Once upon a time a car with 150,000 miles on the odometer was an old junker. Nowadays nobody bats an eye. A modern vehicle can last for years as long as it is well maintained. And in today's hot car market, a used vehicle with high mileage might be an inexpensive alternative to lower-mileage models. But which makes and models keep going and going and going?

High Mileage Heroes - Cars That Never Say Die

Break It Down

To get the answer, I asked the statistics wizards at KSL Cars to generate data from vehicle listings in the last three years — specifically those with 202,000 miles or more.

Here’s how the sample data played out:

  • There have been 424,117 vehicles listed on the site since June 2019.
  • 202,419 of them had clean titles — we narrowed our focus to these.
  • About 90% of those 202,419 vehicles had fewer than 202,000 miles.
  • That left 20,420 vehicles to analyze with greater than 202,000 miles.

And now the fun begins!

High Mileage Heroes - Cars That Never Say Die

The Hall of Fame High Milers

The top five most successful manufacturers with mileage in excess of the 202,000-mile range were:

  • Dodge: 18.6% were sold at or beyond 202,000 miles
  • Acura: 17.4% were sold at or beyond 202,000 miles
  • Toyota: 16.6% were sold at or beyond 202,000 miles
  • Honda: 16.2% were sold at or beyond 202,000 miles
  • GMC and Chevrolet: Tied at 14.4% above 202,000 miles.
High Mileage Heroes - Cars That Never Say Die

It might make sense to group Honda and Acura, Toyota and Lexus, General Motors and Chevrolet since they come from the same parent brands. When we do that, Honda is the frontrunner, and Toyota and GM are almost tied for second place.

High Mileage Heroes - Cars That Never Say Die

This outcome did not come as a big shocker — to me, anyway. I own a 1994 Acura Legend  with 582,000 miles. Aside from routine maintenance, it has required very little in the 20 years I’ve owned it.

High Mileage Heroes - Cars That Never Say Die

Top Models

Let’s look at specific models. Below were the top contenders:

  • Toyota 4Runner: 26.5% of these were sold at or beyond 202,000 miles
  • Ford F-250: 24.7% of these were sold at or beyond 202,000 miles
  • Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD: 23.5% of these were sold at or beyond 202,000 miles
  • Honda Accord: 22.5% of these were sold at or beyond 202,000 miles
  • Ford F-350: 19.2% of these were sold at or beyond 202,000 miles

Pickup trucks are key contenders here, probably because many of them are driven daily for construction, cargo transport and other high-usage work purposes.

High Mileage Heroes - Cars That Never Say Die

Filtering the currently active listings on KSL Cars for vehicles with greater than 200,000 miles yields a lot of results. Appearing at the top of the list are big-rig semi-trucks, for good reason. It’s worth noting that a lot of folks list their vehicles with mileage of 999,999, and a handful are listed with an extra-digit typo.

I found many vehicles with legitimate mileage even beyond the 400,000-mile range. One standout is a 2002 Dodge Ram pickup with 578,000 miles.

Takeaways

If you’re hunting for used cars, does it make sense to only search for vehicles with low miles? And what constitutes low miles these days, anyway? According to this data, there are plenty of makes and models that remain serviceable well into the 100,000 and 200,000-mile range and beyond.

High Mileage Heroes - Cars That Never Say Die

An odometer reading may be just a number. A well-maintained higher-mileage car may be a better buy than one that has been parked long-term. Internal combustion engines have a lot of moving parts that need to be exercised and lubricated. In addition, things like seals, gaskets and hoses are prone to drying out over time.

Based on what we see here, a high-mileage vehicle from Honda/Acura, Toyota/Lexus and General Motors brands should still be a safe bet for longevity and reliability.

Hopefully this data will help fine-tune your search for a specific brand or model. Visit the listings at KSL Cars to see if your next ride is waiting for you there!

KSL Cars does not endorse any vehicles. The views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and do not reflect the views or opinions of KSL.com or its employees.