When Looking for a Car to Hold Onto Forever, People Turn to These Brands

For several years now, auto search engine and research site iSeeCars.com has looked at which cars people hold onto the longest before selling. In 2018, Ford Expedition topped the list once again, and the average time in the owners’ hands (9.0 years) was truly remarkable.

Still, the presence of a large vehicle at or near the top of the list was nothing new. Toyota Land Cruiser led the pack the year before, and Expedition was not far behind. Meanwhile, Ford Taurus and Toyota Avalon (both large sedans) have appeared regularly.

Yet the same doesn’t really apply to the automakers that topped the list of brands whose cars U.S. owners keep the longest. Here are the top five companies, with owners hanging onto their vehicles between seven and eight years.

5. Chrysler

2016 Chrysler Town & Country
2016 Chrysler Town & Country | Chrysler
  • Average: 7.3 years

The only Detroit brand to land in the top five was Chrysler. While that might seem baffling at first, it’s easy to forget about the brand’s minivans. Before the arrival of the Pacifica, Town & Country was a long-established family hauler. People who bought one tended not to let go until their kids were grown and it became time for a new model.

4. Subaru

2013 Subaru Legacy | Subaru
  • Average: 7.3 years

Seeing Subaru on this list won’t be a surprise to many. The automaker regularly lands among the car companies with the highest owner satisfaction ratings, and sales of Subaru vehicles have been going up like clockwork every year. On average, U.S. owners kept vehicles made by the Japanese automaker for 7.3 years before letting go of them.

3. Acura

2016 Acura MDX | Acura
  • Average: 7.6 years

While Acura will not be the brand that pops into most people heads on this topic, there are a few reasons why it makes sense. First, it’s Honda’s luxury brand, and Honda has a rock-solid reputation for durability and fuel economy.

Another reason why you might find Acura on the list is the popularity of the MDX crossover. American consumers tend to hold onto larger vehicles in the luxury category, and this popular model was likely one staying in owners’ garages over 7.5 years on average.

2. Toyota

2014 Toyota 4Runner | Toyota
  • Average: 7.8 years

If you look at the most reliable cars since 2010, Toyota has nine (either through its eponymous brand or Lexus) of the top 10. That’s quite a record to draw on, and U.S. consumers have known for decades that you can turn to this automaker for practicality.

In the case of Toyota, owners have held onto theirs for an average of 7.8 years. iSeeCars.com data showed. Camry, 4Runner, Avalon, and the Tundra pickup led the charge.

1. Honda

2011 Honda Accord | Honda
  • Average: 7.8 years

If you think reaching 200,000 or 300,000 miles in a car is impressive, check out what a few Honda sedans have done over the years. Two Accords and one Civic actually crossed the 1-million-mile mark in the past decade.

A reputation for reliability and durability has never left the brand. These days, the Accord remains the car people kept the longest in more than 15 states, iSeeCars found. (The Odyssey minivan and Civic also held their own.)

Overall, people who buy a Honda new have been holding onto them for nearly eight years on average.