Journal: Is There A New Car You'd Want to Put a Million Miles on?

Is There A New Car You’d Want to Put a Million Miles on?

By Josh Clason
June 14, 2013

After reading about last week’s post on the million-mile Porsche, I’ve wondered whether there is a new car on the market today that I would want to spend a million miles in (assuming that the car could realistically achieve that mileage).

This is a tough question to answer, and I’m not sure if there is a new car I’d want to drive a million miles in. The closest I can come up with is a BMW 1M, but I am not sure it would achieve a million or even the 400,000 miles from our recent M5 feature—without some serious help along the way. Possibly the BRZ?  

When considering vintage cars, there are quiet a few cars I would choose. Mainly (and hopefully) my 2002, but I wouldn’t mind a Volvo P1800 like this guy.

What are your thoughts? Is there a new car you would want to put a million miles on?

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Juan Velásquez
Juan Velásquez(@juanp-velasquez)
5 years ago

A Honda NSX and a Chevrolet Chevy C2, i love both cars 🙂

Emily Lopez
Emily Lopez(@emily)
6 years ago

That’s a quite good comparison you have mentioned in. And most probably we love to use high mileage cars but need to consider one thing what will be the emission rate . Do the cars have lower emission or same old. That ‘s why we need to find out what will best for our use as well for environment. Currently there is [url=””]Hybrid Cars[/url] that are very much usable and provides less emission.

Trinity Miller
Trinity Miller(@trinitymiller)
6 years ago

BMW M4 Iconic Lights — Here the car i want to have a luxurious journey, Well it’s new features are very helpful and give a pleasure of drive in dark night also. It’s having the best safety features in-built to protect you from any accidents. So it’s a lovely option for me to go in long trip with BMW M4 Iconic lights.

Harrison Voorhees
Harrison Voorhees(@fb_637013493)
8 years ago

You actually posted the first two that came to my mind. Although I might replace the BRZ with a Toyota Tacoma. I know, its a truck. But I could achieve that 1,000,000 miles on any terrain in any country across the world and still be able to find parts for the thing if somehow I managed to run the thing into a giant chunk of depleted uranium. I’m also pretty sure the uranium would be more damaged than the truck.

Eddie Relvas
Eddie Relvas(@eddie124)
8 years ago

No modern car will last fo a million km, let alone miles… therefor, this discussion is useless. They’ve all got expiry dates on them, no-one wants you going for this car-for-life nonsense anymore, got to keep you buying new ones.
Mind you, they’re so detached from the driving experience that if you’ve got petrol in your veins (not electrons like Mr. Eyermann), you’d bore long before the million mark anyway. Only some specialist machines might cut it. I’d like to try the new Morgan 3-wheeler, for example. But it’s not a million miles machine either.

Don Eyermann
Don Eyermann(@electrolicious)
8 years ago

I’d love to have an electric TESLA Model S Performance Sedan for a MILLION MILES!! Or even just a few tens of thousands!!
It out performs ALL those cars you guys mentioned, and it can be recharged for FREE from the Tesla supercharger network being installed all over America and southern Canada. Drive Free forever, never buy gasoline, go anywhere you want and even have way less maintenance. Now that’s a smarter vehicle!! I have ridden in a Model S, driven a Ford Focus and a Leaf and a Tesla Roadster… I am NEVER going back to stinky fossil fuel burning polluting infernal combustion engine cars again!! Want noise? I can turn up the music, or any kind of “noise” I want… like maybe the sound of the future… which dang sure isn’t gasoline vroom vroom nonsense. Those old gas cars will make cool museum pieces.

Paul Steel
Paul Steel(@steely)
8 years ago

I miss my S50 BMW M coupe, but I doubt it would have lasted 200k without serious money spent, I sold a 90’s Saab 900 coupe with about 188k on it only having had an ABS sensor fail in its life (fixed for free by Saab), I bet its still going strong. I replaced the Saab with an Alfa 156 that will almost definitely have met the scrap metal god by now, I replaced the engine at little over 60k! My current Jag XKR would be nice to cover 1million miles in, if I could afford the petrol ! my other current car, 1970 Triumph GT6 mk2 is a joy to drive, but I would no doubt need a spinal transplant way before the 1mil, so it may come as a surprise but my 79 Austin mini 1275 GT would be my choice, it’s fun to drive, easy to maintain, comfortable, has space for 4 adults and some luggage, is fast enough to keep up with modern traffic, cheap to insure, and I can almost guarantee will cover 1 mill miles and more.

Garrett Hammerel
Garrett Hammerel(@fb_754953546)
8 years ago


Marios Pappas
Marios Pappas(@destroy3r3)
8 years ago

I would go for an M3 E92 Sedan. It greatly combines comfort, speed, reliability and it is one of BMW most historic and beloved cars. Sure, 1000 miles is a long distance to cover. Sure it would take an important amount of money to achieve more than 500000 miles. However, the M3 is my dream car and I would love my grandson to find it one day parked in the garage, when I will be too old to drive, and see him take it out for a drive.
(the photo depicts the coupe version)

Adam Kellar
Adam Kellar(@fb_1113990262)
8 years ago

I can name a few hatchbacks I’d love to do 1 million miles in.
M coupe
VW Mk5 R32
Audi RS3

How about a Singer 911?

8 years ago

I’d love to achieve that in my 13 GTI that I just bought!

8 years ago

2005 e46 325xi touring w/ sport package and 5 speed manual. passed up atleast three while owning my land cruiser….

oh wait, a 2013 land crusier COULD probably make it 1,000,000 miles….

K Dekkers
K Dekkers(@boz-m)
8 years ago

Z4 M-Roadster 😉

Alex Clise
Alex Clise(@highonchai)
8 years ago

We’re talking practicality, economy, reliability, and legacy. Does the average person drive a million miles in their lifetime? The average American lives to the ripe old age of 77.97, i’ll round to 78. They spend 15 full years without being licensed to drive; if they drive no other car in their 63 years behind the wheel (if they’re lucky), they will have to put 15,873 miles annually on a single odometer. According to the US Dept of Transportation the average Yank drives 13,476mi per year.
So it’s certainly attainable, but how likely is it that your inaugural auto will become your lifelong 4-wheeled companion? Therefore you’ll need a car that becomes a part of your legacy or carries about its own legacy. A car that future generations will and can enjoy. The 356 certainly does so. But a cold, soft, sterile, (dare I say soul-less?) modern automobile that goes out of its way to separate you from the road-going experience? I don’t think there’s anything new that is at once even slightly practical, reliable, and economical that can carry such a legacy.
We may also need to consider whether fossil fuels will survive as a viable propulsion option…
With all that said, here are my candidates…:D
The Fiat 500 Abarth. Sporty, economical, stylish(?), comfortable, practical. I am unsure of how reliable they are, but if you’re going tick through 1,000,000 miles it has to be reasonable to service, if not simple enough to wrench on under a shade-tree. A GTI or Mazdaspeed 3 would be decent candidates as well. It’s a crying shame that I can’t think of a single rwd car sold in the states that fits the bill. There’s truly nothing current or past that could roll a’million with as much style as that 356.

Ae Neuman
Ae Neuman(@fb_1293493178)
8 years ago

ditto to david patton’s comments.
to do 1 million miles in the same car, practicality and comfort would play a large part.
as much as i hate to say it but a sports car won’t cut it.
that leaves me with a high powered suv.
a porsche cayenne or new range rover sport would fit the bill

David Patton
David Patton(@davidapatton)
8 years ago

I agree with Derek’s initial thought: A good German wagon. Getting to a million is a lot of road trips, commutes, Sunday drives and around-town jaunts. I think you need something with a level of practicality. Audi S4 Avant, 3-series wagon or even a Golf R 4-door (really a short wagon) all fit the bill.

Mark Jordan
Mark Jordan(@radiatin88s)
2 years ago
Reply to  David Patton

Of course, what you describe already exists, although it’s not a new car. I’m referring to the 1981-85 Mercedes turbo-diesel wagon. With a chassis strong enough to complete in African rallyes and a low-revving diesel under the hood, these C-class longroofs are legendary for their high mileage – well into the hundreds of thousands. And the sedans were used as taxis in Germany for years. So they’re pretty tough. Provided rust didn’t get ’em and maintenance was performed, I wouldn’t be surprised if more than a few dozen have already reached the million-mile mark.

Shane Elliott
Shane Elliott(@fb_1649760111)
8 years ago

If I could ever afford it…

Has to be the Balboni though.

Austin Ilg
Austin Ilg(@mountainruler10)
8 years ago

Let me play the devil’s advocate for just a moment.

Is 1,000,000 miles in a single car a waste of time? I feel its a great personal accomplishment, but shouldn’t some of those miles be spent driving other vehicles? If there was a perfect car out there I could see the justification of 1,000,000 miles, and for some people that perfect car exists and fits all the needs of their life (the e28 M5 video is a great example of this). However I do not believe there is a perfect car, every car has its flaws that you notice after driving them for awhile. There are many great examples of automotive technology I would wish to enjoy and experience. Perhaps these combined experiences can aid to a greater love and appreciation of that one special car in your life that deserves 400,000 miles or even 1,000,000 miles. What are your thoughts?

Ricardo Neves
Ricardo Neves(@fb_1808156108)
8 years ago

and the new mercedes also make a lot of kilometres

Ricardo Neves
Ricardo Neves(@fb_1808156108)
8 years ago

p 1800 s …and while the engine has been rebuilt twice in the intervening 46 years, the lump is still factory original.

the best car to make millions of kilometres is mercedes 190 d 2.0 .. simple… go to museum of mercedes in germany.. there is a portuguese taxi with more than 2 milion kilometres without open the engine…

8 years ago

No, not really. If it was 2005 I’d buy a brand new NSX and do a million miles, but nothing that awesome today. I loved the video of the 400.000 miles M5 E28, now that’s a car I could do that in!

Kelemen Sandor Mark
Kelemen Sandor Mark(@ksm)
8 years ago

An Alfa Romeo 4C or a Lotus Exige S Roadster.

Sid Widmer
Sid Widmer(@sid)
8 years ago

I could see spending a lot of time in the 991 C4s. It’s glorious.

Luc Bonachera
Luc Bonachera(@lubo)
8 years ago

Since I can’t afford any of the “great” sports car as new (I mean 911, M3 and the likes), I’d rather be able to make my dull family car last a million miles so I can spend the money on second-hand sports cars when they’ve depreciated enough, or on affordable and fun to drive classic cars. Case in point: I hope my Prius lasts many many years so I can finally save up enough for an air-cooled Porsche 911 instead of having to buy another boring car after 120 or 150,000 miles…
Otherwise, well, my Miata will have to be that million-mile car since it’s my only fun car and the one destined to be replaced by the aforesaid 911.

The thing is, were I live the car will probably be rusted-through before…

Leucea Alexandru
Leucea Alexandru(@leuceaalexandru)
8 years ago

BMW M3 e92. If gas price was no problem.

Derek Jarman
Derek Jarman(@derekj)
8 years ago

That is a bit a of a hard question to answer. The first thing that came to my mind before reading the comments was what Brooks and Walter said, a nice German wagon. Thinking about it though I would probably lean more toward something along the lines of a BRZ. Being a mechanic my logic leans toward what would be more reliable over that period of time. As much as a RS6 or an M5 etc would be nice the cost of ownership over that period and the sheer complexity of the vehicles sways my decision to the more economical choice. Now if money was not an object…………

Adam Holter
Adam Holter(@aholter90)
8 years ago


8 years ago
Reply to  Adam Holter

I have to agree. Modern roads, modern traffic and modern cars: Potholed, over-crowded and anticeptic respectively

Gianni Burrows
Gianni Burrows(@giannib)
8 years ago
Reply to  Adam Holter

+1. Seems like new cars today are so characterless, it really hard to have any sort of emotional attachment to them. I can’t imagine living with one for a long enough time to put a million miles on one.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange(@365daytonafan)
8 years ago

The Mercedes SLS AMG, it’s expensive and has steep initial depreciation, so the more miles you do in it the more you get your money’s worth. The big 6.2 V8 should be good for big mileages too if looked after. Would costs a lot in fuel and rear tyres though.

Erwan Brillot
Erwan Brillot(@starskeye)
8 years ago

The M1 could be a great choice as it excel in many area of automotive world.

Vincent P
Vincent P(@vincentp)
8 years ago

My E39 Touring manual. Its nice to dream of what you would like to put that many miles on but you must be realistic as to what car could actually go that long and sadly, I cant think of too many new “cool” cars that could last 1m miles.

8 years ago

I had a Volvo 240 Station wagon. Not that I wanted to, but it went on to run for 350k miles before I sold it to a friend who went on to drive it for another 150k miles before he sold it, without any engine/transmission trouble.
Doesn’t matter what sort of wheels you get, you got to love the thing in order to put that much commitment into it – a million miles is a lot!
After 5 years, I still can’t find a car that I can afford that’s even slightly better than my Mk5 GTI, so I think she’s in for a long haul. But…I know it’s absolutely odd, I am deeply tempted by a bogo-base Fiat 500. There’s something about the way that thing rolls and pitches its (very slow) way through the road that’s just nutty and hilarious. By no means that’s a good car, far from it, and may be it’s love.
But only if something catastrophic happens to my car, then, maybe.

Walter R. Moore
Walter R. Moore(@moorewr)
8 years ago

When I think about putting a million miles on a car, I imagine a station wagon.. So like Brooks I’d pin my hopes on an Avant coming back to the states.

The bigger problem is the time involved in making it to a million miles.. most cars could be kept running if only the parts hadn’t disappeared. My S6 has already lasted 18 years, but it has nearly 900k miles to go! There’s not much chance the parts will be around to do engine rebuilds and so on.

Brooks Wade
Brooks Wade(@fb_1513800007)
8 years ago

Either a new 911 GT3 or an RS6 Avant. Unfortunately only the 911 is a real possibility since the RS6 isn’t coming stateside again. I could also throw a the CLK63 Black and RS4 on the list if I could go back a couple of years..