Top 15 cars original owners keep the longest
When you're shopping for a new car, one interesting statistic to consider is how long current owners tend to keep specific vehicles. After all, choosing to keep a car or truck instead of replacing it with something newer is a good indicator of owner satisfaction.
Over 350,000 cars from the 1981-2004 model years sold in 2019 were analyzed by iSeeCars, with a focus on seeing what percent of owners kept them for 15 years or longer. A quick look at the list you’ll notice the most dominant characteristic shared between all these cars is where they’re from: Japan.
Yep, every car that made the top 15 list is from a Japanese automaker — Toyota happens to be tops in the country, too. Let’s get into the list now, and discover which cars specifically people keep the longest. Click the first image to begin.
15. Toyota Land Cruiser
Toyota Land Cruiser: 10.6%
The Toyota Land Cruiser kicks off our list of cars that owners tend to keep for 15 years or more, and we're not surprised. Toyota's rugged SUV is known around the world as one of the most durable and dependable vehicles available.
Toyota Land Cruiser Information
14. Honda Civic
Honda Civic: 11%
The Honda Civic is a perennially popular car, available in a range of styles that includes a coupe, sedan and hatchback. It's also offered in overpowered Type-R form, making it a desirable choice for a wide range of buyers.
Honda Civic Information
13. Toyota Camry
Toyota Camry: 11 percent
It’s a bit surprising to not see the Accord on this list alongside the Camry, but it looks like owners cling to the Toyota just a tad longer on average. That said, the Camry hasn’t been a car driving enthusiasts would want to hold onto in a long time. It took the total redesign of the newest generation for Toyota to finally add some driving enjoyment into its traditionally bland sedan.
Toyota Camry Information
12. Toyota Corolla
Toyota Corolla: 11.4%
In 12th spot is the Toyota Corolla, another car that's been popular for many years based in part on its reputation for reliability. It's a popular commuter car for people who are mostly looking for durable transportation from point A to point B with a minimum of fuss.
Toyota Corolla Information
11. Honda Odyssey
Honda Odyssey: 11.6 percent
Here’s the first minivan on this list, and we’re not surprised it’s a Honda. Family cars tend to get bought around the time a family starts, so holding onto such a vehicle makes a whole lot of sense. The Odyssey is a family car most would struggle to grow out of, as well. Once you have a van, it’s hard to give up that utility.
Honda Odyssey Information
10. Toyota 4Runner
Toyota 4Runner: 11.8 percent
Toyota's off-roading SUV has been around for a long time, and is next up on our list. It’s a capable vehicle for tackling some trails with. Owners appear to enjoy this quality about it, and don’t ditch them very quickly. This and the larger Land Cruiser have faithfully stuck around to satiate the Toyota off-road enthusiasts of the world.
Toyota 4Runner Information
9. Toyota Prius
Toyota Prius: 11.9 percent
Do people like fuel economy? Well, yes they do. None of the others on this list are dedicated hybrids (though many are offered with a hybrid variant), but the Prius was one fish in a very small sea of hybrids back in 2003. We imagine the data would include some of the other hybrid vehicles that came after the original Prius if this study is repeated in a decade or so.
Toyota Prius Information
8. Honda CR-V
Honda CR-V: 12.4 percent
The Honda CR-V kicks off the reign of crossovers on the list. It was one of the car-based crossovers that kicked off the trend we see in the industry today. People liked them 20 years ago and they still like the CR-V now.
Honda CR-V Information
7. Honda Pilot
Honda Pilot: 12.6 percent
The Honda Pilot is the brand’s largest SUV. It boasts three rows of seating, making it a popular choice for families that don't want to feel trapped into minivan ownership.
Honda Pilot Information
6. Toyota Rav4
Toyota RAV4: 12.7 percent
Toyota’s little crossover used to be a riot of a vehicle. The all-wheel drive version had a drivetrain descended from the rally-bred Celica All-Trac when it was first sold Stateside. You could even get a version with two doors and a removable roof. Rad. More recently the RAV4 became a boring crossover, but the brand-new RAV4 is starting to change that perception.
Toyota RAV4 Information
5. Subaru Forester
Subaru Forester: 12.8 percent
The venerable Subaru Forester just entered a new generation, but Subaru fans are certainly loyal to the original. While Subaru doesn’t necessarily have the reliability reputation that brands like Toyota and Honda do, they’ve done a good job carving out a niche audience that loves them. How long the Forester stays in households is a direct example of this.
Subaru Forester Information
4. Toyota Tundra
Toyota Tundra: 14.2 percent
The Tundra is Toyota’s biggest truck offering, competing against the big bruisers from Ford, GM and Ram. Sales-wise it doesn’t come close to touching those trucks. When it comes to how long owners keep them, though, the Toyota surprisingly takes the crown.
Toyota Tundra Information
3. Toyota Tacoma
Toyota Tacoma: 14.5 percent
Another Toyota truck. Are you surprised that there isn't a single truck from Detroit on the list? In any case, the Taco is a great little truck that’s earned its reputation for durability and its spot as the best-selling midsize pickup.
Toyota Tacoma Information
2. Toyota Sienna
Toyota Sienna: 15.5 percent
We haven’t seen the Sienna minivan change much in a long while, but it’s still here and competing with the top vehicles in the segment like the Pacifica and Odyssey. It’s the only minivan you can spec with all-wheel drive in the U.S., which gives it an edge for people in northern climes. Just like the Odyssey, we’re not surprised to see so many people wanting to hang onto such an adept people hauler.
Toyota Sienna Information
1. Toyota Highlander
Toyota Highlander: 18.3 percent
Performing a great deal better than any other vehicle on this list is the midsize Toyota Highlander SUV. As one of the first car-based crossovers in America, people liked it even then. Now that the SUV and crossover hoopla has reached a feverish pitch, the Highlander is even more popular. Just as we started the list, a Toyota ends it, too. Conclusions? Owners like their Toyotas, even once they get old. A bunch of other older cars turn into money pits after so much time, but the vast majority of Toyotas sold in this time period just keep on ticking.