4 Best High Mileage SUV: Top Models for Reliability

You have to be careful buying a high mileage SUV. Buy the wrong SUV like I once did, and you can be in a world of trouble.

For this reason, I want to share with you four SUVs you can buy with over 100,000 miles, and the odds will favor you making a smart purchase.

Best Years For The Lexus GX460
(This is my 2011 Lexus GX with over 130k miles and still going strong)

Key Takeaways

  • High mileage SUVs are a viable choice for those looking for long-lasting vehicles.
  • Regular maintenance and careful use are key to maximizing an SUV’s lifespan.
  • Advanced features and amenities enhance the high mileage ownership experience.

When searching for an SUV that can stand the test of time and mileage, it’s important to consider models known for their longevity and reliability.

High mileage SUVs can indeed be a wise investment, especially for those who value durability and want a vehicle with a proven track record of performance beyond the common 100,000-mile mark.

It’s crucial to assess the factors that contribute to the sustained health of an SUV, including regular maintenance, fuel efficiency, and build quality. This is crucial in finding the best high mileage SUVs.

Given the advancements in automotive technology and engineering, many modern SUVs are designed to exceed customer expectations in terms of high mileage performance.

Owners who meticulously follow scheduled services and use quality parts can often see their vehicles surpassing high mileage thresholds while retaining value and functionality.

Features and amenities also play a role in high mileage SUVs, as comfort and convenience can impact the long-term ownership experience.

These Are The Best High Mileage SUVs I Would Buy

When it comes to high-mileage SUVs, some models are renowned for their lasting durability and reliability. In this section, I’ll present my carefully selected list of SUVs that I confidently recommend, even with over 100,000 miles on the odometer.

What’s more, my family or I personally own (or have owned) each of these vehicles, and can attest to their performance, as all have crossed the 100,000-mile mark.

  • Lexus GX 460 (Ours is a 2011 with 129,995 miles on it at the time of this article)
  • Toyota 4Runner (We had a 2001 3rd Gen 4Runner that we put over 120,000 miles on before trading it in. I was still going strong but we were ready for something new.)
  • Lexus RX 330 (My mother purchased a 2011 RX 330 about the same time I purchased my GX. She has over 163k miles on hers.)
  • Toyota Sequoia (My father is still driving a 2003 Toyota Sequoia that has been in our family since it was brand new. He has over 269,000 miles, but the transmission has just started to slip. He still drives it daily.)
  • Honorable Mentions: Lexus LX, Toyota Land Cruiser, Acura MDX and RDX, Honda Pilot and C-RV, Toyota RAV4, and 2001-2006 Chevy Tahoe / Suburban or GMC Yukon XL or Yukon.
  • Must Avoid: Buick Enclave or any GM Vehicle with the 3.6L engine. Our 2019 Buick Enclave stared burining a ton of oil at just 32,000 miles. We have a family friend who has had 3 GMC Acadia with the 3.6L engine, and they all died just past the 100k mark. Just take my word for it and stay far away.

Lexus GX (470 or 460)

2011 Lexus GX 460 - my personal vehicle
(Photo: my 2011 Lexus GX 460)

The Lexus GX 460 is a top contender with its robust build and luxury comforts.

Known for its off-road capabilities coupled with a plush interior, we find it to be a trusty companion for both city commuting and adventurous getaways. Its reputation for longevity justifies our decision to prioritize it on our list, making it one of the best high mileage SUVs.

This is by far my first choice. It does not have all of the modern safety features and tech gadgets but the vehicle is ultra reliable. I trust it so much my two daughters are driving it now. (I purchased the new Toyota Sequoia, but I still prefer the GX)

Toyota 4Runner

Fourth Generation 4Runner (2003-2009)

Next, the Toyota 4Runner earns its spot due to its renowned toughness. It handles both on and off-road conditions with a proven track record of crossing the high-mileage mark without compromising on performance.

Much like the GX, the 4Runner remains a top pick for us thanks to its combination of durability, utility, and consistent dependability over time.

Lexus RX (330 or 350)

Lexus RX 330

When it comes to a blend of sophistication and endurance, the Lexus RX excels. This model stands out for its comfortable ride, advanced features, and strong reliability scores from various automotive experts.

For a daily driver that offers both luxury and high-mileage reassurance, the Lexus RX is one of our go-to options for the best high mileage SUVs.

Toyota Sequoia (1st or 2nd Gen)

Toyota Sequoia

Finally, the Toyota Sequoia offers substantial space along with noteworthy longevity. This full-size SUV caters to our needs for a roomy interior and the capability to handle high miles without significant issues. Its track record for reliability and continued performance keeps the Sequoia on our list.

I would purchase the 2nd Gen because the 1st Gen is now ~20 years old. I have had the 3rd Gen since November 2023. I love the way it drives but I am not thrilled by the cargo area due to the hybrid battery and protruding 3rd row seats.

My 2023 Sequoia
(Cargo area in my 2023 Toyota Sequoia)
ModelKnown ForIdeal For
Lexus GX 460Off-road & luxuryMixed terrains & comfort
Toyota 4RunnerToughness & durabilityOff-roading & reliability
Lexus RXComfort & advanced featuresDaily driving & luxury
Toyota SequoiaSpace & reliabilityFamily trips & longevity
  • Our choices are based on steadfast performance beyond the 100,000-mile mark.
  • We value these models for their proven longevity and capability to be dependable daily drivers.
  • Each of these SUVs continues to offer excellent service, fulfilling our driving needs with assurance.

Understanding The Best High Mileage SUVs

When considering the longevity and reliability of SUVs, we look closely at vehicles known for enduring high mileage while maintaining performance and safety.

Benefits of High Mileage Vehicles

High mileage SUVs offer a testament to their durability and robust engineering. These vehicles typically demonstrate:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: With a proven track record of mileage, these SUVs can be a more affordable option over time.
  • Dependability: Many high mileage SUVs are lauded for their reliability, sometimes exceeding 100,000 miles without major issues.

Determining SUV Longevity

Assessing the longevity of an SUV involves several factors:

  • Maintenance Records: Regularly serviced SUVs often last longer.
  • Brand Reputation: Certain brands are known for engineering the most reliable SUVs.
  • Component Quality: Durable parts contribute to overall longevity.
Factors Affecting LongevityDescription
MaintenanceRoutine checks and timely repairs.
Driving HabitsGentle acceleration and deceleration.
Model HistoryPast performance of specific SUV models.

High Mileage SUV Myths Debunked

We dispel common misconceptions about high mileage SUVs:

  1. “High Mileage Equals Major Breakdowns”: Not all high mileage vehicles are prone to failures; some are known for their endurance.
  2. “Inevitable Expensive Repairs”: If maintained well, high mileage vehicles may not require costlier maintenance than newer models.

Selecting the best SUVs to buy with high mileage demands careful consideration to get a dependable and lasting vehicle.

Evaluating the Best High Mileage SUVs

When we examine high mileage SUVs, key considerations include longevity, durability, and maintenance cost-effectiveness. Here we’ll focus on comparing popular models, explore high mileage potential in luxury SUVs, and assess economy options for reliability.

Comparison of Popular Models

We’ve seen that models like the Toyota 4Runner and the Lexus GX stand out due to their ability to surpass 100,000 miles with fewer performance issues. For those considering the best used SUV over 100k miles, a look at consumer reports and maintenance histories is crucial.

  • Toyota 4Runner: Known for its rugged durability and reliability.
  • Lexus GX: Offers a balance of luxury and longevity.

Although each vehicle has its unique strengths, consistent maintenance is key to ensuring these SUVs live up to their high-mileage reputations.

Luxury SUVs With High Mileage Potential

In the luxury category, both the Lexus LX and Lexus RX garner attention. These SUVs blend upscale comfort with the endurance necessary for high mileage:

  1. Lexus LX: Boasts off-road capability paired with luxury accommodations.
  2. Lexus RX: A more road-focused option with a reputation for a plush ride even after crossing the 100k mark.

Our analysis shows that luxury doesn’t have to compromise mileage; it’s about delivering refined experiences without sacrificing vehicle longevity.

Economy SUVs and Reliability

For buyers looking for an economic choice, reliability becomes the top priority. The best mileage SUVs in the economy segment are those that offer a cost-effective buy without a trade-off in quality or durability. It’s about finding the sweet spot where the initial savings in purchase price align with the long-term savings in maintenance.

We encourage prospective buyers to:

  • Research vehicle history reports.
  • Prioritize models known for outlasting their peers.
  • Consider the cost-to-value ratio when buying used.
SUV ModelMileage PotentialMaintenance Cost
Economy Models100k+ milesLower
Luxury Models100k+ milesHigher

Owning an SUV with a track record of high mileage can be a wise investment, and with the proper care, many of these vehicles prove to be resilient travel companions.

SUV Mileage and Maintenance

When we look at high mileage SUVs, we need to consider how the vehicle’s mileage will impact maintenance costs and strategies for keeping these vehicles running smoothly.

Impact of Mileage on Maintenance Costs

Mileage is more than just a number; it’s a key indicator of your SUV’s usage and can significantly influence maintenance expenses.

As an SUV goes the distance, its components may wear out and require more frequent inspections and replacements. Here is a brief outline of common maintenance requirements based on mileage intervals:

  • Under 30,000 miles: Generally limited to routine oil changes and tire rotations.
  • 30,000 to 60,000 miles: Replacement of wear items like brake pads and possibly the battery.
  • Over 60,000 miles: More significant services may be needed such as timing belts, spark plugs, and suspension components.
Mileage (miles)Maintenance AreaExpected Service
0 – 30,000Basic MaintenanceOil changes, tire rotations
30,000 – 60,000Intermediate Wear ItemsBrake pads, battery
60,000+Major Mechanical ComponentsTiming belts, spark plugs, etc.

Maintaining Your High Mileage SUV

Maintaining your high mileage SUV requires attention to detail and a proactive approach to service. Here are some tips for keeping your vehicle in prime condition:

  1. Regular Inspections: Check the condition of your vehicle’s key components regularly to avoid surprises.
  2. Quality Parts: Use high-quality replacement parts to ensure longevity and performance.
  3. Service Records: Keep detailed service records; they help manage your maintenance schedule and retain value.
  4. Professional Advice: Seek professional advice for unusual issues. An expert’s insight can be priceless.

It’s essential for us to meet these maintenance needs diligently to ensure that our high-mileage SUVs remain reliable and safe for everyday use.

Ownership Experience

In this section, we delve into what you can anticipate from high mileage SUVs, including enduring tales of longevity and the economic advantages they present.

Real-World SUV Longevity Stories

High mileage SUVs, particularly those known for their durability, often surprise us with just how far they can go when well-maintained.

Take, for instance, several stories where Toyota Land Cruisers have clocked over 300,000 miles and continue to perform reliably.

Another remarkable example is the Chevrolet Suburban, with numerous cases of surpassing the 200,000-mile mark, reinforcing its reputation as a resilient used SUV option.

*Our 2019 GMC Yukon (~55k miles) has been good, minus some odd electrical nuances. I am not yet ready to put the GMC or Chevy SUVs on my approved list, but they should be on the list for families that require the extra size.

Cost Benefits Analysis of Owning High Mileage SUVs

When we analyze the cost benefits of owning high mileage SUVs, our findings are impressively favorable. Here’s a breakdown:

Cost FactorHigh Mileage SUVsNew SUVs
Initial PurchaseSignificantly lowerHigher due to depreciation
InsuranceGenerally cheaperMore expensive
DepreciationSlower, offering better value retentionRapid in the first few years

Longest-lasting SUVs typically have proven track records that lead to fewer surprises down the road.

We find that they often offer a remarkable return on investment, especially if the previous owner has kept up with regular maintenance. This can turn a once expensive asset into an economical choice for our transportation needs.

Buying a High Mileage SUV

When searching for the best used large SUV, especially those with over 100k miles, it’s crucial to focus on reliability, the condition of the vehicle, and the value for money.

We’ll guide you through finding reliable used SUVs, key inspection tips, and how to negotiate effectively.

Where to Find Reliable Used SUVs

  • Online Marketplaces: We recommend searching reputable online platforms for listings, as they often have a wide range of options and detailed vehicle information available.
  • Certified Pre-Owned Programs: Manufacturers’ certified pre-owned (CPO) programs can be a good source for finding used large SUVs that have been thoroughly inspected and come with a warranty.
  • Local Dealerships: Visiting local dealerships allows us to inspect potential vehicles in person and provides opportunities for test driving.

Inspection Tips Before Purchase

  1. Check Maintenance Records: Ensure the SUV has a complete service history to confirm regular maintenance was performed.
  2. Examine Wear and Tear: Be vigilant about the condition of tires, brakes, and suspension, as these can be costly to replace.
  3. Professional Inspection: We advise getting an inspection by a trusted mechanic to uncover any potential issues not visible to the untrained eye.

Negotiating the Best Deal

Research Vehicle Value: Before negotiating, we equip ourselves with knowledge about the SUV’s value using resources like Kelley Blue Book.

FactorWhy It’s Important
Vehicle Model YearDetermines technology and safety features
MileageHigh mileage can affect price and lifespan
ConditionThe overall condition impacts the value

Initiate Negotiation: We start by offering lower than the asking price but remain reasonable, showing respect for the seller’s position. Our approach is to be informed and firm but fair in our offer.

Features and Amenities

When we look for the best high-mileage SUVs, we pay close attention to specific features and amenities that enhance the driving experience, prioritize safety, and provide comfort for all passengers. These vehicles offer a range of advancements that we’ll explore in the sections below.

SUVs with Advanced Safety Features

The safety features in SUVs have evolved significantly over the years, and high-mileage SUVs often come equipped with advanced systems that ensure protection on long journeys. We’ve noted the following key safety technologies:

  1. Adaptive Cruise Control: Maintains a safe distance from the vehicle ahead, adjusting speed as necessary.
  2. Blind Spot Monitoring: Alerts drivers when a vehicle enters their blind spot.
  3. Lane Departure Warning: Monitors and warns if the SUV begins to drift out of its lane.
  4. Automatic Emergency Braking: Engages the brakes automatically in response to an imminent collision.

By integrating these technologies, SUVs enhance the safety for both the driver and passengers, offering peace of mind during extended travels.

Interior Space and Comfort

For those of us who prioritize interior space and comfort, high-mileage SUVs are designed with both in mind. Here’s how the interior space is maximized across different configurations:

  • Cargo Space: Capable of accommodating a substantial amount of luggage, high-mileage SUVs offer a generous cargo area, which can be extended by folding down the rear seats.
  • Seating Configuration: Most models provide a spacious second row, while many also include a convenient third row for additional passengers or extra cargo space.

Here’s a quick overview presented in a table format:

Trim LevelsVarious trim options offer increased luxury or practical features.
Cargo SpaceAmple room for luggage with easy accessibility.
Second and Third Row ComfortAdjustable seating with ample legroom and personal space.

With a careful selection of trim options and thoughtful interior design, these SUVs are well-suited for both daily commutes and extended road trips.

Model-Specific Insights

In this section, we’ll examine the hybrid efficiency and durability of SUVs that have proven to be reliable choices for high mileage needs.

Highlander and RAV4 Hybrid Variants

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid stand out in their class for their combination of fuel efficiency, power, and longevity. These models feature robust battery packs and regenerative braking systems that help extend their range and efficiency:

  • RAV4 Hybrid: Brings an impressive array of features tailored for longevity and reliable performance, particularly in terms of its fuel efficiency.
  • Highlander Hybrid: Offers a larger, family-friendly SUV experience without compromising on the mileage efficiency Toyota hybrids are known for.

Toyota’s hybrid technology has matured to the point where these vehicles are not just good for the environment but also for long-term use, saving owners on fuel costs over the lifetime of the vehicle.

Domestic SUV Durability – Chevrolet and GMC

Chevrolet and GMC vehicles are celebrated for their build quality and endurance, particularly when well-maintained:

  1. Chevy Equinox and Traverse: Both have demonstrated considerable resilience over high mileage with proper care.
  2. GMC Terrain: Inherits the robust qualities of its Chevrolet cousins and adds a layer of sophistication without compromising on hard-wearing attributes.
BrandModelNotable Durability Feature
ChevyEquinoxEngine and transmission longevity
ChevyTraverseRobust chassis and suspension
GMCTerrainAdvanced powertrain endurance

Both brands blend durability and comfort, making them reliable choices for users looking to rack up significant mileage.

Their commitment to quality has helped customers associate the names Chevy and GMC with dependable high mileage performance.

Market Trends and Predictions

As we observe the automotive landscape, we recognize that high mileage SUVs are becoming an integral part of the market, particularly focusing on fuel efficiency, enhanced cargo space, and evolving technologies.

The Future of High Mileage SUVs

The trajectory for high mileage SUVs is increasingly in favor of adopting hybrid and plug-in hybrid technologies.

For instance, the Hyundai Tucson is a small SUV that illustrates the growing trend towards vehicles that promise not only plenty of cargo space but also improved fuel efficiency.

Large SUVs are now competing with crossovers to become more fuel-efficient without compromising on size or power.

  • Hybrid SUVs: Combining traditional gasoline engines with electric power to reduce fuel consumption.
  • Plug-in Hybrid SUVs: Offering even greater fuel efficiency and the ability to drive on electric power alone for shorter trips.

Manufacturers are keen to market the longest-range SUVs, crafted to deliver the ultimate blend of spaciousness and miles per gallon, appealing to the economically and environmentally conscious buyer.

Emerging Technologies in SUVs

Our focus shifts to the technological innovations that are reshaping SUVs. Crossover SUVs are particularly ripe for the integration of advanced technologies, which not only boost mileage but also enhance the overall driving experience.

We can expect a substantial increase in vehicles equipped with features such as:

  • Regenerative Braking: Converting kinetic energy into electric energy to charge the battery.
  • Advanced Aerodynamics: Reducing drag to improve fuel economy.
TechnologyExpected Impact
Regenerative BrakingEnhances battery life & mileage
Plug-In Hybrid SystemsReduces fuel consumption and emissions
Advanced AerodynamicsImproves fuel economy by optimizing airflow

By focusing on these aspects, we see that the SUV market is steadfastly moving towards models that offer the benefits of both performance and environmental responsibility.

Best Practices for SUV Owners

As SUV owners, we play a crucial role in maintaining our vehicle’s efficiency and longevity, especially when our SUVs accrue high mileage. We should focus on optimizing fuel economy and regular maintenance.

Optimizing Fuel Economy

Driving Habits:

  1. Maintain steady speeds.
  2. Accelerate gradually.
  3. Use cruise control when appropriate.

These habits can improve our fuel economy significantly. For instance, aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by roughly 15%-30% at highway speeds.

Tire Maintenance:

Proper inflationPrevents overuse of fuel
Regular rotationEnsures even wear and better fuel economy

By regularly checking and maintaining tire pressure, we ensure our SUVs are not consuming excessive fuel.

Upkeep for High Mileage Vehicles

Regular Check-Ups:

  • Replace air filters.
  • Check the engine regularly.
  • Change oil as recommended.

These measures are non-negotiable for high mileage vehicles to ensure they perform well.

Tracking Performance:

  • Monitor fuel economy.
  • Observe any changes in vehicle behavior.

Keeping an eye on fuel efficiency helps us detect potential issues early on. If our SUV starts consuming more fuel than usual, it could signal that a maintenance check is overdue.

By adhering to these best practices, we can maintain good fuel economy and ensure our high mileage SUVs remain reliable on the road.


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