SF Bay Area's Most Durable Vehicles

Vehicles the most likely to reach 200,000 miles for Bay Area drivers according to ISeeCars.com

  • Toyota 4Runner
  • GMC Yukon XL
  • Chevy Suburban
  • GMC Yukon
  • Toyota Avalon was the highest rank sedan

“The reason why SUVs like the top-ranked Toyota 4Runner are so durable is that they are built on truck-based platforms and have the durability of a pickup truck”

4 of the 5 vehicles listed would be shunned by residents of SF, wouldn’t they? :wink:


Yes. they would be “politically incorrect”!

Not sure if anyone would do a life cycle cost analysis taking into account fuel and insurance as well as repair and maintenance. The Avalon would certainly come out on top.

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Let me guess that all of those are automatics.

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Not sure that description contains the proper sentiment…

Maybe “environmental destructionists” ?

I’d hate to try and find a parking spot for any of them, but especially the Yukon XL/Suburban twins. More than anything else, I think that’s why San Franciscans would not drive these trucks.

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This is one of those articles I would not even bother to read. Lets say the Suburban goes 200000 miles at a purchase price of 60000.00 ( most of them are more expensive ) at 15 MPG city.

An easy to get around and park Toyota Yaris that can be bought 18000.00 ( many times less than that ) and is rated at 32 MPG city .

Even if the Yaris only goes 100000.00 miles ( I would expect more ) you could have 3 of these and spend a lot less of fuel and have money left over to rent a nice vehicle for those vacation trips.

Plus you’d actually be able to find a parking spot in SF!

Those particular large SUV’s are used for commercial “limo” service quite often in SF, and put on miles without spending much time parked on city streets. Airport shuttles and wine country tours use them, too. And they fix them, rather than trade them in.

Not sure about San Francisco proper, but all of those vehicles are a fairly common sight on the roads in the San Jose area. But the 4runner, Avalon, and the various versions of the Toyota pickups are more common than the GMC’s & Suburbans.

Agree that most pickup owners don’t really need them and waste resources. I spent 3 weeks in England on a holiday and only saw just 2 pickup trucks and one of them was a company truck actually used as a truck.

I also know California environmental purists who drive Prius models and brag about all their extensive foreign travels where they burned up large amounts of energy jetting across the globe.

I grew up on a farm and we had a car and a pickup truck as well as a tractor, but no power lawn mower.

That wasn’t the point I was making. I believe that is the prevailing attitude of the SF Bay area folks towards SUV’s and trucks. In other words, they shun those who are perceived as environmental destructionists or worse terms. Those people are ignorant folks making a judgement without all the facts.

I’ll use myself as an example here. I own an SUV/truck as a 3rd vehicle. I bought it originally to tow my racecar and carry my crew to races but it was also my daily driver. It towed 6 to 8 weekends a year but generally carried me to work and back. To the casual observer, 90% of the time it appeared that I didn’t “need” the truck. The observer is ignorant of the need since they don’t see my trailer attached.

I keep this old truck as a 3rd vehicle for runs to the home center store for stuff that won’t fit in the cars. My current home project requires 8 and 10 foot 2x4’s and 2x6’s that won’t fit in my Mustang. My percentage use that requires a truck has gone UP but at least 50% of each trip, the truck is empty so the casual observer still sees I have no “need.” The observer is still ignorant.

Finally, it isn’t always about “need”, now is it? If the buyer wishes to spend their money on a massive SUV or truck and thew fuel to run it, that is their free choice. I’ve seen full size American and Euro SUV’s roaming around European cities. Wouldn’t be my choice - parking is a BEAR - but it is their choice.

I personally don’t care what people drive; it’s their behavior compared to their talk.

I went to an energy efficiency conference and met several whining “environmentalists” who drove Ford Expeditions “because they were safe”.

Other countries that are serious about energy use reduction put a progressive tax on heavy and high horsepower vehicles, and add a hefty gasoline tax as well. In Holland a $50,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 costs twice the US price and uses $9.50 per gallon gasoline.

Our family has already achieved the 30% energy reduction from the 2005 level to be achieved by 2030 as dictated by the United Nations Environmental Council… That includes home energy use as well as transportation. We still live in a good size house and are a 2 car family.

Whether you believe in Global Warming or not, efficient use of energy in everything we do makes sense.


I am with you on that.

“Prevailing” might be a little strong. No one here in my circle of acquaintances has ever mentioned the topic of my truck’s environmental footprint, whether good or bad. The only negative thing I’ve heard is from one neighbor who thinks it’s “rustic” appearance lowers the property values … lol

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People’s attitude toward anything is most obvious in their behavior, not their voting patterns. There are a hell of a lot of big SUV’s and pickups here, and they are everywhere. Yes, in the city of San Francisco you do see lots of small sedans and bicycles and scooters, but the sedans are very frequently Uber or Lyft cars or hourly rentals like Zipcar. You also see lots of giant SUVs. It’s easy to make broad statements about a place like San Francisco, and like any easy solutions to a complicated problem, they are usually wrong.

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I have a friend and his wife that live right in the middle of SF. It sounds like having a car there is somewhat of a pain. They had their windows smashed in every few months. You quickly learn not to keep anything of value in plain sight and it is best removed from the car altogether. There are a lot of druggies there and they will steal ANYTHING. It sounds like this is an expensive city with no real middle class. There are either lots of homeless or very well off tech company employees. They now have a garage for the car which costs as much as a house payment in other areas. This is new but I don’t think they have had any break ins since that time.

My friend would like a nicer car. She is more the practical one and prefers a good beater car which sounds like the right call if you ask me. They had a Mazda Protege before. It got broken in to and run into several times so it had significant body damage. It was also getting old and starting to have pretty major repairs on a frequent basis. The new car is a beater Camry. So far the only major issues with it are the windows getting smashed in a few times. This type of thing is just the cost of living in SF. A quick search shows this is pretty common there. https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Breaking-Point-475109113.html

It is definitely an expensive city to live in with some interesting dynamics going on. There are also strange laws that might make car ownership there more expensive. Apparently you cannot have anything other than a car in a designated car parking spot. Since space is at such a premium, he was using the parking spot to store a bicycle and some boxes of books, etc. A city code inspector was there due to a seismic retrofit being conducted on his building and noticed the “non-car” items in front of the car in a car parking spot. He got a warning to remove these items. The warning also noted that it was illegal to park a car in a non car storage area. I don’t know what happened to the bicycle but know they get stolen quite often as well. They have gone through several and no longer buy expensive models. https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/article/DIY-crime-fighters-try-to-roll-back-bike-theft-12502750.php

Living and driving a car in San Francisco isn’t the same as in less urban areas, that’s for sure. A lot of friends of mine here in San Jose – which is more of a suburban environment – they won’t drive their cars to San Francisco b/c they find the driving and parking experience too intimidating. But I don’t think anyplace I’ve ever lived, including a small city in Colorado, allowed folks to use a parking spot to store bicycles & books.

I have never been in a place where you can’t use a parking space for something other than a car. I see people with CRAP and I mean CRAP just piled in their garages and a $60,000 car just parked outside in the elements. You have a dumpster load of yard sale junk that charities will not accept in your garage but the car is parked outside. That is perfectly legal in the middle of Missouri.

I live on 48 acres in the middle of nowhere and that is how I like it. I found it funny when I was dating a girl from a bigger city. I told her that I was cutting down some trees for firewood and she asked me how long it took to get a permit to cut those trees down. I was basically like “As long as it takes to get my chainsaw started and cutting!” Different parts of the country definitely have a different set of rules…

Parking the vehicle in a garage makes them weak. They start needing all kinds of pampering like regular maintenance, washing and waxing and so on. There’s no end to it. My vehicles are tough and stay that way by being outside in the elements 24/7/365…

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