Longest Lasting Cars On The Road Today

Buying a car that will last a long time is a good way to get the most for your money. But how can you know if you’re spending your hard-earned money on a dependable, long-lasting car?

iSeeCars can help with that. Each year they publish a list of the top ten most reliable cars. Every vehicle’s reliability rating is based on the percentage of its vehicles on the road today that have logged over 200,000 miles.

When you’re pursuing Financial Independence, it’s important to choose a long-lasting car, which we define as one that has a realistic chance of making it to 200,000 miles or more. Making the right choice is important because the right vehicle has the potential to save you a lot of money in payments and repairs over the life of that car.

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The Triple-Savings Potential Of A Reliable Used Car

One of the biggest reasons we’re huge fans of buying used is that it allows depreciation to work for you instead of against you.

Here are some frightening depreciation numbers, provided by CarFax:

  • Cars can lose up to 10% of their value within the first month of leaving the dealership lot.
  • Cars can lose up to 20% of their value in the first 12 months of ownership.
  • Over the next four years, cars will lose on average another 10% per year.

This means that after five years of ownership, you could have a car that’s worth only 40% of its original value. Of course, no car depreciates at the same rate. Some will fare better than this average and some worse. But no matter how you slice it, depreciation is a killer.

So how do you avoid this massive depreciation drop in the first few years of a car life? By buying used cars in the three to five-year range that have already taken their biggest depreciation hit.

Related: Why You Should Never Buy A New Car

Maximizing Depreciation Savings While Minimizing Repair Costs

There is, of course, a downside to buying used cars, which is that they will usually require more frequent repairs. That’s why buying a reliable used car is so important. When you do, you can essentially double your savings.

Think of it like this:

  • Buying a used car = Depreciation savings
  • Buying a reliable used car = Depreciation savings + repair savings

But there’s actually one final way that a reliable car can save you money: They simply don’t have to be replaced as often.

If you’re only having to buy a new vehicle every 15 years instead of every ten, that’s a big deal. To really take into account how much money a reliable used car could save you, you have to take all three factors into account: depreciation savings, repair savings, and car replacement savings.

Reliable Cars Depreciate Too

Here’s the best part (for used car buyers, at least): Even the most reliable cars suffer depreciation loss in their first few years of ownership. That means you can still get great deals on these cars when you buy them in the three- to five-year range.

For instance, take the Toyota Avalon, which is number two on the list of most reliable cars on the iSeeCars list (excluding SUVs and trucks). Kelley Blue Book fair purchase prices show the Toyota Avalon at various ages:

  • Brand new: $33,566
  • 2017: $22,594 (typical mileage = 26,194)
  • 2015: $15,633 (typical mileage = 57,328)
  • 2012: $11,428 (typical mileage = 82,964)

You may be thinking, “But wait, a 2012 car is eight years old, not five.” And you’re right. But when you’re buying one of the most reliable cars on the market, that still may not be a bad choice.

Think of it this way. By buying one of the vehicles listed below, you could find a $10,000 used car that could feasibly still have over 100,000 miles of life left in it. That’s insane!

Now that we’ve discussed why car reliability matters so much, let’s take a look at several top-ten lists from iSeeCars.

Related: How To Buy A Used Car

Top Ten Most Reliable Vehicles Overall

You’ll notice that the top ten overall list is very SUV-heavy. Of the ten vehicles most likely to last 200,000 miles, seven of them are SUVs.

If SUVs aren’t your thing or if you need something bigger for your family, we’ll break down the top ten of other vehicle types later.

  • The #1 vehicle (Toyota Land Cruiser) has a whopping 15.7% of its vehicles over 200,000 miles
  • The #10 vehicle (Honda Ridgeline) has 3.0% of its vehicles over 200,000 miles

The national average is 1.0%. This means that all of the vehicles on this list are at least three times as likely to reach 200,000 miles as the average vehicle.

Taking the list for the longest-lasting vehicles and then doing a car search in Kelley Blue Book gave us data for two tables. One based on a 2019 car, basically a little over a year old. And the other table representing the cars by price, just under $10,000.

After our basic parameters of year and price, we kept the requirements as “used, base or basic model, and in good condition.” Changes in those factors will cause some variability in price and availability when doing your own car search. Of course, location matters too. These cars happen to be within 500 miles of Pittsburgh, PA. But even if you can’t find these exact cars near you, the basic info in these tables is still useful as a guide.

Vehicle Search By Year: 2019

Make And Model Year Price Average Mileage Average MPG % Over 200,000 Miles
Toyota Land Cruiser 2019 $75,576 4,546 15 15.7%
Toyota Sequoia 2019 $59,943 10,114 15 9.2%
Ford Expedition 2019 $59,665 17,527 20 5.2%
Chevrolet Suburban 2019 $57,007 16,433 17 4.9%
Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2019 $42,807 4,397 23 4.2%
Chevrolet Tahoe 2019 $64,640 6,027 18 4.1%
GMC Yukon XL 2019 $69,031 4,570 18 4.1%
Toyota 4Runner 2019 $31,868 13,995 18 3.9%
GMC Yukon 2019 $65,669 3,245 18 3.2%
Honda Ridgeline 2019 $39,645 8,919 21 3.0%

Vehicle Search By Price: Under $10,000

Make And Model Year Price Average Mileage Average MPG
Toyota Land Cruiser 2004 $7,000 148,478 14
Toyota Sequoia 2006 $9,975 117,893 15
Ford Expedition 2011 $9,283 99,657 16
Chevrolet Suburban 2013 $8,900 178,180 18
Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2010 $7,997 179,473 26
Chevrolet Tahoe 2007 $8,500 117,351 19
GMC Yukon XL 2008 $9,995 132,058 16
Toyota 4Runner 2008 $8,494 150,009 18
GMC Yukon 2010 $9,500 162,180 18
Honda Ridgeline 2008 $9,488 133,799 17

Top Ten Most Reliable Cars (Excluding SUVs and Trucks)

SUVs may be the most reliable type of vehicle on the market, but they also tend to be gas guzzlers. Fuel efficiency is another key factor in the true cost of car ownership that it is wise to consider when buying a vehicle. Using FuelEconomy.gov to include average MPG in the table “Car Search By Year” gives a good comparison to another cost factor.

The tables below could help you find a smaller, more fuel-efficient car, that’s still dependable and long-lasting.

Car Search By Year: 2019

Make And Model Year Price Average Mileage Average MPG % Over 200,000 Miles
Honda Odyssey 2019 $25,500 24,000 21 2.7%
Toyota Avalon 2019 $25,349 22,000 24 2.6%
Honda Civic 2019 $17,615 22,076 32 2.3%
Toyota Prius 2019 $22,416 21,900 53 2.0%
Toyota Sienna 2019 $24,525 24,082 21 2.0%
Honda Accord 2019 $20,458 21,500 30 1.8%
Mercedes-Benz E Class 2019 $43,674 12,330 24 1.7%
Chevrolet Impala 2019 $18,583 21,682 22 1.6%
Toyota Camry 2019 $17,564 25,527 32 1.5%
Toyota Camry Hybrid 2019 $23,710 14,299 49 1.5%

Car Search By Price: Under $10,000

Make And Model Year Price Average Mileage Average MPG
Honda Odyssey 2010 $8,329 101,809 19
Toyota Avalon 2011 $9,799 81,547 25
Honda Civic 2012 $7,750 104,690 32
Toyota Sienna 2011 $9,530 123,561 21
Toyota Prius 2011 $8,750 70,859 50
Honda Accord 2012 $9,950 60,846 27
Mercedes-Benz E Class 1998 $5,000 155,543 27
Chevrolet Impala 2014 $9,899 56,477 24
Toyota Camry 2012 $7,998 110,500 29
Toyota Camry Hybrid 2008 $5,413 96,937 26

Of particular note is the MPG for the Toyota Prius. It’s almost double that of most other cars. If long commutes are a part of your daily life, it may be worth giving special consideration to that car.

Listen: The True Cost Of Car Ownership

Top Eight Most Reliable Trucks

When it comes to trucks, iSeeCars was only able to identify eight that performed better than the average truck on the road.

But the ones that did make the cut can provide some serious value. The Honda Ridgeline is the top truck on the list and has 3.0% of its trucks over the 200,000-mile mark, which is three times the average vehicle.

Truck Search By Year: 2019

Make And Model Year Price Average Mileage Average MPG % Over 200,000 Miles
Honda Ridgeline 2019 $28,294 13,671 21 3.0%
Toyota Tundra 2019 $38,610 10,839 15 2.9%
Toyota Tacoma 2019 $28,294 13,671 21 2.5%
Chevrolet Silverado 2019 $36,871 16,751 19 2.0%
Ford F-150 2019 $32,558 12,529 19 1.9%
GMC Sierra 2019 $40,319 10,688 17 1.7%
Dodge Ram 2019 $33,666 9,042 23 1.1%
Chevrolet Colorado 2019 $29,917 13,320 20 0.8%

Truck Search By Price: Under $10,000

Make and Model Year Price Average Mileage Average MPG
Honda Ridgeline 2018 $9,488 133,799 17
Toyota Tundra 2010 $9,950 184,501 17
Toyota Tacoma 2013 $9,988 88,742 21
Chevrolet Silverado 2014 $9,881 68,326 20
Ford F-150 2012 $8,706 66,571 20
GMC Sierra 2010 $7,800 93,093 17
Dodge Ram 2011 $9,700 78,672 17
Chevrolet Colorado 2012 $9,800 104,155 20

Note that the Honda Ridgeline went out of production at the end of 2014, with a new model being released mid-2016 and marketed as a 2017 model. Just something to keep in mind if you’re shopping for the truck that tops the list.

Conclusion

Minimizing the cost of car ownership is one of the 10 Pillars of FI for a reason. It’s important and you need to take it seriously.

That’s why buying used is really smart. But buying both used AND reliable? That’s downright brilliant. Buying the longest-lasting car for the least amount of money will help you achieve FI faster.

Have you ever owned a car that hit 200,000 miles on the odometer? If so, connect with us on social media and tell us which vehicle got you there!

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Originally posted at https://www.choosefi.com/longest-lasting-cars/

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