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Variance

IntelliChoice.com's Best Overall Value of the Year

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Variance    0

HYBRIDS COME OUT ON TOP IN INTELLICHOICE.COM’S

2006 “BEST OVERALL VALUE OF THE YEAR” AWARDS

- Ford Escape Hybrid and Toyota Highlander Hybrid Join Toyota Prius at

Top of Automotive Value Chain

- Honda Odyssey Sweeps Minivan Category -

CHICAGO AUTO SHOW, Chicago, IL, February 8, 2006—PRIMEDIA’s IntelliChoice.com, the online source for automotive ownership cost and value analysis, today announced the results of its “Best Overall Value of the Year” awards for model year 2006. And for the first time, two hybrid SUVs join the reigning hybrid champion Toyota Prius and four other vehicles in giving American carbuyers the best value for their money.

IntelliChoice.com’s “Best Overall Value of the Year” awards recognize vehicles whose cost of ownership is significantly lower than that of peer models and provides a quick reference to finding vehicles that promise the best return on investment. A listing of this year’s winners and additional information on the awards can only be found online at www.IntelliChoice.com.

“Hybrids continue to refute the argument that their cost of ownership fails to justify their slightly higher sticker prices,” said James Bell, publisher of IntelliChoice.com. “Perhaps more importantly, this is the first time that two hybrids, the Ford Escape and the Toyota Highlander, dominate the SUV category. This is also the second year in a row that one vehicle, the Honda Odyssey, swept the minivan category.”

“The front-wheel-drive Ford Escape Hybrid was one of the big surprises of our analysis,” added Bell. “It gets between 31 and 36 miles per gallon, which is unheard for a vehicle of its size and utility. It has a four-cylinder engine but gives drivers nearly the power of a six-cylinder engine without hurting their wallet. And the industry is finding that all hybrids are proving to be well engineered and therefore allow owners to maintain a very low Cost of Ownership.”

Winners for 2006

This year, IntelliChoice.com identified 29 winning models by segment and class, plus eight overall category winners. The eight overall category winners are:

• Best Car Value Under $23,000 – Toyota Prius

• Best Car Value Over $23,000 – Lexus LS 430

• Best SUV Value Under $28,000 – Ford Escape Hybrid 2WD

• Best SUV Value Over $28,000 – Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2WD

• Best Truck Value Under $26,000 – Toyota Tundra Regular Cab 2WD

• Best Truck Value Over $26,000 – Toyota Tundra Extended Cab 4WD

• Best Van Value Under $25,000 – Honda Odyssey LX

• Best Van Value Over $25,000 – Honda Odyssey EX

Hidden Costs of Ownership Rising

Bell said that, thus far in 2006, it appears that a vehicle’s cost of ownership will become a more significant factor in vehicle purchase decisions due to the relative costs of fuel and depreciation. As an example, in an effort to fight the cost of accelerated depreciation, Ford and General Motors have recently moved to reduce incentives and rebates and drive sticker prices closer to actual transaction prices.

For this reason, Bell emphasized the importance of online research in evaluating and purchasing a vehicle. “IntelliChoice.com performs a valuable service by analyzing all of the data that consumers are not capable of finding or calculating on their own,” said Bell. “‘The Best Overall Value of the Year’ awards are the only awards of their kind that analyze Cost of Ownership. Through them, we’re able to give our users the ability to feel confident they have chosen their car wisely.”

How IntelliChoice.com Determines “Best Overall Value”

2006 marks IntelliChoice.com’s twentieth year publishing ownership cost and value analysis. The Best Overall Value of the Year (BOVY) awards identify THE vehicles that promise the best return on investment within their classes. The IntelliChoice.com evaluation process aggregates and analyzes data from auto manufacturers, the U.S. government, and third-party data resources to determine the true costs of owning every 2006 vehicle over a five-year ownership period. For the 2006 BOVY’s, IntelliChoice.com assigned a value rating to more than 1,700 mainstream vehicles sold in America. This value rating factors the accumulated costs of depreciation, maintenance, repairs, fuel, state fees, financing, and insurance to identify the true standout models in each class.

About IntelliChoice.com

Part of PRIMEDIA, the country's leading targeted media company, IntelliChoice.com is the market leader in automotive ownership cost and value analysis. Founded in 1986 and celebrating its 20th Anniversary, IntelliChoice.com is committed to empowering consumers to make better purchase decisions by providing independent and essential automotive information and car-buying tools. Through 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 online buying services.

# # #

BEST OVERALL VALUE OF THE YEAR

MODEL YEAR 2006 AWARD WINNERS

Cars

• Subcompact Class – Honda Insight

• Compact Class under $16,000 – Honda Civic DX Sedan

• Compact Class over $16,000 – Honda Civic Hybrid Sedan

• Midsize Class under $21,000 – Toyota Prius

• Midsize Class over $21,000 – Honda Accord DX

• Large Class – Toyota Avalon

• Near Luxury Class – BMW 325i

• Luxury Class – Lexus LS 430

• Small Wagon Class – Scion xB

• Midsize/Large Wagon Class – Subaru Outback 2.5i

• Base Sport Class – Honda Civic Si Coupe

• Sport Class – Chevrolet Corvette

Sport Utilities

• Compact Sport Utility Class under $21,000 – Toyota RAV4

• Compact Sport Utility Class over $21,000 – Ford Escape Hybrid 2WD

• Intermediate Sport Utility Class under $29,000 – Honda Pilot

• Intermediate Sport Utility Class over $29,000 – Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2WD

• Full-Size Sport Utility Class under $36,000 – Toyota Sequoia SR5 2WD

• Full-Size Sport Utility Class over $36,000 – Toyota Land Cruiser

Trucks

• Compact Pickup Class 2WD – Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab

• Compact Pickup Class 4WD – Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab

• Full-Size Pickup Class 1/2 Ton 2WD – Toyota Tundra Regular Cab

• Full-Size Pickup Class 1/2 Ton 4WD – Toyota Tundra Double Cab SR5

• Full-Size Pickup Class 3/4 Ton 2WD – Ford F250 Super Duty Crew Cab XL

• Full-Size Pickup Class 3/4 Ton 4WD – Ford F250 Super Duty Crew Cab XL

• Full-Size Pickup Class One Ton 2WD – Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab ST

• Full-Size Pickup Class One Ton 4WD – Dodge Ram 2500 Quad Cab ST

Vans

• Mini-Van Class under $24,000 – Honda Odyssey LX

• Mini-Van Class over $24,000 – Honda Odyssey EX

• Full-Size Van Class – Chevrolet Express 1500

Link: http://www.intellichoice.com/press/BOVY_2006_pr

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Winners for 2006

This year, IntelliChoice.com identified 29 winning models by segment and class, plus eight overall category winners. The eight overall category winners are:

• Best Car Value Under $23,000 – Toyota Prius

• Best Car Value Over $23,000 – Lexus LS 430

• Best SUV Value Under $28,000 – Ford Escape Hybrid 2WD

• Best SUV Value Over $28,000 – Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2WD

• Best Truck Value Under $26,000 – Toyota Tundra Regular Cab 2WD

• Best Truck Value Over $26,000 – Toyota Tundra Extended Cab 4WD

• Best Van Value Under $25,000 – Honda Odyssey LX

• Best Van Value Over $25,000 – Honda Odyssey EX

I'm so disgusted right now that I think I'm going to throw up. This is absolute bull&#036;h&#33; of the highest spoon-fed American Media variety. For Shame. <_<

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Dsuupr    12

Funny, everytime I did the math myself I never come up with the same numbers they do. Oh wait, it's because they only take the cars to 60,000 miles in 5 years. No timing belt to replace for foreign cars. To boot they never discount the cars, they assume people pay full price.

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