New research conducted by IntelliChoice.com may quiet naysayers when it comes to the debate over hybrid vehicle ownership costs. The study shows that owning a hybrid will save drivers more over the long haul when compared to their gasoline-only vehicle counterparts.

“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.

The twenty-two 2006 model year hybrids, as well as competing gasoline-only vehicles, were analyzed for their Total Cost of Ownership (TOC) over a five-year or 70,000-mile period. IntelliChoice.com looked at seven criteria to determine TOC: depreciation, fuel cost, finance costs, insurance, repairs, maintenance, and applicable state fees. The study included federal tax credits as part of the comparison for all hybrids.

“Across the board, we found that all twenty-two hybrid vehicles have a better Total Cost of Ownership over five years or 70,000 miles than the vehicles they directly compete against,” said Bell. “Even when factoring in the additional upfront costs for their purchase, the long-term savings hybrids generate makes them a sensible and attractive purchase.”

Hybrids cost less to fuel and also have better depreciation and resale values. Bell reports that repair and maintenance costs are no higher than those of gasoline-only vehicles despite some criticism.

America's best-selling gas-electric hybrid vehicle, Toyota's Prius.

As America’s best-selling gas-electric hybrid vehicle, IntelliChoice.com ranks the Toyota Prius best in overall class. Photo courtesy Toyota/Lexus/Scion Pressroom 09/06

IntelliChoice.com found the Toyota Prius to be best in overall class, and it remains its highest-rated value for hybrid vehicles. The Honda Civic, Toyota Highlander, Ford Escape, and Honda Insight also received excellent marks by IntelliChoice.com, and some have received Intellichoice’s Best Overall Value of the Year (BOVY) award. The BOVY award is given to vehicles that “will cost significantly less to own than would be expected of vehicles at their purchase prices.”

IntelliChoice was founded in 1986 and specializes in automotive ownership cost and value analysis. It is “committed to empowering consumers to make better purchase decisions by providing independent and essential automotive information and tools.” View the IntelliChoice Web site (www.intellichoice.com) for more information on the research comparing hybrid and gasoline-only vehicle cost of ownership, as well as more information on awards received by top-ranking hybrids.




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