IntelliChoice.com Survey: Hybrids Continue to Reward Over the Long Term

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A survey released today by IntelliChoice.com, the leading source for automotive ownership cost and value analysis and a part of SOURCE INTERLINK MEDIA, reveals that 12 hybrid vehicles currently on the market save their owners more money than the non-hybrid version of the same vehicle.

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To prove it, we compared all current hybrids to the vehicles on which they are based.

    "Hybrids have been racking up the miles over the last few years, and with the benefit of this perspective, we can say with confidence that they offer American drivers a higher degree of value than non-hybrid vehicles," said James Bell, publisher and editor of IntelliChoice.com. "To prove it, we compared all current hybrids to the vehicles on which they are based."

The IntelliChoice.com survey examined hybrid and non-hybrid versions of the same vehicle for the model year 2007 and how each vehicle performed based on a projected Total Cost of Ownership figure over five years or 70,000 miles. In addition to fuel costs, the survey factored in other major cost items that consumers often overlook when purchasing a vehicle.

"The most common argument against hybrids is that they take too long to justify their higher purchase price," added Bell. "But this is only true if you just look at relative fuel costs. When you add in other factors, such as maintenance, repairs, and resale value, which are also part of IntelliChoice.com's Total Cost of Ownership formula, hybrids provide great value. In other words, today's automakers are delivering high-quality and durable vehicles that also happen to reward with improved gas mileage and fewer emissions."

Bell added that the Prius remains the most popular hybrid from a retail perspective and retains its top rating over other hybrid vehicles based on Cost of Ownership performance. However, this new survey also shows the growing competitiveness of the hybrid market and its overall growth.

The Numbers

IntelliChoice.com's survey of hybrids for the 2007 model year ranks them in order of cost performance against the non-hybrid version of the same vehicle or closest counterpart. For instance, the Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD is compared against the "regular" Ford Escape 4WD.

Along with the Prius, the Honda Civic Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid also received top marks for value. In addition, the Prius, Civic and Escape were also winners of IntelliChoice.com's Best Overall Value of the Year awards (BOVY) for 2007. IntelliChoice.com's BOVY awards recognize cars, trucks and SUVs that cost significantly less to own than would be expected of vehicles of their purchase prices and competitive set.

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

"Hybrids may still have their naysayers, but they also have a strong track record that speaks for itself," said Bell. "Across the board, hybrids are generally a good investment with solid resale value. And 2008 will see even more hybrid models for buyer's consideration."

Total Ownership Costs for all new 2008 hybrid and regular models will be available from IntelliChoice.com in late January.

About IntelliChoice.com

IntelliChoice.com, part of SOURCE INTERLINK MEDIA, is the market leader in automotive ownership cost and value analysis. Founded in 1986, IntelliChoice.com is committed to empowering consumers to make better purchase decisions by providing independent and essential automotive information and tools. Through the IntelliChoice.com web site (http://www.intellichoice.com), consumers get the help they need to research, compare, configure and price vehicles. The site also connects buyers to the buying alternatives of their choice, including vehicle manufacturers and an online car buying guide. SOURCE INTERLINK MEDIA is a division of Source Interlink Companies, Inc., (NASDAQ: SORC), a media and marketing services company. Source Interlink (http://www.sourceinterlink.com) is one of the largest publishers of magazines and online content for enthusiast audiences and a leading distributor of home entertainment products, including DVDs, music CDs, magazines, games, books and related items.

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