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10 cars you can keep for 10 years


Let's say you like to buy a new car and keep it well past the last loan payment. You'll be happy to know a new study by auto research site has identified which models most original owners keep 10 years before selling. (One man who held onto his Dodge Charger for 46 years recently learned it could be worth more than $1 million as it's one of only 503 made of the model.)

The list is dominated by SUVs and minivans -- only two sedans made it into the top 10. Among the vehicles that made the top 10 list, about a fourth of the 2005 models sold recently had been held for 10 years by just one owner.

To determine which ones were most held on to, looked at all 2005 models sold in the first half of this year. It then looked for one-owner cars using data from CarFax, which tracks the history of individual vehicles. The researchers then screened those 400,000 vehicles to see which models were most often held by one owner for 10 years.

The predominance of SUVs and minivans suggests growing families hang on to their vehicles. "These are basically family vehicles, and it could be that buyers originally did research to find something reliable and long-lasting," CEO Phong Ly said.

Toyota and Honda models also predominate among these most-held vehicles. "It's not surprising that Toyotas and Hondas made the list, since they base their reputation on reliability," said Phong.

Other notable points in the report.

--Toyota Prius ranks No. 2 on the list despite earlier concerns about how long the batteries in the gas-electric hybrid would last.

--No domestic-brand models made the top 10, all of which had 23 percent or more of owners holding them for 10 years. Two large Detroit SUVs did finish just above the average of 13.5 percent of long-term holders: Chevrolet Suburban with 14.3 percent and GMC Yukon with 14.9. Chevrolet's Silverado pickup was just below the average with 13.1 percent.

--Luxury cars like the BMW5 series came in near the bottom on the list of long-term holders because these vehicles are most often leased for three years or so. Domestic models popular with high-turnover commercial fleets and rental car companies also ranked low on the list. That included Chevrolet Impala, Chrysler Sebring and the Ford Taurus.

Read on for a look at current models of the top 10 cars in order most often held for 10 years.

Honda CR-V


The CR-V was named 2015 Best Compact SUV for Families by U.S. News Best Cars. That site, which compiles a wide range of auto reviews, cited the CR-V's safety and reliability ratings, and its roomy interior space. Reviewers said it has more spacious rear seats than many competitors and a roomy cargo area as well.

The CR-V has an updated transmission for 2015 that, coupled with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, delivers an estimated 27 MPG in city driving, 34 on the highway. The CR-V comes standard with a backup camera -- a crucial piece of safety equipment. List prices range from $23,445 for the base model up to $32,895.

Toyota Prius


Despite early questions about the longevity of electric batteries in this gas-electric hybrid, 28.5 percent of all these cars on sale had been held by one owner for 10 years. That misses just by 0.1 percent topping the list. And Consumer Reports a few years ago tested a 10-year-old Prius and found no loss of battery life or power.

However, the 2015 Prius, as those before it, is described as having sluggish acceleration and not very responsive handling. But owners who love their Prius bought it for the fuel economy: a whopping 51 MPG in city driving (where it shines) and 48 MPG on the highway. "The chat forums out there are full of Prius owners talking about passing 100,000 miles and heading for 200,000," said iSeeCars' Phong.

Toyota Rav4

R. Michael Zilz

Long-time rival to the Honda CR-V, the RAV4 combines passenger room, large cargo space and standard equipment make it an attractive package. Reviewers praise the Entune audio system, with a touch-screen that's easier to use than many others. They also like the RAV4's precise steering and comfortable highway ride.

However, they note that RAV4 has fallen behind the CR-V and other competitors in gas mileage from its four-cylinder engine, rated at 23 MPG in city driving and 30 on the highway. List prices on the RAV4 range from $23,680 to $29,850.

Toyota Highlander


Highlander was named the 2015's Best 3-Row Midsize SUV for Families by the compilation of reviews at U.S. News Best Cars. Reviewers said a roomy cabin and a quiet ride combine with spacious seating in the first two rows and room for children in the third.

The base model with a four-cylinder engine is rated for 20 MPG city, 25 highway. Test drivers preferred the extra power in the optional V-6, which has a very similar MPG rating: 19 MPG city, 25 highway. List prices for the Highlander range from $29,675 to $44,140.

Honda Odyssey

David Folks, Wieck

Long ranked as the best minivan, Odyssey has the expected spacious interior and comfortable ride. But it also handles exceptionally well for a vehicle this large, with responsive steering and strong brakes.

Its six-cylinder engine with good acceleration is rated for 19 MPG in city driving, 28 on the highway. List price on the Odyssey goes from $28,995 to $44,600.

Toyota Sienna


The Sienna ranks as the No. 2 minivan behind the Honda Odyssey in the calculations by U.S. News. Reviewers like its interior with easy-to-operate controls and a responsive touch-screen for the music and cell phone system.

Sienna's V-6 engine with strong acceleration is rated for 18 MPG in city driving, 25 on the highway. List price for the Sienna goes from $28,700 to $46,250.

Toyota Camry


The Camry is the best-selling sedan in the U.S. Reviewers praise it for a quiet, smooth ride and roomy rear seats. The audio and heating/air conditioning controls are well-located and easy to adjust while driving. Standard features in the Camry include an eight-way adjustable driver's seat and a rearview camera.

The base four-cylinder engine is rated for 25 MPG in city driving and 35 on the highway, a bit lower than some competitors. List price on the 2015 Camry ranges from $22,790 to $31,370.

Toyota Avalon


The Avalon is a large, comfortable sedan with some luxury touches borrowed from Toyota's Lexus division. The attractive, well-made interior and comfortable seats makes for a soothing ride.

But Avalon has power when you need it, with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine rated for 21 MPG in city driving, 31 on the highway. List prices for the Avalon run from $32,285 to $39,080.

Honda Pilot


The 2016 version of the Pilot, which has been selling since earlier this year, ranks No. 1 for affordable midsize SUVs in the U.S. News compilation. Reviewers praised the comfortable seats, with even the third row roomy enough for adults on short trips. And the Pilot boasts a comfortable ride and responsive steering.

The powerful 3.5-liter V-6 engine is rated for 20 MPG in city driving and 27 on the highway. List price for the Pilot runs from $29,995 to $46,420.

Subaru Forester


The only entry in the top 10 that's not a Honda or Toyota, the Forester was named best small SUV for 2015 by Consumer Reports. The magazine praised its combination of high safety ratings, spacious interior and reasonable price. Like all Subarus, Forester has all-wheel drive.

Its base four-cylinder engine is rated for 24 MPG in city driving and 32 on the highway. List price for the 2015 Forester ranges from $22,195 to $33,095.

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