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CHICAGO — Despite the manufacturer's recent issues, IntelliChoice.com picked four Toyota brand vehicles and one Lexus unit as overall winners in its annual Best Overall Value of the Year Awards.

The honored Toyota vehicles included the Prius as the Best Car Value Under $24,000, the FJ Cruiser as the Best Crossover/SUV Value Under $28,000, the Tacoma as the Best Truck Value Under $28,000, and the Sienna as the Best Van Value Under $26,000.

The Lexus unit among the award selections was the RX as Best Crossover/SUV Value Over $28,000.

The other winners named by IntelliChoice.com were the Chevrolet Corvette as Best Car Value Over $24,000, the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD/GMC Sierra 2500 HD as Best Truck Value Over $28,000 and the Honda Odyssey as Best Van Value Over $26,000. 

In the midst of the ongoing recalls involving Toyota, IntelliChoice.com suggested that situation hurts the automaker's image, but not necessarily the value in Toyota vehicles. For example, they said the Toyota Prius has taken its category each year since 2004.

"In light of the current recalls we re-evaluated the data factoring in a potential drop in desirability, and 16 Toyota vehicles were still value leaders in their class," explained Charlie Vogelheim, executive editor of IntelliChoice.com.

"Specifically, we analyzed the long-term impact on resale values and ownership costs of vehicles that had been subject to well publicized recalls in the past. And what we found is that while the vehicles take a short-term hit, over a typical ownership period the changes are barely measurable, and fall within the range of fluctuations one typically sees in retained value over time," he explained.

"Also, given Toyota's history of strong long-term resale values, we expect these cars will continue to recapture competitive to above average retained value at resale time. Toyota has built up a significant level of goodwill among the consumer over the past 20 years," Vogelheim continued.

"Given that Toyota and Lexus vehicles excel in every facet of cost ownership, they managed to lead the pack again this year, despite the issues created by the recalls," he insisted.

All together, IntelliChoice.com had a total of 31 vehicles among its 2010 Best Overall Values of the Year:


— Subcompact: Toyota Yaris Hatchback

— Base Sport: Volkswagen GTI 2-door

— Compact under $17,000: Honda Civic Sedan

— Compact over $17,000: Golf TDI

— Midsize Car: Toyota Prius

— Convertible: MINI Cooper Convertible

— Wagon: Volkswagen Jetta TDI Wagon

— Full-Size Car: Toyota Avalon

— Near Luxury Car: Audi A3

— Luxury Car: Audi A5 Coupe

— Luxury Convertible: Volvo C70

— Sports Car: Chevrolet Corvette

— Sport Sedan/Wagon: Subaru Impreza WRX STI Wagon

— Luxury Sports Sedan/Wagon: Lexus IS 350 Sedan

Sport Utilities and Crossovers

— Compact SUV/Crossover: Honda CR-V

— Midsize Crossover: Toyota Highlander

— Luxury Crossover: Lexus RX

— Luxury SUV: GMC Yukon Denali

— Midsize SUV: Toyota FJ Cruiser

— Full-size SUV: Toyota Sequoia


— Compact Pickup 2WD: Toyota Tacoma 2WD

— Compact Pickup 4WD: Toyota Tacoma 4WD

— Full-Size Pickup 2WD Half-Ton: Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab Hybrid 2WD,

GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab Hybrid 2WD (tie)

— Full-Size Pickup 2WD Three-Quarter-Ton: Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD Crew Cab 2WD,

GMC Sierra 2500 HD Crew Cab 2WD (tie)

— Full-Size Pickup 2WD One Ton: Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Crew Cab 2WD,

GMC Sierra 3500 Crew Cab 2WD (tie)

— Full-Size Pickup 4WD Half-Ton: Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab Hybrid 4WD,

GMC Sierra 1500 Crew Cab Hybrid 4WD (tie)

— Full-Size Pickup 4WD Three-Quarter-Ton: Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD Crew Cab 4WD,

GMC Sierra 2500 HD Crew Cab 4WD (tie)

— Full-Size Pickup 4WD One Ton: Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Crew Cab 4WD,

GMC Sierra 3500 Crew Cab 4WD (tie)


— Full-Size Van: Chevrolet Express 1500

— Minivan: Toyota Sienna 

"IntelliChoice.com's annual Best Overall Value of the Year awards are designed to instruct buyers on the cars, trucks and SUVs that deliver the most value for the money over a five-year period of ownership," Vogelheim shared/

"We rank every model on the market based on the most important cost of ownership factors, including retained value, fuel, maintenance and repair, insurance, licensing and fees," he added. 

IntelliChoice.com also was struck by the showing of General Motors in the award listings. Analysts were especially drawn to the performance in the truck category.

"GM's emphasis on product quality and value for the dollar in pricing is showing up in these rankings," Vogelheim stressed.

No matter the segment, fuel efficiency continues to be a major driver in what units IntelliChoice.com included on its award listing.

"Many of our winners won narrowly," Vogelheim asserted. "Automakers are generally putting out quality vehicles, and more and more vehicles are very good at retaining their value. Consequently, powertrains have become an important factor in determining value.

"That's why year after year you see several alternative powertrains, such as hybrids and diesels, on the list," he continued. "Cars like the Toyota Prius and Volkswagen Jetta TDI Wagon won their segments by a wide margin."

IntelliChoice.com mentioned that it's handed out these awards for 23 years with the intention of recognizing vehicles whose cost of ownership is significantly lower than expected compared to competitive models in the same class.

Officials said they analyze nearly 1,800 models to identify the vehicles that promise the best value. IntelliChoice.com aggregates and analyzes data from manufacturers, the U.S. government, and third-party data resources to determine the actual costs of ownership of new vehicles over a five-year period, and assigns a value rating to all mainstream vehicles sold in America each year.

"One of the biggest things IntelliChoice.com emphasizes is that choosing a car wisely is not just about the lowest sticker price or even the lowest ownership costs," Vogelheim emphasized.

"The BOVYs recognize cars and trucks whose total cost of ownership is significantly lower than expected compared to its peers," he added.

"Most of us would assume that a vehicle's price would largely determine its cost of ownership. But that's not the case, and it's the reason the Best Overall Values of the Year awards are so important," Vogelheim concluded.