Hybrids Gaining Ground On Total Value Perception

More awards are heading toward hybrid cars’ trophy shelves as more variations of hybrids have come into production and acceptance by their drivers.

At least this is one summation of findings from Strategic Vision, a San Francisco-based research and consulting firm whose most recent Total Value Index (TVI) found Volkswagen of America again ranked the best brand in terms of Total Value. Hyundai Motor America was the number two corporation, with Ford Motor Corporation third.

Its “Total Value” result is a calculation of explicit owner statements on 442 attributes and focuses on immediate and expected (long term) economic factors such as warranty, technical innovation, standard equipment, mpg, etc.

Of these results, the company said that “it is also important to note that four alternative fueled vehicles (Chevrolet Volt, Honda Civic Hybrid, Nissan Leaf and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid) led their respective segments.

In previous years, these types of vehicles did not lead in Total Value as simply offering better fuel economy did not provide enough overall value to make these vehicles leaders. This change in leadership is being seen as a significant sign that the acceptance for more hybrid models is beginning to “turn the corner” of general approval and even desirability.”

And, the company said, “with high fuel prices believed to be a fact of life now and in the near future, manufacturers will need to carefully provide the right balance of what interested shoppers are willing to pay for in a hybrid or plug-in electric. Segment leader Nissan Leaf had high marks in this balance, providing tremendous impressions of technical innovation and standard equipment.”

The following list contains the number one ranked green vehicles in Total Value in their segments as rated by new vehicle buyers:

Small Car: Honda Civic Hybrid

Small Multi-Function: Nissan Leaf

Medium Car: Chevrolet Volt

Medium Multi-Function: Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen

Near-Luxury Car: Cadillac CTS Sedan / Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

Full results can be found on the company’s website.