THE LONG HAUL
It's not uncommon for car payments to last up to six years, so it's only natural for buyers to seek vehicles that will live years and miles past the end of their loans. Outlets including Consumer Reports, ISeeCars, Edmunds, and J.D. Power have all conducted surveys in the past year ranking vehicle longevity and retained value. Here, we're highlighting 20 vehicles that appear on two or more of those lists. Find out which vehicles make it in the long run.
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Toyota figured prominently in all the rankings in 2016, and the Prius hybrid came in second in ISeeCars' list of "Top 10 Cars Owners Keep for at Least 10 Years." The automotive industry research company found that 32 percent of buyers still own their Priuses after 10 years (2.5 times the industry average). The Toyota Prius C won honorable mention in Edmunds' Best Retained Value Awards, which looks at the value of vehicles five years after purchase. Being a hybrid, the Prius also needs a whole lot less gas than a conventional car. The Energy Department's Fueleconomy.gov website reports that the Prius C gets an average of 46 mpg, the Prius Eco gets 56 mpg, and the Prius V gets 41 mpg.
The Honda Fit was a winner in Edmunds' Best Retained Value Awards (in the subcompact car category) and in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study (in the small-car group). In addition to being reliable and holding its resale value well, it's also quite economical to run, even though it's not a hybrid. Fueleconomy.gov shows the Honda Fit offering up to 36 average mpg, for a model with an automatic transmission with variable gear ratios.
Honda's CR-V turned 21 last year and has been consistently popular. It won the compact crossover SUV category in Edmunds' retained-value awards and appeared on Consumer Reports' list of "10 Best Cars to Get to 200,000 Miles and Beyond." It also came in at No. 6 on the ISeeCars list, which found that 25.2 percent of CR-V owners keep their cars a decade or more, twice the average. For an SUV, it's also quite good on gas. The all-wheel-drive CR-V delivers an average of 29 mpg for the 1.5-liter version and 27 mpg for the 2.4-liter model. The front-wheel-drive-only model adds an extra mile per gallon.
Honda's popular minivan appears on multiple top-10 lists. ISeeCars placed it at No. 10, showing that 24 percent of Odyssey owners had kept their minivans for 10 years or more -- almost twice the average. It also appeared on Consumer Reports' list of cars likely to last 200,000-plus miles and was the winner in the minivan category for Edmunds' retained-value honors. With a 3.5-liter, six-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission, fantastic gas mileage might seem unlikely. But the Honda Odyssey at least makes it into the 20-plus range, yielding an average of 22 mpg.
Toyota's Highlander has long been a mainstay of the midsize SUV market, so it should be no surprise that it won the Edmunds retained-value award for midsize crossover SUVs. It also makes two appearances in the ISeeCars survey: The Toyota Highlander Hybrid came in first, with 32.1 percent of owners driving their vehicles for 10 years or more (2.5 times the average), and only slightly fewer (29 percent) stick with their standard Highlanders for at least a decade (2.2 times the average). The Highlander also scores well on gas mileage, with 23 mpg reported for the standard gasoline engine and 29 mpg for the Highlander Hybrid 4WD LE Plus.
The Toyota 4Runner rated an honorable mention in the midsize traditional SUV category of Edmunds' retained-value awards. It's also on the Consumer Reports list of cars likely to last 200,000-plus miles, although the organization does criticize the 4Runner, saying its "ride is unsettled, and handling is clumsy." The gas mileage is also nothing to brag about, with a fairly modest 18 mpg for both the 2WD and 4WD versions of this well-established midsize SUV.
The Toyota Tundra is a two-time winner. It's the reigning champion in the large light-duty pickup category of the J.D. Power dependability awards and won the Edmunds Best Retained Value Award for a large truck. While the Tundra doesn't make the all-category ISeeCars list, it does rank second in the truck portion of the survey: 21.5 percent of buyers still own their Tundras after 10 years (1.7 times the industry average). As you might expect for a large truck, average gas mileage is pretty low: only 16 mpg for the 2WD version with a 4.6-liter, eight-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission.
The Toyota Sienna took the top prize in J.D. Power's minivan category and came in fourth in the ISeeCars survey, with 28.7 percent of owners keeping their vehicles 10 years or more (2.2 times longer than average). In addition, the Sienna rated an honorable mention in the vans category of the Edmunds awards. It also made the Consumer Reports list of cars likely to last 200,000-plus miles. Consumer Reports praised the Sienna's quiet ride, all-wheel-drive option, and gas mileage. The Sienna checks in with an average of 22 mpg for the 2WD model and 20 mpg for the AWD edition.
Ford's iconic truck distinguishes itself by being one of only three vehicles from American automakers (all of them trucks) to appear on more than one list. The F-150 rated an honorable mention in the Edmunds awards (large truck category) and also made the Consumer Reports list of 200,000-mile vehicles. Consumer Reports praised the lighter, all-aluminum body of the latest F-150, and this classic truck's mileage figures demonstrate just how effective its weight-loss program has been. The 2WD version of the F-150 with a 2.7-liter, six-cylinder engine boasts a respectable 22 mpg.
The Honda Pilot grabbed the No. 5 spot on the ISeeCars survey, which found that 27.2 percent of owners keep their cars for 10 years or more (2.1 times longer than average). The Pilot rated an honorable mention in the midsize crossover SUV category of the Edmunds awards. As a midsize SUV, this vehicle offers fuel efficiency in line with its smaller size: an average of 23 mpg on the most fuel-efficient model, the 2WD, 3.5-liter, six-cylinder version with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Toyota's classic small SUV puts up some pretty good numbers, appearing at No. 7 on the ISeeCars survey, which found that 24.9 percent of Honda Pilot owners keep their vehicles for more than a decade (1.9 times longer than average). The RAV-4 also earned an honorable mention in the compact crossover SUV category of the Edmunds value-retention awards. The 2017 Toyota RAV-4 Hybrid AWD offers the best fuel economy of all the RAV-4 models, with an average of 32 mpg.
The Honda Civic celebrates its 45th birthday this year. It's come a long way from the gas-sipping little hatchback of the 1970s. Today's sleek and refined model made it to the Consumer Reports list of cars likely to last 200,000-plus miles and received an honorable mention in the compact car category of Edmunds' retained-value awards. A standard four-door Civic (with a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission) also gets great gas mileage for a non-hybrid model, delivering an average of 36 mpg.
The Toyota Camry also has a long pedigree. Introduced as a smaller, narrow-bodied compact car in 1982, it has grown up to be a midsize car. It was the winner in that category of Edmunds' awards in 2016. It also made the Consumer Reports list of 200,000-mile cars. Consumer Reports lauded both the gas-powered and hybrid models. Owners of the Toyota Camry Hybrid LE can expect an average of 40 mpg.
The Honda Accord, the bigger sibling of the Honda Civic, shares a reputation for reliability and longevity and earned a place on the Consumer Reports list. Consumer Reports called the 2016 Honda Accord the "most-likely vehicle to get to 200,000 miles." The Accord garnered an honorable mention in the midsize car category of Edmunds' retained-value awards. The best bet for fuel economy is the 2017 Accord Hybrid, which notches an eye-popping 48 mpg.
Toyota's venerable Corolla made the Consumer Reports list, and testers used adjectives like "comfortable," "quiet," and "secure" to describe the experience of riding in it. The Corolla also received an honorable mention in the compact car category of Edmunds' retained-value awards. A standard Corolla with a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission with variable gear ratios offers average fuel economy of 32 mpg.
Just to show that Toyota and Honda don't completely dominate these lists, Subaru's popular Forester came in at No. 8 on the ISeeCars survey, with 24.2 percent of Forester owners keeping their cars for 10 years or more (1.9 times longer than average). In addition, the Forester won honorable mention in the Edmunds Best Retained Value Awards for compact crossover SUVs. Even though all editions of the Forester are AWD, it offers good fuel economy, offering an average of 28 mpg for the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine paired with an automatic transmission with variable gear ratios.
The popular and beefy Silverado was the winner in the J.D. Power large heavy-duty pickup category, and it showed up at No. 8 on the ISeeCars truck ranking, which found that 13.9 percent of Silverado buyers still owned their trucks after 10 years (slightly better than the average). And you don't necessarily need to have your own oil well to run this truck. Chevrolet offers a hybrid model, the Chevrolet Silverado 15 Hybrid 2WD, which delivers a respectable 20 mpg on average.
The Toyota Avalon was the winner in the large car category of the Edmunds value-retention awards, and it came in at No. 2 in the ISeeCars survey, with 21.6 percent of Avalon owners keeping their cars for 10 years or more (1.7 times longer than average). The hybrid version of the Avalon gets an average of 40 mpg.
The Chevy Colorado won honorable mention in the midsize truck category of Edmunds' value-retention awards. It also earned the No. 6 spot in the ISeeCars survey among trucks that owners keep for at least 10 years, with 15.1 percent of Colorado owners hanging onto their trucks for a decade or more (1.2 times longer than average). The 2.8-liter, 2WD version of the Colorado gets an average of 25 mpg.
The GMC Canyon made it to the No. 7 spot on the ISeeCars survey for trucks, with 15.1 percent of Canyon owners keeping their vehicles 10 years or more (1.2 times the average). It also earned an honorable mention in the midsize truck category of Edmunds' value-retention awards (meaning that both honorable mention spots in that category went to General Motors trucks, with the other being the Chevrolet Colorado). The Canyon boasts average fuel economy of 22 mpg for the 2WD version with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission. There is also a diesel version that offers 25 mpg.