Hybrids Has Best Value

By: Anthony Fontanelle

At the recent announcement of the winners for Vincentric's Best value in Americaâ„? awards, hybrid vehicles shows why they are regarded as the future of the auto industry. Numerous awards were given to hybrid auto models. The awards are given to auto models with the best value in terms of the cost of owning a certain vehicle.

The popular Toyota Prius leads the way for other hybrid vehicles. Other hybrids which have been given distinction by Vincentric, a firm which provides data pertaining to the auto industry, includes the hybrid versions of several existing nameplates. The Ford Escape Hybrid, Honda Civic Hybrid, and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid won the award of having the Best Value in their respective segments.

In order to come up with the winners in each category, the consulting firm studied more than 1,800 different vehicle configurations according to The Auto Channel. The data gathered from analyzing the said vehicle configurations are then used to compute the cost of maintaining a certain vehicle.

As can be expected, Asian brands dominate the awards. Numerous Honda, Toyota, and Nissan auto models topped their segments. It is not a surprise since it is widely known that Asian automakers produce more hybrid vehicles than American or European automakers.

Hybrid vehicles are very popular in the auto market. Its fuel saving capability is widely known. But a drawback to this is that it costs thousands more than a non-hybrid vehicle. It is often asked whether the initial cost of a hybrid can be offset by savings on fuel consumption. But with the result of Vincentric's study, it is clear that even if hybrids cost more than non-hybrids, the former has the better value in several segments.

"Hybrids benefited from three main factors," said Dr. David Wurster, the President of Vincentric. "First was their strong fuel economy ratings, resulting in lower fuel costs for these vehicles. Second was their strong residual values due to high demand, resulting in lower depreciation costs. And third was the federal tax credit that went into effect this year. This combination of factors creates extremely strong value for consumers," Dr. Wurster explained.

It is interesting to note that of the awardees, only one is from a European brand. Topping the Best Value in Americaâ„? for the Wagon over $24,500 segment is the Volvo V70. Aside from this though, no BMW or Mercedes-Benz or Audi vehicles are awarded. Although European brands are known for their high performance and reliable parts such as a , they are usually priced expensively thus increasing their operating costs.

Aside from the Prius, the Highlander Hybrid, Escape Hybrid, and the Civic Hybrid which has won in their particular segment, other hybrids have also received excellent marks from Vincentric. The Mercury Mariner Hybrid, Lexus RX400h, and the Honda Insight may not have won in their segment but they received favorable marks.

The Toyota Prius topped the Midsize Car Over $23,000. The Civic Hybrid, on the other hand, bested other Compact Cars Over $17,000. The Ford Escape Hybrid topped the Compact SUV Over $22,500 segment. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid meanwhile won the Best Value Award for the Midsize SUV Over $30,000 segment.

The increasing popularity of hybrid vehicles will only pick up pace as the result of the study is released. With their overall value ranked higher than the relatively cheaper-priced gasoline vehicles, the choice is made easier for auto buyers who are thinking twice about buying the higher priced hybrid.

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