There’s no doubt about it: most cars suck far less than they used to. Even a standard economy car these days is better than one from decades ago in terms of build quality and reliability. As a result, the cars on the roads now have a higher average age than they used to.
The average age of a car on the road in the United States is 11.6 years, reports Automotive News, citing a January 2016 analysis conducted by IHS Markit. IHS started tracking average car age in 2002, when it was a measly 9.6 years. Today, that puts most cars in the summer after fifth grade.
“Quality of new vehicles continues to be a key driver of the rising average vehicle age over time,” said Mark Seng, global automotive aftermarket practice director at IHS Markit.
Most of us at Jalopnik have cars that are older than the 11.6-year average. My Mercedes is 14 years old. Patrick’s E30 is 31 years old. Andrew’s Scout is 40. Jason’s Dodge RV is 39 and his Beetle and Scimitar are 43. David’s cars range from 20 to 68 years old.
Do you remember your summer after fifth grade? Languidly frolicking at the community pool, your mouth sticky from the ice cream purchased from the neighborhood ice cream truck. You had not a care in the world. It was a summer that smelled of grass and glowed like the last golden rays of the setting August sun.
These cars, man, they’re in their prime.