trucks? What other trucks made the cut?

Trucks to keep

2019 Toyota Tacoma SX Package
2019 Toyota Tacoma SX Package | Toyota

Over 350,000 cars were analyzed from 1981 to 2004 model years sold in 2019 by the automotive research firm. The effort was to find out which vehicles that owners were more likely to keep for at least 15 years. Included in the list of 15 were two pickup trucks. The Toyota Tacoma ranked third on the list and the Toyota Tundra came in fourth.

According to the CEO of iSeeCars, Phong Ly, Japanese vehicles have a reputation for durability and reliability. Honda and Toyota, in particular, are known for their quality. Because of these attributes, owners are more likely to keep these vehicles as they need less expensive maintenance over their lifetimes. Ly pointed out that Toyota trucks are “known for being indestructible.”

When looking specifically at trucks, eight of the 11 trucks on the list are light-duty trucks. In the top five, only one is American made.

The Chevrolet Colorado came in third with Nissan Titan fourth and Nissan Frontier in fifth place. 

Toyota Tacoma 

The Toyota Tacoma came in first with 14.5% of owners keeping their truck for at least 15 years. Only available in the North American market, the Toyota Tacoma launched in 1995. It got its start as a compact pickup truck but today is a best-selling midsize truck in the U.S. 

In its first generation, the Tacoma was a consumer truck that came road-ready. The second generation came along in 2004 and in the U.S., it’s the most sold small pickup truck. During this generation, the truck became a midsize and several trim levels and model options were added.

The third generation was introduced in 2016 and there were significant changes to make it competitive. They modified the styling to give it a more aggressive appearance. Off-road options were added.

There were complaints, mostly with the second-generation models. The majority of these were low-mileage issues and covered under the offered warranty.

Toyota Tundra

The Toyota Tundra launched in 2000 and has always been produced here in the U.S. The Tundra has been a consistent seller for Toyota and has the distinction of being the first full-size truck to step into a market that had always been Dodge, Ford, and General Motors.

There’ve been two generations so far. While initial predictions were pessimistic, the Tundra soon became Toyota’s best-selling initial vehicle. Its sales consistently grew from there. The first generation won awards from both Consumer Reports and MotorTrend. In 2007, the second and current generation went into production. The second-generation was larger and more capable.

The Tundra became more work-friendly with controls, pieces, and storage to help get big jobs done. The hauling and towing capacities were above or the same as the rest of the class. The new Tundra was popular and earned a real reputation for durability and reliability.

There were recalls for a rust problem in the frame for the early models from 2000 to 2003. Toyota wisely worked with its customers to fix the situation and there was little fallout from the issue. Tundras that are used heavily will start experiencing problems as the mileage rises and there have been a few other minor problems. 

Chevrolet Colorado

Reintroduced in 2015, the midsize Chevy Colorado hasn’t changed a lot since. It’s affordable, capable, and designed well. 

The Chevy Colorado has carved out a place for itself in the small truck segment which has long been dominated by Toyota. Along with its twin, the GMC Canyon, Colorado has renewed consumer interest in this particular class. In 2019, more standard features were added along with more options. There’s a new hard-core off-road variant called the ZR2 Bison.

Interestingly, the truck at the bottom of the list is the Ford F-150 which happens to be the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. Ly believes that the owners of the Ford F-Series simply want to get newer models before the 15-year mark.