Top 10 vehicles that owners keep the longest

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Americans are holding on to their vehicles longer today than ever before. But how long is too long? According to automotive research site iSeeCars.com, just 6.1% of owners keep their vehicles for 15 years. Owners of some cars and trucks, though, tend to hold on to their rides that long at a much higher rate.

Interestingly, the list is made up mostly of sport utility vehicles and crossovers, with a couple of pickups, a minivan and a sedan thrown in for good measure. Even more interestingly, all of the vehicles come from Japan, and one automaker in particular dominates the charts.

To come up with these stats, iSeeCars analyzed over 660,000 used cars from model years 1981-2005 sold in 2020.

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Heavy-duty trucks, work vans and vehicles no longer in production were excluded, and if a vehicle sells in very low numbers, it was also kept off the list. 

10: Toyota Sequoia

Percent kept by original owner for at least 15 years: 9.1%
How much longer than average: 1.5 times

The Toyota Sequoia is the only full-size, body-on-frame three-row SUV on this list of vehicles that owners keep the longest. We’re not surprised to see the Sequoia on the list, but we are surprised that other big SUVs like the Chevy Tahoe and Ford Expedition didn’t make the cut. Large families tend to buy these durable people movers, and they tend to rack up lots of miles and take a beating.

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Buy a Toyota Sequoia

9: Toyota 4Runner

Percent kept by original owner for at least 15 years: 9.4%
How much longer than average: 1.5 times

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You’d better get used to seeing a lot of Toyotas on this list of vehicles that owners tend to keep the longest. The 4Runner is known for reliability, which is one solid reason why its original owner might want to hold on to it so much longer than average.

Buy a Toyota 4Runner

8: Subaru Forester

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Percent kept by original owner for at least 15 years: 9.8%
How much longer than average: 1.6 times

The Forester is the only Subaru you’ll see on this list of the 10 vehicles owners are most likely to keep for 15 years or more. Nearly 10% of owners will hold on to the Forester that long; the next-best Subaru is the Outback at 6.8%, which is still higher than average.

Buy a Subaru Forester

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7: Honda Pilot

Percent kept by original owner for at least 15 years: 10.4%
How much longer than average: 1.7 times

The Pilot is the first of two Hondas to make the top 10. In case you hadn’t noticed, all of the vehicles so far have come from Japan. Spoiler alert: the rest of the list will, too.

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Buy a Honda Pilot

6: Honda CR-V

Percent kept by original owner for at least 15 years: 10.7%
How much longer than average: 1.8 times

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Right after the Pilot comes the Honda CR-V. “The Honda CR-V is among the most spacious vehicles in its class, while the Pilot rivals a minivan in terms of appearance and cargo room,” said iSeeCars Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. “These vehicles also have stellar safety and reliability ratings, which make them popular and practical choices for family vehicles.”

Buy a Honda CR-V

5: Toyota Tundra

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Percent kept by original owner for at least 15 years: 11.3%
How much longer than average: 1.8 times

Now back to our regularly scheduled Toyota-specific programming. We’ve already seen the Sequoia and 4Runner on the list, the next Toyota is the Tundra. As you’re about to see, the rest of the list comes from Toyota, too. And that means the Tundra is the only full-size pickup truck to crack the top 10.

Buy a Toyota Tundra

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4: Toyota Sienna

Percent kept by original owner for at least 15 years: 11.5%
How much longer than average: 1.9 times

The next Toyota on the list is the Sienna. According to iSeeCars, 11.5% of Sienna owners keep them parked in their driveways for 15 years or more. It’s the only minivan to make it into the top 10.

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Buy a Toyota Sienna

3: Toyota Tacoma

Percent kept by original owner for at least 15 years: 11.6%
How much longer than average: 1.9 times

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The second and final pickup to make it into the top 10 list is the Toyota Tacoma. Again, seeing the Tacoma isn’t a surprise, as it’s known as a durable truck that’s capable of racking up hundreds of thousands of miles without needing major work.

Buy a Toyota Tacoma

2: Toyota Highlander

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Percent kept by original owner for at least 15 years: 12.4%
How much longer than average: 2.0 times

In second place is the Toyota Highlander. 12.4% of Highlander owners keep their crossovers for 15 years or longer, which is exactly twice the average figure.

Buy a Toyota Highlander

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1: Toyota Prius

Percent kept by original owner for at least 15 years: 13.7%
How much longer than average: 2.2 times

And now we come to the final slot. According to iSeeCars, 13.7% of Toyota Prius owners keep their little hybrid hatchbacks for 15 years or longer, easily putting the Prius in first place.

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“Prius owners who have kept their vehicles on the road for at least 15 years are early adopters of hybrid vehicle technology, and these eco-minded consumers likely want to keep their vehicles for as long as possible,” said Brauer. “Priuses also attract practical drivers thanks to their fuel economy and their low ownership costs, and prolonged ownership of the vehicle helps drivers maximize their fuel savings.”

Buy a Toyota Prius

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