Long-distance runners

Here’s a look at which trucks and SUVs can be expected to hold up best over time.

By Jim Gorzelany
CTW Features

With the economy continuing to improve, and gas prices remaining affordable, Americans are rekindling their love affair with big pickup trucks and truck-based SUVs. Sales in the combined segments swelled by 13 percent last year according to Automotive News, and the demand for them is becoming so great the Wall Street Journal reports new-car dealers are begging automakers to shift production away from slower-selling cars so they keep their inventories stocked with higher-profit trucks.
Demand for used pickups and SUVs is likewise heating up. If you’re in the market for something more rugged and capable than a midsize sedan or crossover wagon, but can’t afford to spend $45,000 or more on a new truck, the pre-owned market is definitely the way to go. But as always, buying a used vehicle is fraught with potential problems, especially for those who intend to own a truck for the long haul.
To help identify which of the heaviest haulers on the road can be expected to last the longest, the data miners at the used-car website iSeeCars.com in Boston analyzed a sample of no less than 12 million vehicles from the 1981 model year and later to determine which have registered the highest number of miles on their respective odometers. Pickups and truck-based SUVs were found to be the longest lasting models among all vehicle types in the survey, registering 10 out of the top 11 slots for longevity. (See the accompanying box.)
Heavy-duty models from Ford, Chevrolet, and GMC were the highest-ranking pickup trucks, with full-size SUVs from Toyota, Ford, and Chevy also placing among the top models represented. The website found that 6 percent of Ford’s F-250 Super Duty pickups – the top performing model among all used vehicles in the survey – are still on the road and doing the heavy lifting after more than 200,000 miles. For those keeping score, six of the top 10 models on the list are from General Motors and two each are built by Ford and Toyota.
The website studied more than 12 million used-vehicle transactions for vehicles that were originally from the 1981 through 2016 model years. Cars and trucks that were not in production as of the 2015 model year were excluded from further analysis, as were models that have registered fewer than 10,000 units sold.

According to iSeeCars.com CEO Phong Ly, big trucks and SUVs top the longest-lasting list because they’re primarily used as work trucks, and while they’re driven hard and usually rack up a third more miles than the typical family ride, they also tend to be more meticulously maintained than most commuter cars.

“Manufacturers build trucks with these demands in mind and stake their reputations on how long their trucks will last. Longevity is even a major focus of their marketing campaigns,” Ly says. “Similarly, the largest SUVs, such as Ford Expedition, Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL, are also often used for business purposes, such as in the livery industry.”
© CTW Features

Longest-lasting pickups and SUVs

Rank Make Model % 200k+ miles
1 Ford F-250 Super Duty 6.0%
2 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD 5.7%
3 Toyota 4Runner 5.2%
4 Ford Expedition 5.0%
5 Chevrolet Suburban 4.8%
5 Toyota Sequoia 4.8%
6 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4.6%
7 Chevrolet Tahoe 3.4%
8 GMC Yukon XL 3.2%
9 GMC Yukon 2.7%
Source: iSeeCars.com.

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