How Long Should Cars Last?

high_mileage_car

Automakers love the media attention they receive when one of their vehicles passes the million-mile mark.

It has happened a handful of times to the likes of Volvo, Toyota, Saab, and Chevrolet. Sometimes the owner of a million-mile car gets special treatment by the automaker and occasionally even drives away with a brand new car.

Of course, most cars self-destruct long before reaching the million-mile mark. Many don’t even crest 200,000 miles, and most owners start thinking that it’s time for a new car sometime after 100,000 miles.

Automakers face a conundrum of sorts because they want their cars to be long-lasting, but also want to make money by keeping people coming back for new cars. So how long should a car last?

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The 200,000-Mile Club: Tell Us Your Story!

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We now have proof that almost any car can pass the 200,000-mile mark.

Earlier this week we were a little put off by a list of cars likely to last 200,000 miles that included only Toyota and Honda vehicles. We posted a response on our blog asking for help in proving that claim wrong. We know we have a dedicated group of proud drivers as readers, because we heard from dozens of folks who have proudly taken their vehicles most of the way to the quarter-million-mile mark and beyond.

Keep reading for some examples of cars that have effortlessly travelled hundreds of thousands of miles. Can you guess how many wear a Toyota badge?

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Cars That Won’t Die: Do You Have One?

2003 Ford Ranger

Over 400,000 miles and still going

My car turned past the 100,000-mile mark this weekend. I’d been fretting over that number as it approached, wondering if things would suddenly start falling apart.

I’ve never had a problem with the car. It’s always started on the first try and always purred along without trouble, and it doesn’t seem to have lost anything in the way of performance or power. Still, it’s not a car exactly known for its longevity, so I’m nervous. My nerves weren’t calmed when I started my car for the first time since I crossed that magic number. Rain fell from the dark sky, and I flipped on the headlights in the parking lot at Fantastic Sam’s. The reflection in the building’s window told me only one headlamp illuminated.

Great. While a headlamp isn’t a big deal, I wondered what other problems were programmed to start now that I was into 6 digits. So far, nothing. But I’m still nervous.

Then I read stories about vehicles that are still going strong after trudging over 400,000 miles without much more than a battery change.

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