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Available Hybrid Models Triple Since 2003, According to Autobytel

AIC Data Reports Uncover 39 Percent Increase in DVDs as Vehicle Option; Identify Most Fuel Efficient Vehicles in 17 Categories

IRVINE, Calif., June 29 -- Autobytel Inc.'s Automotive Information Center (AIC) division today released data research for its upcoming report, the Q2 2005 AIC Quarterly QuickView(1), featuring updated industry statistics on vehicle equipment and new vehicle models. This second quarterly report focuses on data designed to assist both dealers and consumers with travel options this summer. The Travel Industry Association (TIA) is forecasting a 2.3 percent increase in leisure travel for June, July and August, with 328 million leisure "person-trips."(2) TIA defines a "person-trip" as one person traveling 50 or more miles, one way, away from home.

Hybrid Evolution

For this Q2 2005 report, AIC analysts first studied trends in hybrid models available for sale in the United States 2003 - 2006.(3) AIC found the number of available hybrid models and trims has tripled since 2003, when just six trim types were available on three models. Today, more than 21 trims types are available on a total of nine models. Honda leads the manufacturers in available hybrids, with three models and nine trim types.

While early hybrids were primarily available as compact sedans, AIC notes a definitive trend in applying hybrid technology to larger vehicles. Of the 17 hybrid models now scheduled for release over the next few years, six are SUVs, six are midsized sedans and, for the first time, there will be two in the full-size sedan category.

DVD Player Availability

AIC analysts next reviewed availability of DVD players as both standard and optional feature in 2003 - 2005 model year vehicles. Increasing slightly in 2005, 22 models available in the United States offer DVD players as a standard feature. General Motors leads the manufacturers in this category; currently nine GM models come standard with DVD players. As an optional feature, DVD players increased 39 percent from 2003 - 2005. They are currently available as an option in 19 percent of all vehicles.

Fuel Efficiency

To help travelers identify the most fuel-efficient vehicles available in the market, AIC named models in seventeen categories.(4) With a highway fuel efficiency rate of 66 miles per gallon, the most fuel-efficient vehicle was a hybrid economy coupe, the 2005 Honda Insight 5-Spd MT. The most fuel-efficient non-hybrid vehicle was a wagon, the 2005 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, which obtains 47 miles per gallon for highway travel.

The 2005 Honda Odyssey turned out to be the most fuel-efficient minivan, with a highway fuel efficiency rate of 28 miles per gallon. For travel enthusiasts looking for both fuel economy and entertainment value, the Odyssey was also one of the 22 models on which a DVD player comes standard.

Complete results for the "most fuel-efficient vehicles" are listed at the end of this document.

"We are pleased to present the second edition of AIC's Quarterly QuickView, which continues Autobytel's tradition of providing updated industry data and statistics to our customers," said Autobytel Inc. President and CEO Rick Post. "These latest results should prove valuable for all who are looking to ease the inherent problems of highway travel during the summer months."

Additional information about the topics studied in this AIC Quarterly QuickView may be found on and, including:

* Hybrid Comparison Test: _int/537

* Top 10 Fuel-Efficient SUVs: _int/148

* Summer Travel To-Do's: d_int/536/startrow/1/year/2005/articletype/1

A pioneer in providing the industry with vehicle specification data and technology for manufacturers, dealers and suppliers, AIC manages and analyzes up to 3.3 million data points for every vehicle sold in the U.S.

The AIC Quarterly QuickView is distributed to all AIC customers via hard copy. For complete results, please contact Angela Jacobson at 949-862-3090 or

  AIC Quarterly QuickView Results Q2 2005: Most Fuel-Efficient Vehicles

   Vehicle Class     Model (2005, except where noted)   Hwy Fuel Efficiency
                                                         (Miles Per Gallon)
   Economy Coupe     Honda Insight 5-Spd MT                      66
   Compact Sedan     Honda Civic Hybrid 5-Speed Sedan            51
   Midsize Sedan     Toyota Prius                                51
   Wagon             Volkswagen Jetta TDI                        47
   Family Coupe      Honda Civic Coupe HX                        40
   Luxury Sedan      Mercedes-Benz E-Class E320 CDI Sedan        37
   Convertible       MINI Cooper Convertible                     35
   Sports Coupe      Acura RSX                                   34
   Sports Sedan      Toyota Corolla XRS                          34
   Luxury Coupe      Mercedes-Benz C-Class C230K Sports Coupe    32
   Sport Utility     2005-2006 Ford Escape Hybrid 2WD            31
   Luxury            Audi A4 1.8T Cabriolet                      30
   Large Sedan       Chevrolet Impala LS Sedan                   30
   Compact Pickup    [TIE] Ford Ranger Regular Cab 4x2;          29
                           Mazda B2300 Regular Cab 4x2
   Minivan           Honda Odyssey                               28
   Luxury Sport      [TIE] Buick Rendezvous Ultra FWD;           27
    Utility Vehicle        2006 Lexus RX 400h
   Full-Size Pickup  [TIE] Chevrolet Silverado 1500              22
                           Regular Cab 2WD; GMC Sierra
                           1500 Regular Cab 2WD

   (1)  AIC Quarterly QuickView results are based on a study of all 2,168
        vehicles available for sale in the U.S. (at the trim level)
   (2)  The Travel Industry Association (TIA) and AAA jointly released a
        summer travel forecast May 18, 2005, foreseeing an increase in
        leisure and business trips in spite of high gas prices at home
   (3)  2006 Model Year Data is incomplete. These figures are based on
        Models available for sale at dealers as of 6/21/05
   (4)  Fuel efficiency results are based on miles per gallon for Highway
        Travel and standard engine/transmission configuration, as reported
        by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The study is based on information supplied to AIC by external sources believed to be reliable, but no responsibility is assumed by AIC or its affiliates for errors, inaccuracies or omissions. The study is provided strictly on an "as is where is" basis, and AIC further expressly disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose regarding the study.

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