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Cars Over 100,000 Miles: Are They Worth It?

Cars Over 100,000 Miles: Are They Worth It?

Cars Over 100,000 Miles: Are They Worth It?

This car odometer is about to hit 100,000 miles.

While shopping for used cars, you’re sure to see low-mileage vehicles favored in advertisements, as if high-mileage vehicles aren’t worth consideration. Online and around town, buyers tend to shy away from high-mileage vehicles on the grounds of their mileage alone.

This is unfortunate, because plenty of cars over 100,000 miles have a lot of life left in them. On the other hand, plenty don’t. To find out whether the high-mileage vehicle you’re considering is a worthwhile option, check out the following.

It’s Just a Number

“100,000” isn’t some magical demarcation line between “old reliable” and “could die any day.” Today’s cars are lasting longer than ever before. In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation calculated that the average American car was 11.6 years in 2016 — the highest it’s been since record-keeping started in 1995.

Considering that U.S. residents drove a record number of miles in 2016, according to NPR, it’s safe to assume that many of these vehicles are either pushing the 100,000-mile mark or well over it.

Pros and Cons of High-Mileage Vehicles

Perhaps the best thing about a high-mileage vehicle is that it already has a proven track record. Because it’s run over 100,000 miles without major issues, chances of it running another 100,000 are pretty good.

There are a couple of caveats, though, such as not knowing if it’s been regularly maintained or if the last owner was the first, second or fifth owner. Comprehensive vehicle history reports may contain most of this information, and an objective inspection should reveal any real problems if you’re considering a high-mileage vehicle.

A Few Cars Over 100,000 Miles to Consider

When shopping for cars over 100,000 miles, do some research and even ask your trusted mechanic for their thoughts on the models you’re considering. Don’t ask a salesman unless they’re a friend or family.

Here are a few cars with well-known track records:

  • Toyota Camry: Yes, it’s a vanilla sedan and not exciting at all, but this model lasts forever. There are plenty of examples that still perform great while pushing 100,000 miles or more.
  • Mazda Miata: It’s great fun in a small package, like a go-kart, but it’ll only fit two people and a small suitcase. Stick with manual-transmission models for the most fun and reliability.
  • Ford F-150: For hauling and towing, look no further than America’s best-selling vehicle of all time. Strength, utility and reliability are all key considerations that make this truck worth checking out.
  • Volvo 240: It’s an older car and maybe a little weird-looking, but practically unkillable. Only Nokia makes tougher stuff.
  • Lexus RX: Aside from a few poorly maintained 3.0-liter V6s, most of which have already been scrapped or rebuilt, these SUVs are comfortable and have a great ride. Look for the 350 to avoid sludged 3.0Ls.

Take a look around, ask friends and family and you’ll find plenty of examples of reliable automobiles with 100,000, 250,000 and even 500,000 miles on them. Diesel work trucks regularly run upward of 500,000 miles, often doubling that before needing a rebuild.

There’s plenty of proof out there that you can widen your used-car search to older, perhaps out-of-style, but equally reliable vehicles over 100,000 miles.

Check out all the maintenance parts available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on cars over 100,000 miles, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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