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Toyota Dominates the List of Cars That People Keep the Longest

It’s no secret that Honda and Toyota make some of the best vehicles you can buy if you’re looking for a vehicle that can last forever. How long is “forever?” According to iSeeCars, it’s at least 15 years as they recently put together a list of the “Top 15 Vehicles Owners Keep for 15 Years or Longer,” and it should be no surprise that the list is dominated by Toyota.

The 15-year itch

The Top 15 Vehicles Owners Keeps for 15 Years or Longer
The Top 15 Vehicles Owners Keeps for 15 Years or Longer | iSeeCars

In order to compose the list and see which cars that owners were most likely to keep for 15 years or more, the iSeeCars research analyst firm analyzed more than 350,000 different cars made from 1981 to 2004 and sold in 2019.  The Toyota Highlander took the top spot and the Japanese automaker itself showed up in a total of 10 spots out of the 15. Surprisingly, Honda only has four.

Per the list, the Highlander was followed by the Sienna and Tacoma, with the Tundra trailing not too far behind the number four spot. The Toyota Highlander took the top billing as the research showed that 18.3 percent of those cars are typically kept by their original owners. For reference, the average percentage rate for all vehicles is 7.7 percent, which means that the Highlander is 2.4 times the average.

According to the CEO of iSeeCars.com, Phong Ly, “Along with its great J.D Power reliability ratings, it (Toyota Highlander) also boasts lower-than-average ownership costs. It is also among the more spacious three-row crossovers, which makes it a popular choice as a family vehicle that is backed by Toyota’s solid reputation for reliability and longevity.”

Average age of cars on the road
Toyota’s 2008 Highlander Limited edition, left, and 2008 Highlander Hybrid | Mark Elias/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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SUVs still dominate

One look at this list and you’ll notice that the Toyota Highlander wasn’t the only SUV to make the cut. The Toyota 4Runner rounds out the lineup coming in at number 15, while other SUVs like the Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and the Pilot are peppered in the middle of the pack.

“The spacious, three-row Honda Pilot has the reputation as the crossover that most resembles a minivan in terms of appearance and cargo room, while the Honda CR-V is among the most spacious SUVs in the compact class,” said Ly. “Both vehicles are known for their stellar safety and reliability ratings, which make them popular choices for family vehicles.”

Also on the list are a pair of minivans, the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, which should again be no surprise as they are front-runners in the segment and provide all of the reliability that we have come to expect from both automakers.

Honda Pilot Elite
Honda Pilot Elite | Honda

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There was only one hybrid

Despite the SUVs, minivans, and sedans that made the “Top 15” list, the only hybrid car to appear is the Toyota Prius. It’s no wonder, considering the Prius has been the poster child for the hybrid segment for the past 20 years and its owners seem to love them, despite any stigmas associated with it.

Ultimately, it’s nice to see that the old adage that Japanese cars are among the most reliable cars that you can buy definitely rings true and this list is a great testament to that.