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New report: The top 10 new cars that owners keep the longest

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By Mike Timmerman, Clark.com

If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, a recent study reveals the cars and SUVs that owners are most likely to keep for the long haul.

Of course, money expert Clark Howard says the best thing for your wallet is to buy a car that’s a few years old and let the first owner eat the depreciation cost.

But some people just can’t resist the new car smell, so that’s why we’re sharing the results of this iSeeCars.com study.

RELATED: Here are the ONLY times Clark ever recommends leasing a car

iSeeCars.com report: Ford, Chevy, Toyota and Honda make the list of cars that owners keep the longest

Which vehicles are kept the longest? To find out, iSeeCars analyzed more than six million used vehicles sold by their original owners to determine the longest kept new vehicles.

Here are some of the key findings from the iSeeCars study: 

  • Five of the top 10 are SUVs with standard or optional seating capacity of at least seven passengers
  • The next common vehicle type is sedans, which had three models
  • The second-ranked Corvette was the only sports car to make the top 10 list

“While the average car buyer gets rid of their car 7.4 years after purchasing it new, there is a wide variety of cars that owners are more likely to keep for longer,” said iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly. “Many factors could contribute to a car’s longevity such as its function as shown by the dominance of family vehicles, or because of a fondness of a timeless classic like the Chevrolet Corvette.”

The average length of ownership for the top 10 models ranges from 8.3 to 9.0 years — or 10.9% to 20.9% longer than the overall average of 7.4 years.

iSeeCars Top 10 New Cars Owners Keep the Longest

Rank Model # Years of Ownership (Avg.)
1 Ford Expedition 9.0
2 Chevrolet Corvette 9.0
3 Toyota Sequoia 8.9
4 Toyota 4Runner 8.8
5 Toyota Avalon 8.6
6 Ford Explorer 8.4
7 Chevrolet Suburban 8.4
8 Honda Accord 8.3
9 Ford Taurus 8.3
10 Honda Odyssey 8.3
Average for All Cars 7.4

iSeeCars.com also looked at how long owners hold on to America’s most popular cars after buying them new. It found that 10 of the 20 best-selling cars are kept for longer than the overall average.

iSeeCars Length of Ownership for Popular Cars

Rank Model # Years of Ownership (Avg.)
1 Ford Explorer 8.4
2 Honda Accord 8.3
3 Toyota Camry 8.1
4 Toyota Highlander 7.9
5 Toyota Corolla 7.8
6 Jeep Grand Cherokee 7.8
7 Honda Civic 7.6
8 Honda CR-V 7.6
9 Ram Ram Pickup 1500 7.4
10 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 7.4
Overall Average 7.4
11 GMC Sierra 1500 7.3
12 Ford F-150 7.2
13 Nissan Altima 7.1
14 Toyota RAV4 7.0
15 Ford Escape 6.8
16 Nissan Sentra 6.8
17 Hyundai Elantra 6.6
18 Chevrolet Equinox 6.0
19 Ford Fusion 5.8
20 Nissan Rogue 5.3

You can read the full study at iSeeCars.com. Meanwhile, Clark recommends that car buyers consider a short-term subscription to Consumer Reports to check out its comprehensive ratings and reviews.

Read more about the ‘Clark Smart’ way to buy a new car!

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