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2009 Chicago Auto Show: Ford Hybrids Recognized by IntelliChoice.com as Best Crossover/SUV Value Under $28,000


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2009 Ford Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid were named Best Crossover/SUV Value Under $28,000 by IntelliChoice.com.

Best Overall Value of the Year (BOVY) Awards recognize vehicles whose cost of ownership are significantly lower than expected compared to competitive models in the same class.

CHICAGO, February 12, 2009: The 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid were named Best Crossover/SUV Value Under $28,000 today at the Chicago Auto Show by IntelliChoice.com, a leading source for automotive ownership cost and value analysis.

The Best Overall Value of the Year (BOVY) Awards recognize vehicles whose cost of ownership are significantly lower than expected compared to competitive models in the same class. According to James Bell, editor of IntelliChoice.com, the awards provide consumers with a quick reference to finding vehicles that promise the best return on investment.

"The BOVY Awards are an essential guide at a time when most consumers are carefully watching their wallets," said Bell. "A vehicle's cost of ownership has gone from 'nice to know' to 'need to know' when comparing possible purchases. The BOVY's guide buyers on which car, truck or Crossover/SUV will deliver the most value for their money, especially when that vehicle ages and starts to lose that seductive new car smell."

IntelliChoice.com selects BOVY winners based on the most important factors that determine the long-term costs of a vehicle, says Bell. They include depreciation/retained value, maintenance and repair costs, fuel costs, insurance and state fees. When you look at all of those areas, he says, the Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner came out on top.

"Sometimes the more expensive a vehicle is, the better the value, but in this particular case it's like the perfect storm," he explained. "The Ford Escape Hybrid and the Mercury Mariner Hybrid offer 95 percent of the space and quality of other hybrid SUVs but at a lower price point with a great, readily available dealer network and strong brand value."

Ford Lincoln Mercury Hybrid Marketing Manager David Finnegan agrees.

"The Escape and Mariner Hybrids offer a no-compromise solution for SUV customers - great SUV features and capability all wrapped up in the most fuel-efficient SUVs on the planet," said Finnegan. "The BOVY Award is recognition of that value."

Though the BOVY Awards are strictly data driven and not influenced by editorial opinions, Bell had the opportunity to drive both vehicles and was impressed by the refinements made over the prior models.

"Not only are they smart buys, but the Ford Escape Hybrid and the Mercury Mariner Hybrid are also very rewarding vehicles to drive," he said. "Ford is not taking hybrids lightly, and I think that's excellent."