When Lifecycle Costs Are King

Vincentric announced today the winners of its 7th annual Best Fleet Value in America awards.

To determine the 2012 Vincentric Best Fleet Value in America awards, Vincentric analyzed over 2,700 vehicle configurations in 20 different lifecycle cost scenarios, using eight cost factors including depreciation, fees and taxes, financing, fuel, insurance, maintenance, opportunity cost, and repairs. The lifecycle costs were measured in all 50 states.

These calculations were then used to determine fleet lifecycle costs in 20 different ownership/mileage scenarios:

24 months of ownership at 10,000, 15,000, 20,000, 25,000, and 30,000 miles annually

36 months of ownership at 10,000, 15,000, 20,000, 25,000, and 30,000 miles annually

48 months of ownership at 10,000, 15,000, 20,000, 25,000, and 30,000 miles annually

60 months of ownership at 10,000, 15,000, 20,000, 25,000, and 30,000 miles annually

It is important to remember that for fleet managers, one aspect is crucial when choosing a vehicle: how much will it cost the company from the moment a vehicle enters the fleet to the moment we get rid of it. Fashion, style and any other subjective considerations are hardly ever part of the decision.

The following are the green cars that won awards this year:

Compact, Hybrid award: 2012 Toyota Prius 4D Hatchback

Although the compact, hybrid award segment is new for 2012, its winning vehicle is no stranger to the Vincentric fleet honor; the Toyota Prius wins the Vincentric Best Fleet Value in America award for the 5th year. The Prius continues to distinguish itself as a mainstream fleet vehicle, with its low fuel and insurance costs, helping it claim the lowest lifecycle costs in all 20 scenarios measured.

Mid-Size, Sedan, Premium: 2012 Buick Regal 2.4L eAssist

Buick used its eAssist technology to help propel the Buick Regal to the top spot in this high-end segment. In addition to the strong fuel economy offered by the eAssist, the Regal can count on strong depreciation results and low insurance costs.

Mid-Size, Sedan, Hybrid: 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE

The Camry Hybrid won top honors in all 20 lifecycle scenarios, and earns top honors for the 3rd year in a row. The Toyota Camry Hybrid has become a strong fleet contender with exceptional value due to its strong maintenance, insurance, and depreciation results.

Plug-in Hybrid: 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

Two vehicles in this plug-in hybrid segment have distinguished themselves in this new category – the Chevrolet Volt and the Toyota Prius, with this “green” technology resulting in low fuel costs for both vehicles. But when the results were analyzed, the Toyota Prius Hybrid Plug-in earned top honors with ownership costs that were lower than the Volt due to its low insurance and depreciation costs. The Prius Plug-in also had lowest lifecycle costs in all high mileage scenarios and over short to long-term lifecycle terms.

Crossover, Hybrid: 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid FWD

In a close contest between the Ford Escape Hybrid and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, the now defunct Ford took top honors with the lowest lifecycle cost in 14 scenarios versus six for the Toyota model. Although the Highlander Hybrid excelled in all of the 2 year lifecycle term situations, the strength of the Ford was in the longer lifecycle periods, which was enough to make the difference and give the Escape Hybrid the win. The Escape also offers low fuel, maintenance, and insurance costs, adding to the victory.

SUV, Premium: 2012 Mercedes-Benz GL 350 CDI

For three years in a row the Mercedes-Benz GL Class Diesel has won a Vincentric Best Fleet Value in America award. Key to the GL 350 win was low depreciation costs, as well as strong results in fuel and insurance. Although the Lincoln Navigator claimed the lowest lifecycle cost in the 30,000 annual mileage, 5 year lifecycle period, the GL Class Diesel won the 19 other scenarios analyzed.

Complete info about the awards and all winners can be found here.


  • sean t

    The Volt lost to PIP due to insurance and depreciation costs. Damn GM.

  • MrEnergyCzar

    Where is the EREV category?

    MrEnergyCzar

  • Capt. Concernicus

    MrEnergyCzar,

    They did. It’s called the Plug in Hybrid category.

    IMHO the “EREV” category is just marketing hype. Vehicles in this category are all just plug-ins of some type.

  • Anonymous

    What is blazes is a Prius Hatchback? Aren’t every one of the models a hatchback (with 4 doors)? Do they really mean Liftback, which is what I believe Toyota calls the vehicle previously known as Prius before the other models were released?