Toyota models dominate list of top cars kept 15 years or longer

Photo credit: tristan tan /

Japanese brands produce the most models that owners keep for 15 years or longer, according to a new study by

The study found that 14 Japanese models and one German import are at least to be kept by the original owners for 15 years or more.

Toyota dominates the list with nine models named, including the Highlander, followed by the Honda brand, the only other automaker to earn multiple spots on the list.

“While a decade on the road used to be a significant milestone for vehicle life expectancy, the elevated quality of cars being produced has raised this standard to beyond ten years,” iSeeCars chief executive officer Phong Ly said in a news release. “Japanese automakers are known for setting quality and reliability standards, so it is no surprise that they are the most likely to reach the 15-year milestone.”

Brands with one model on the list include Acura, Subaru and Nissan.

In the 15th spot stands the Volkswagen Golf, the only non-Japanese model to make the list.

“The Golf appeals to a wide range of demographics by being a compact car with significant cargo space,” explained Ly. “The car is known for its practicality, so it appears to attract practical consumers who will make the necessary repairs to keep it on the road for as long as possible.”

The top 15 cars kept for at least 15 years include the following models:

  1. Toyota Highlander
  2. Toyota Sienna
  3. Toyota Tundra
  4. Toyota Prius   
  5. Toyota RAV4
  6. Honda Odyssey         
  7. Toyota Sequoia          
  8. Toyota Tacoma          
  9. Honda CR-V 
  10. Toyota Avalon           
  11. Acura MDX   
  12. Toyota Camry
  13. Subaru Forester          
  14. Nissan Frontier
  15. Volkswagen Golf

Additionally, the Toyota Prius, named fourth on the list, is the only hybrid model to make the list.

“Hybrid owners have the added incentive to keep their cars on the road for longer in order to accrue fuel savings to offset the increased upfront cost of these vehicles,” Ly added.

“Despite consumers’ concerns about battery durability and the associated high replacement cost, its appearance on the list shows that the reliability of the Prius measures up to Toyota’s conventional fuel counterparts,” he continued.

To determine which top 15 models are most likely kept for 15 years or more, iSeeCars said it analyzed more than 650,000 cars from model years 1981 to 2002, sold between January through November 2017.

iSeeCars then ranked models according to the original-owner percentage, according to the company. “Original-owner” vehicles are cars bought as new by the owner.

“iSeeCars aims to empower consumers to find the right car at the right price, and providing information on cars that owners keep for at least 15 years helps achieve that,” said Ly. “If consumers are looking for a dependable car that will stand the test of time with the right maintenance and upkeep, they should consider these brands and models.”

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