Family rides among top cars owners keep 10-plus years
The fact that the top 10 list of vehicles owners keep for at least 10 years is made up entirely of models from Japanese automakers - many of which of known for strong reliability - doesn't necessarily surprise Phong Ly.
No, the surprise to the iSeeCars.com chief executive: nine of the top 10 are either SUVs or minivans.
The domain of mom and dad, hauling kids around to soccer practice, piano recitals or school.
"They're primarily family vehicles, and you would think that after having kids (and owning) these family vehicles for five, six, seven years that you might want to get rid of them as quickly as you can, given how dirty the car gets over time," Ly said in a phone interview this week.
"So, it's a little surprising that these vehicles are actually still being kept by the original owners," he said. "And perhaps partly it's being kept for just memory's sake. And also, I think the fact that it's still running well and it's reliable. It can get you from Point A to Point B while carrying your family."
The only non-SUV/minivan on the list is the vehicle in the No. 2 spot: the Toyota Prius.
Thirty-two percent of original owners keep that car for 10 or more years, according to the iSeeCars analysis of more than 2.5 million vehicles.
Topping the list by a hair is the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, where 32.1 percent of owners keep it 10-plus years.
On average, 12.9 percent of all car owners kept their rides for 10-plus years.
The complete top 10 is as follows, based on percentage of original owners holding onto the car for a decade or longer:
1. Toyota Highlander Hybrid: 32.1 percent
2. Toyota Prius: 32.0 percent
3. Toyota Highlander: 29.0 percent
4. Toyota Sienna: 28.7 percent
5. Honda Pilot: 27.2 percent
6. Honda CR-V: 25.2 percent
7. Toyota RAV4: 24.9 percent
8. Subaru Forester: 24.2 percent
9. Lexus RX (hybrid): 24.1 percent
10. Honda Odyssey: 24.0 percent
Hybrids at top, too; rental & lease favorites at bottom
As the list shows, there are three hybrids that cracked the top 10, as well, including the top two.
"The conventional wisdom not so long ago was that they may not be reliable vehicles. The Toyota Prius came out (in the United States and globally) in, I think, 2000. But it's turned out that these hybrid vehicles are one of the most highly rated cars. It's highly ranked by Consumer Reports. It's out bored out by the metrics, the fact that the original owners - this is not the second or third one; this is the original owner - are holding on to these vehicles for so long," Ly said.
If you look towards the bottom of the list, the cars that have the lowest percentage of owners keeping them for 10-plus years are commonly rental cars and vehicles that are heavily leased, Ly said.
For instance, a Ford Taurus - a vehicle popular in rental and commercial fleets - had just 5.6 percent of owners keep it for a decade, he said. Or the heavily leased BMW 7-Series, where only 4 percent of owners keep the ride for at least 10 years.
"Those markets favor cars that are only a few years old - 10 years after these cars were first sold, chances are that they would be sold by their second or third owners instead of their original owner," Ly said in a news release.
Trends among most popular rides
If you look at the 10 most popular cars in the US, ownership trends were quite varied. More than 20 percent of Toyota Camry owners keep their vehicles for 10-plus years, while just 7.9 percent of Ford Mustang owners do the same.
Likewise, iSeeCars points out that the most popular pickups were either close to average (Chevrolet Silverado at 1500 at 13.9 percent) or below average (Ram 1500 at 11.5 percent, Ford F-150 at 11 percent).
"Trucks are often used as heavy work vehicles, such as in construction, and so are driven much more than a typical passenger car," Ly said in a news release. "Consequently, they may need to be replaced earlier."