A Different Toyota Now Tops The List Of Cars People Keep The Longest

Illustration for article titled A Different Toyota Now Tops The List Of Cars People Keep The Longest
Image: Toyota

Digging into the data to learn which cars are kept the longest can reveal something interesting about what’s on our nation’s roads. Previous lists from iSeeCars.com had some fairly predictably winners. That was until this year’s data was revealed.

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It was the Toyota Tacoma or Highlander that typically took the top spot on vehicles that people keep for 15 years or more. Now that iSeeCars has examined new data based on used car sales in 2020, a winner that is neither a truck nor an SUV rose to the top.

Here’s the study’s methodology -

iSeeCars.com analyzed over 660,000 used cars from model years 1981-2005 sold in 2020. For each model, the percentage of cars sold by the original owner was mathematically modeled (“original-owner” cars were bought as new by the owner). The models were then ranked by the original-owner percentage. Models with low sample size, heavy-duty trucks and work vans, and models which were no longer in production as of the 2020 or 2021 model year were excluded from the analysis.”

Illustration for article titled A Different Toyota Now Tops The List Of Cars People Keep The Longest
Screenshot: iSeeCars.com

Of course, no one is surprised to see Toyota dominate not only the top five, but seven out of the 10 spots. Honda fills in the rest, with a lone Subaru in the number eight position.

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What is fascinating about having the Prius as the top vehicle that people keep for at least 15 years, given the sales dominance of trucks, SUVs and crossovers, is the testament to the life span of the hybrid battery’s life. While some of these long-term Prius owners may have replaced their hybrid batteries, I would imagine a chunk of these cars are still running on the original battery. According to this report from Torque News, a salesperson who specializes in selling Toyota hybrids for a long time said that it’s not uncommon for a Prius battery to last 10 to 15 years.

Folks in the market for a fuel-efficient and reliable commuter car can likely pick up a Prius for cheap and still get plenty of life out of it, even with a battery that has seen some age and mileage.

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Check out the full report at iSeeCars.com

 

Tom is a contributing writer for Jalopnik and runs AutomatchConsulting.com. He saves people money and takes the hassle out of buying or leasing a car. (Facebook.com/AutomatchConsulting)

DISCUSSION

v10omous
V10omous

Models with low sample size, heavy-duty trucks and work vans, and models which were no longer in production as of the 2020 or 2021 model year were excluded from the analysis.

I can understand excluding the low sample size ones, although this would presumably rule out long haulers like the Land Cruiser or Corvettes that people buy and hold for a long time. But what is the reasoning behind excluding HD trucks? Or vehicles no longer in production? What does it matter if a car was discontinued in 2015 if the used cars in the sample range from 1981-2005?

Maybe there would have been no change and I’m overthinking things. But suppose Toyota discontinues the Prius 2 years from now, does that negate how long people kept older models and does it make sense for it to fall off the list?