Repairs are a part of the car ownership experience and there are many ways to quantify how reliable a car is. But what if you just want a car that will keep on going?
To find out which vehicles are known for going the furthest in their lifetime, we spoke to Michael Karesh from TrueDelta.
TrueDelta is a database where car owners can report on experience with their vehicles, including when a repair is needed, and how much a repair will cost. Car owners also report at what mileage their issues occur. This gives a very rounded perspective of when repairs might crop up, and what kind of trips to the service center you can expect.
We asked TrueDelta for a list of vehicles with the highest average mileage with reports on each coming from at least ten owner responses. Note that these cars aren’t necessarily the most reliable, but they have the highest average miles among their owners.
- 2003 Volkswagen Golf/Jetta diesel: 218,000 miles
- 2001 Volkswagen Golf/Jetta diesel: 218,000 miles
- 2000 Toyota Sienna: 213,000 miles
- 2002 Volkswagen Golf/Jetta diesel: 202,000 miles
- 2002 Ford Super Duty: 194,000 miles
- 2002 Toyota Prius: 193,000 miles
- 2001 GM full-size SUVs: 183,000 miles
- 2001 Toyota Tacoma: 180,000 miles
- 2001 Subaru Legacy / Outback: 178,000 miles
- 2000 Honda Odyssey: 177,000 miles
- 2000 Toyota 4Runner: 177,000 miles
- 2002 Toyota Tacoma: 176,000 miles
- 2002 Honda Odyssey: 173,000 miles
- 2000 GM full-size SUVs: 173,000 miles
- 2002 GM full-size SUVs: 173,000 miles
- 2000 Ford Super Duty: 172,000 miles
- 2003 GM minivans: 171,000 miles
Surprised? We sure were, since Volkswagen vehicles aren’t known for having a strong history of reliability. But then again, people who buy diesel Volkswagens are likely more concerned about the vehicle’s ability to travel long distances. The same can be said about the Toyota Prius.
SEE ALSO: Top 10 Least Dependable Automakers
“People are more likely to buy a VW TDI or a Prius if they know they’re going to be driving a lot, since fuel economy then has more of an impact,” says Karesh. “Many owners of the older TDIs are willing and able to work on their own cars, and often do quite a bit of work to keep them going,” he said.
Sure enough, looking at the reports of 13-year old VW Jetta diesels on TrueDelta holds no surprises: the data base has 163 repairs per 100 vehicles, which is expected for such an old car. The cost of repairs aren’t too high though, with only 15 percent of them being over $1,000. Looking through the individual reports, many owners have over 100,000 miles on their cars.
Other cars on this list have more favorable repair frequencies. Owners of Toyota Prius and 4Runner vehicles reported fewer repairs than those Volkswagen owners, however, they were reported with fewer average miles.
Does this list show that certain cars are more reliable than others? Not exactly. Instead these are the cars that you can expect to get a ton of miles out of.