The truth is, almost any car can survive until it has reached 250,000 miles. Of course, you’ll have to put a ton of money into it, and that isn’t always a good idea. It’s best to start with a safe, reliable vehicle and keep up on the routine maintenance. If your car requires heroic measures to keep it going, maybe it’s time for retirement. But since no one really likes car shopping, or at least, dealing with the salespeople, here is a list of the ten most dependable vehicles available. Treat them right, and they are sure to keep on chugging for you, up to 250,000 miles and beyond.
Toyotas & Hondas – the Go-Forever Makes
These two car companies have a solid reputation for making vehicles that last and last. Several of the cars on our list come from them, but many more Toyota and Honda models that we didn’t cover can go to 250,000 miles and beyond. We simply wanted to include some standout models from other brands as well!
It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly about these brands makes the difference, and the automakers certainly aren’t advertising their secrets. But in the case of Hondas, it may have something to do with an enormous focus on research and development, followed by extensive testing, before any components go into production. Toyota is known for using Kaizen management principles, which emphasizes smart changes rather than flashy ones.
The Camry has always been an understated workhorse, but newer models have snazzier styling. The standard 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine offers ample power and delivers 32 mpg. A hybrid Camry, the LE, gets an astonishing 47 mpg. You can also choose a 3.5-liter V6 Camry.
The Camry has always been solidly ranked among cars with the highest number of models reaching at least 200,000 miles. Over 20% of Camry owners choose to drive their cars longer than 10 years, indicating that regular maintenance is about all it takes to keep your Camry happy.
The Accord offers two four-cylinder engines: a base 1.5-liter and a new 192-hp engine that’s mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Also available is an uplevel turbocharged 2.0-liter and a hybrid version.
Honda Accord runs neck-and-neck with Toyota Camry for the title of best-selling car every year because they are both known to last. The Accord also ranks as one of the most common cars kept for longer than a decade. For the best value, go with a four-cylinder engine.
Fuel efficiency is one of the most important factors in vehicles today, and the Prius hybrid just keeps getting better in this regard. Newer models deliver 52 mpg overall, well above the still-impressive 44 mpg of older models.
The car achieves such great results, in part, by driving solely on electric until the vehicle reaches 25 mph. Despite its efficiency, the Prius handles responsively and rides comfortably. Colorful digital gauges populate the dashboard and provide abundant fuel-economy information, including how effectively the driver has handled it!
The CR-V has ranked among the most reliable vehicles for ten years straight by Consumer Reports. The base engine is a 184-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder. Fuel economy is great for its size at 28 mpg overall.
Also a top seller in the US, the CR-V tends to stay with families for a long time – over 25% of owners kept their cars for longer than 10 years before selling, not junking. With stats like that, you have a great chance of breaking the 250,000 mile mark with a CR-V.
One of Ford’s most popular vehicles, this pickup truck has an all-aluminum body, which saves about 700 pounds over its steel-bodied predecessor. Engine choices include a new 3.3-liter V6, 2.7- and 3.5-liter turbo V6s, and a 5.0-liter V8.
Perhaps its reliability is part of what makes the F-150 so popular – it is not uncommon to find used ones for sale with 300,000 miles on them. A hybrid version is officially in the works, sure to add considerable value to an already extremely popular vehicle.
Subaru consistently ranks high in dependability, fuel economy, and owner satisfaction. So it’s no surprise that the Legacy and the Outback, on which the Legacy is based, have a great chance at going over 250,000 miles.
A smooth and comfortable ride, your Subaru might even come with free regular maintenance for the first 2 years (or 24,000 miles). You are sure to get your money’s worth with either one of these dependable vehicles.
Ford Escape Hybrid
The Escape’s hybrid model debuted 2005, but it wasn’t very popular at first. All that changed when results started coming in from a fleet of 18 of them that were used as taxis in New York City. They each accumulated over 175,000 miles in just a year and half but were still going strong.
In fact, even though Ford phased out the model in 2012, many Escape Hybrids were still being used in the taxi fleet in 2017. It’s not uncommon to find used Escape Hybrids with over 400,000 miles on the odometer.
Chevy Silverado 1500
Much like the sedan battle between Accord and Camry each year, the Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado duke it out in the truck category as well. The Silverado prides itself on heavy duty worksite performance, but also offers a smooth ride and comfortable cabin for your commute.
Built to endure abuse, you should be able to blow past 250,000 miles in your Silverado. There are certainly many available for sale that have met and exceeded this mark.
GMC Yukon XL
The GMC Yukon XL is a giant SUV with reliable and long lasting engine, transmission, and fuel system. In 2017, it ranked fifth on the list of cars that can pass 200,000 miles. However, some owners report issues with things like the Yukon’s in-car electronics, power equipment, and body integrity.
So while you are likely to be able to drive your Yukon forever, you may find that it starts to look and feel kind of beat up before it actually dies.
Mazda MX-5 Miata
The Mazda MX-5 Miata is not a vehicle that sells in high volume, so it is not always included in studies of high-mileage vehicles. However, on surveys by Consumer Reports, the Miata’s engine and transmission were shown to be virtually trouble-free over the past decade. These results are backed up by J.D. Power dependability tests as well. Special mention goes to the 2010 and 2016 models, which are particularly reliable and have really high owner satisfaction ratings.
If you’re in the market for a used car, any of these models are a solid choice even if they’ve already seen a lot of road. On the other hand, if you are going to buy a new car, these ten (along with just about any Toyota or Honda model) are a great place to start your research. With a commitment to regular maintenance, you won’t have to buy another vehicle for a decade or more.