Which Vehicles Can Last the Longest? Hint: Most Are Toyotas

which cars have the potential to last the longest
Which Cars Have the Potential to Last the Longest?mfg
  • The website iseecars.com studied 2 million cars, trucks, and SUVs to see which ones had the potential to last the longest on the road.

  • Turns out Toyotas are your best bet for getting over 200,000 miles of car life.

  • Large SUVs and trucks lasted longest in the survey.

How long could a car, truck, or SUV last if you took really good care of it? Turns out, a lot longer than you may have thought. Many will last over a quarter-million miles, and one bumps up against 300,000.

Cars, trucks, and SUVs can be ridiculously expensive to buy new, so it makes more sense than ever to pick one that will last a while. The car search engine iseecars.com analyzed over 2 million vehicles sold for at least 10 of the past 20 model years, and ranked each model by its highest mileage-achieving cars. The results don’t guarantee that a particular model will last a quarter-million miles or more, but the survey suggests they could last that long if you take care of them.

“All 20 models had at least 2.5% of the top-ranking 20 models clear 200,000 miles, and the top 1% of these vehicles delivered between 230,000 and 297,000 miles over the last two decades,” the study stated. “For example, 1% of Toyota Sequoias on the road have at least 296,509 miles on the odometer.”

Toyota should get some kind of award for longevity, as six of the top 10 vehicles and 10 of the top 20 are ‘Yotas (though strangely, none are Lexii). Three-row SUVs make up half the list. Generally, big, heavy, and expensive is good when you’re looking for durability.

“Basically we looked at used cars on the market, and these were average odometer readings from at least 1% of the sample size we had (2 million cars between January and October 2022),” said iseecars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “All of these models also had at least 2.5% of them hit more than 200,000 miles.”

It doesn’t even mean that was the end of life for these models, either. “Remember, this isn’t the (odometer) reading as they head into the crusher. These were all cars still in operation. So they are still going.”

which cars have the potential to last the longest
Toyota Sequoia can hit almost 300,000 miles. NATHAN LEACH-PROFFER

The Toyota Sequoia topped the chart with 296,509 miles of what the study calls, “potential lifespan.” The Toyota Land Cruiser was second at 280,236 miles, and the Chevrolet Suburban podiumed at 265,732 miles of potential.

“The Land Cruiser has a proven track record of durability, but its aging platform has been eclipsed by the modern and refined Sequoia, as reflected in the heavier use and higher mileage achieved by Toyota’s newer SUV,” said Brauer.

Only three sedans made the truck- and SUV-heavy list: the Toyota Prius which sits at number 6, the Toyota Avalon at number nine, and the Toyota Camry Hybrid finishing at number 20.

which cars have the potential to last the longest
Toyota Sequoia has the longest potential lifespan among vehicles.iSeeCars.com

“Cars like the Prius and Camry Hybrid offer exceptional fuel economy,” said Brauer. “They can save car owners up to $10,000 in fuel costs over the course of 250,000 miles compared to similarly sized non-hybrid vehicles, making all those miles much easier to afford.”

The study also factored in trucks and minivans for lifespan potential. For trucks it was the Toyota Tundra, Honda Ridgeline, and Toyota Tacoma in the top three spots. Nissan Titan was number four, followed by the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, Ford Ranger, Nissan Frontier, and Ram 1500, all of which were good for over 200,000 miles of potential life.

Minivans finished in this order: Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Dodge Grand Caravan, and Kia Sedona.

Among cars it was the Toyota Avalon, Chevy Impala, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Lexus GS 350, Honda Fit, Honda Civic, Lexus ES 350, Toyota Corolla, and the Mazda 6.

There were even two electric cars in the study. The Tesla Model S has a potential lifespan of 133,998 miles and the Nissan Leaf 98,081.

What does it all mean?

“The average age of cars on the road keeps getting older, as technological advancements in today’s cars make them increasingly durable,” the study concluded. “Drivers who switch cars every few years probably don’t worry themselves with the ‘How long do cars last?’ question. But shoppers looking to maximize their vehicle’s longevity should consider a model’s potential lifespan when shopping for their next new car—or new-to-them used or old car.”

The study points out the highest mileage car on record is Irv Gordon’s 1966 Volvo P1800S, with over 3 million miles. But no one really expects to get 3 million miles from a car, do they?

“When car shopping for a new or used vehicle, buyers should also remember that, even if they don’t plan on testing a car’s lifespan by hitting the 200,000-plus mile mark, durable and reliable cars also tend to hold their resale value better than the average car.”

Ultimately, if you want your car to last, turn to the back of the owner’s manual where it says, “Maintenance,” and do everything on the list.

How successful have you been in extending the life of your vehicle with steady maintenance? Please comment below.