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Toyotas Make Up Seven of the Top 10 Cars Owners Keep for 15+ Years: Study

Not that it's particularly surprising, but hey.

After sorting through a list of more than 660,000 cars from all over the nation, automotive research website iSeeCars has figured out which vehicles are most likely to be kept by their owners for more than 15 years. It’s a small number, as it turns out, and the ones that do get kept for that long are made by brands known for reliability—primarily Toyota.

In fact, seven of the 10 cars most commonly kept for 15-plus years are made by the Japanese automaker, with the longest-kept, and this is even more unsurprising, being the Prius. On a slightly more unexpected note, the Camry and Corolla don’t even make the top 10. Toyota locks out the top five spaces with the aforementioned Prius in first, followed by the Highlander, Tacoma, Sienna, and Tundra.


Below the top five Toyotas are the Honda Pilot, Honda CR-V, and Subaru Forester, in that order. These are followed by the final two Toyotas, the 4Runner and Sequoia. 

The research firm also notes what percent of these vehicles are kept for this long, with the average vehicle kept for 15 years just 6.1 percent of the time. The Prius, on the other hand, is kept for this long 13.7 percent of the time, or more than twice as often. That figure roughly translates to one in seven Prius owners keeping their cars for 15 years, which is a lot. In the number 10 position, on the other hand, 9.1 percent of Sequoias were kept for so long.

Toyota also tops the list when it comes to pickup trucks, with its Tacoma and Tundra being held onto 11.6 and 11.3 percent of the time, respectively. The next closest American truck, the GMC Canyon, is held onto for 15 years or more 7.8 percent of the time.

One of the few areas that Toyota can’t compete is in sports cars. The Mazda MX-5 Miata is something of a standalone character in this list, being kept for 15 years 7.6 percent of the time, while the next to sports cars, the BMW Z4 and M5, are kept for 6.7 and 4.9 percent, respectively. This grouping is one of the more diverse, representing five different brands in the top-six list.

So what does this mean? To get into a bit of speculation, it likely translates into a mix of people liking the cars they own, and them being reliable. Go to the Pacific Northwest, and not only is having a Prius something of a social norm, but the Prius is also reliable enough to be kept for long periods of time. The same can be said for many other Toyota models, and other vehicles on similar lists like the Miata. So, in a nutshell, if it ain’t broke…

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