These Are The Cars You Think Are Unkillable

These Are The Cars You Think Are Unkillable

From Citroën to Chevrolet, these are the cars that you think might outlive mankind

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A photo of a red Pontiac Vibe station wagon.
Is this Pontiac really unkillable?
Photo: Pontiac

A lot of things can lead to the demise of your daily driver. Maybe it’s the winter salt that causes it to rust away, the hundreds of thousands miles you cover each year or simply the rough terrain you put it through day in, day out. But are there any cars out there that can rise above all these obstacles and live forever?

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That’s the question we posed to you last week when we asked for the cars that you think are unkillable. And, thankfully, you came back with some great responses covering everything from vintage Ferrari’s to classic Fords.

So sit back, relax and flick through the following slides to uncover the cars that Jalopnik’s dear readers think are unkillable.

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Dodge Dart

A photo of a pale blue Dodge Dart.
Photo: Dodge

When I was growing up, one of my aunt’s neighbors had a late ‘60s Dodge Dart sedan with a slant-six and three-speed column shift.

The last time I was in that neighborhood in NE Phila (c.1990-91) the Dodge was parked on the street and had a current inspection sticker.

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Can you prove it was the very same car? If you can, that’s a mighty impressive lifespan for an old Dodge.

Suggested by: earthbound-misfit-i

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Honda Pilot

A photo of a red Honda Pilot SUV driving up mud.
Photo: Honda

It seems like in the late 90s to early 2000s there were many that lasted forever. We had a 2002 Chevy truck for 20 years and 268k miles with very few issues, and a 2003 Honda Pilot that has been in the family for 20 years and is pushing 300k.

You see these cars all the time still running good.

Please send us annual updated of the 20-year-old Pilot pushing 300,000 miles. I’d like to know if it can outlive the mankind.

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Suggested by: William Owens (Facebook)

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Saab 900S

A photo of a red Saab 900S.
Photo: Saab

Often people bring up the Volvo 240s and the older stuff, but Volvos were extremely reliable for a long time, even under Ford’s crappy ownership. My brother’s S70 T5 and my wife’s first car, Volvo V70 2.4 (N/A), just refused to die. Also, both my wife and brother had their Volvos in an accident each, and the damn things were easily repaired, going on to serve for many years.

Toyota may be the benchmark for reliability, but reliability AND SAFETY goes to Volvo (and fun to drive). My personal ownership vote goes to my Saab 900S (Non-turbo sedan) also refused to die, with over 400,000 kms [250,000 miles] on it until I decided to sell it, due to parts availability being a hassle.

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If you bought this person’s aging Saab 900S when they finally bid it farewell, please let us know. I want to hear if it’s still on the road.

Suggested by: dacarguru

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Ford Crown Victoria

Ford Crown Victoria

A photo of the rear quarter on a Ford Crown Victoria.
Photo: Ford

I’d argue that any Panther platform is about as tough as it gets. If it’s good enough for police duty, to then be put into taxi duty, and then finally auctioned off to the public? Not many other platforms can survive that kind of abuse.

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Who’s got the Panther platform car with the highest mileage? Head to the comments now!

Suggested by: Dave Wade (Facebook)

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Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen Beetle

A photo of the front of a red Volkswagen Beetle.
Photo: Volkswagen

Hilux is the right answer.

However, I’d also throw the old VW Bug in there.

Reliable? No.

But, can you fix it on the side of the road with only a paperclip and some chewing gum? Absolutely.

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Have you actually fixed a VW Beetle with a paperclip and some chewing gum? Let us know now!

Suggested by: Knyte

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Renault 4

A photo of a red Renault 4 hatchback in a forrest.
Photo: Renault

Add a Renault 4 and a Peugeot 504 to your list of cars that can’t be killed.

Also Russian cars – various Ladas and derivations thereof, and Moskviches, Volgas.

Is the original Beetle unkillable?

There are many vintage/veteran cars that seem unkillable.

While a lot of French car brands aren’t particularly regarded for being the most reliable cars out there. You’d be shocked at the number of aging Renault’s and Peugeot’s you’ll find in remote French villages.

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Suggested by: @TonyWeb80791059 (Twitter)

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Nissan Altima

A photo of a gold Nissan Altima sedan.
Photo: Nissan

Nissan Altima. The amount of what would be considered mathematically totaled Altimas still driving around on the roads probably outnumber the ones that are in decent, undamaged condition.

Having seen first hand what the drivers of these cars do to abuse them, I’d say they’re pretty damn unkillable. I’m not saying they’re reliable, or good, or problem free. I am saying that they are the cockroaches of public roads due to how hard they are to kill and be removed from buy-here pay-here used car lot circulation. Probably because their drivers don’t have insurance.

Picture of Altima in above average condition.

Reader, the picture showed an Altima with a bin bag in place of its rear bumper.

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Suggested by: mountainbikingandtrackdays

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Pontiac Vibe

A photo of a red Pontiac Vibe station wagon.
Photo: Pontiac

I’ve owned some of the most unkillable vehicles in America, 74 Plymouth Scamp slant-six, 4sp manual; 1980 Buick Century; YJ Jeep Wrangler; two Pontiac Vibes, 2000s Honda Accord; 73 Honda CB350; and a KLR650.

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Some great suggestions here. But, if you had to own one, which one would you go for?

Suggested by: Dave Gallo (Facebook)

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Audi 4000 Quattro

Audi 4000 Quattro

A black and white photo of an Audi 4000 Quattro sedan.
Photo: Audi

Audi 4000 Quattro, ‘78 Ford E-150 with a 351 Windsor, four-speed MT and nine-inch, ‘71 VW Transporter, are examples I own or have owned in the case of the VW. The Audi has never even had its head gasket replaced. But the most durable and reliable car sold in the U.S. in the past 50 years is probably the Buick Century, which I won’t own due to being automatic only...

Seriously folks, while the Hilux may appear tough, an American pickup truck from the ‘70s, or ‘80s with the right engine andtransmission can be found with at least half a million miles on it as a work truck. My Econoline has about 520k on it and still runs, but it did need it’s first engine rebuilt at 490k…

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Launched ahead of the 1980 model year, the Audi 4000 Quattro debuted with an inline-four engine that kicked out just 76 hp.

Suggested by: DavidHH

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Mercedes-Benz W123

Mercedes-Benz W123

A photo of a silver Mercedes-Benz W123.
Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz W123 diesels. They’ll also outlast the world’s diesel fuel production because they’ll run on anything oily and vaguely combustible.

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The W123 from Mercedes was by far the most popular suggestion today – both in its diesel- and petrol-powered iterations.

Suggested by: Kevin Kline (Facebook)

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Ferrari 250 GT SWB Breadvan

Ferrari 250 GT SWB Breadvan

A photo of a vintage Ferrari 250 GT Breadvan racing in the rain.
Photo: PA Wire/PA Images (AP)

Worth so much it will always be fixed.

Well, I guess that’s one way to approach this question?

Suggested by: rjjablo

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Chevrolet Suburban

Chevrolet Suburban

A photo of a gold Chevrolet Suburban SUV.
Photo: Chevrolet

2001 Chevy Suburban 5.3L.

Big old Chevys were another popular choice, with this poster getting very specific about the model they think will outlive humanity.

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Suggested by: @NEAVdubber (Twitter)

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Toyota Prius

A photo of a silver Toyota Prius sedan.
Photo: Toyota

Seems that many people don’t understand what “unkillable car” means.

A car is more than just an engine. There a whole bunch of other things to consider... like how well the body stands up to rust.

So while a Chrysler with a slant-six might have an unkillable engine, the rest of the car is very killable via rust and other issues.

Same deal with other vehicles like the Checker Marathon.

The truly unkillable cars are things like the Mercedes W123 diesel... which not only had solid engines, but also very solid/durable bodies, transmissions, etc. Same deal with the Volvo 240.

And you know what vehicle that matches or beats these that hasn’t been mentioned? This car. Here’s an 11 year old one with nearly 500,000km that’s for sale and is still running fine. And here’s A 15 year old one with 478,000 MILES.

Many of the ‘unkillable’ vehicles that many are listing would have been killed long ago if used like the 15 year old/478,000 mile Prius was used.

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How long will it be until we’re all out here celebrating the million-mile Prius?

Suggested by: manwich

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Volvo S70

A photo of a red Volvo S70 driving on a road.
Photo: Volvo

Drove my ‘98 Volvo S70 for 17 years to almost 300k. Bulletproof. My ‘06 S60 is just about at 200K and I still get compliments on the condition and styling. Smooooooth.

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Another excellent Volvo suggestion from this poster! We could all learn a thing or two about longevity from the Swedes.

Suggested by: Michel Francois Soucisse (Facebook)

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Citroën 2CV

A photo of a white Citroën 2CV filled with stuff.
Photo: Citroën

Citroën 2CV. It is as unkillable as “Futurama,” they just won’t die. I know we all joke about French cars and their reliability, but the 2CV is the exception because it is just so mechanically simple. Body work can be repairer by bashing lumps of random metal into shape, there are hardly any electrics, it is just pure simplicity.

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I’m disappointed I didn’t think of this before, but you’re right! The Citroën 2CV will, without a doubt, outlive us all!

Suggested by: skeffles

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