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Transportation & Fuel Source Technology


Hybrids Cost Less Than Peers Over Long Term


A survey released today by PRIMEDIA's IntelliChoice-com, the leading source for automotive ownership cost and value analysis, reveals that the twenty-two hybrid vehicles currently on the market save their owners more money than the other vehicles in their respective classes.

"With the number of hybrids now on the market, the end of 2006 was an opportune time to examine the cost performance of each hybrid model with respect to the rest of the vehicles in their peer group," said James Bell, publisher of IntelliChoice.com. "Across the board, we found that all twenty-two hybrid vehicles have a better Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) over five years or 70,000 miles than the vehicles they directly compete against."

Bell said that aside from lower fuel costs, other factors playing a role in hybrids' cost performance are better-than-expected depreciation and resale value. Also, contrary to skeptics and critics, repair and maintenance costs have not proven to be higher than those of other vehicles.

"Up to now," Bell added, "The Prius has been the darling of the hybrid set, and it remains our highest rated value for hybrid vehicles. But this survey validates the cost performance of the other many hybrid models that are currently on the market. All of the hybrids in our study have achieved 'Excellent' ratings in their respective classes from IntelliChoice.com."

IntelliChoice.com's hybrid survey ranks hybrids in order of their performance against their peer group:

BrandModel5Yr Expected Cost5Yr Actual
ToyotaPrius3330519897
HondaCivic Hybrid (Auto)3159523268
HondaCivic Hybrid w/Nav (Auto)3284324891
ToyotaHighlander Hybrid 2WD4484134038
LexusRX 400h 2WD5412141472
LexusRX 400h AWD5550942681
ToyotaHighlander Hybrid 4WD4586835690
LexusRX 400h AWD (Original Version)5723145640
ToyotaHighlander Hybrid Limited 2WD4840938902
FordEscape Hybrid 2WD3936132188
ToyotaHighlander Hybrid Limited 4WD4943640552
MercuryMariner Hybrid4134934331
FordEscape Hybrid 4WD4083934696
HondaAccord Hybrid4080334706
HondaInsight (Manual)2872424755
HondaInsight AC (Auto)3035426424
HondaInsight AC (Manual)2969026212
HondaAccord Hybrid w/Nav System4230537411
ChevroletSilverado LT Hybrid 2WD*4284039377
GMCSierra SLE Hybrid 2WD*4304139709
ChevroletSilverado LT Hybrid 4WD*4534542260
GMCSierra SLE Hybrid 4WD*4582442884


* All trim lines 1500 Extended Cab

Methodology

When analyzing Total Cost of Ownership, IntelliChoice.com focuses on seven key criteria, including depreciation, fuel cost, finance costs, insurance, repairs, maintenance and applicable state fees. In the case of hybrids, IntelliChoice.com also factors in federal tax credits.

For the survey, 2006 model year hybrids were analyzed for their Total Cost of Ownership over a five-year or 70,000-mile period. The five-year expected Cost of Ownership for each hybrid vehicle is based on the average cost of all vehicles in each class.

"Hybrids are proving themselves to be an excellent alternative for car buyers. Even when factoring in the additional upfront costs for their purchase, the long-term savings hybrids generate makes them a sensible and attractive purchase," said Bell.

Against all criteria, IntelliChoice.com found the Toyota Prius to be the best in overall class. Along with the Toyota Prius, the Honda Civic, Toyota Highlander, Ford Escape and Honda Insight also received top marks for value. Some of the top hybrids in the 2006 survey were previously awarded IntelliChoice's Best Overall Value of the Year (BOVY). IntelliChoice.com's BOVY awards recognize cars, trucks and SUVs that will cost significantly less to own than would be expected of vehicles at their purchase prices. A listing of 2006 winners and more information on the awards can be found at www.intellichoice.com.

2007 ownership costs on all new hybrid and regular models will be available from IntelliChoice.com in late January.





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