D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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With signs pointing to an improving economy, it is expected that consumers will re-enter the buyers’ market.  And these buyers are looking at getting the best value for the longest period of time, the best bang for their buck, according to IntelliChoice, which recently released their annual list of the best car values in the IntelliChoic Best Overall Values for 2011 (BOVY).

IntelliChoice named winners in 21 specific categories, focused on overall value based on initial price and expected total cost of ownership over time, including operational, maintenance and repair costs.

The biggest BOVY winner of 2011 was Toyota, which despite having a difficult year in 2010 got more than half of the total entries on the list.  Toyota and its Lexus subsidiary garnered 11 of the 21 awards – 7 Toyotas and 4 Lexus models.  Winning Toyotas included: Prius as best overal passenger car; Avalon as best premium passenger car; Sienna (which we recently revealed as one of the cheapest cars to insure) as best overall minivan; Tacoma as best compact pickup truck; and Tundra as the best full sized pickup truck.

Only three other manufacturers scored multiple wins on the list, with General Motors, Volvo and Mini each garnering two nods apiece.  Audi, Honda, Infinity and Subaru each placed a single car in the BOVYs.

The IntelliChoice press release and pictures of six of the winners follow.

San Francisco, Calif. (February 05, 2010) – IntelliChoice, the market leader in automotive ownership cost and car value analysis, announced today the winners of the 2011 Best Overall Value of the Year (BOVY) awards at the 2011 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention in San Francisco.

Amidst a recovering economy and a buying public wary of big-ticket spending, the annual BOVY Awards help to identify best-in-class vehicles that deliver outstanding value and lower than expected costs over time; offering consumers a quick reference to determine which vehicles give them the most bang for their buck.

Unlike previous years when there have been as many as 46 winners, this year’s BOVYs were distilled to highlight a collection of 21 class winners, honing in on specific buyer market segments. The vehicles in each category represent best values and illustrate the results of a careful and practical analysis of ownership costs, including: depreciation, maintenance, repairs, fuel, fees, financing and insurance.

The 2011 BOVY award winners are as follows:

Compact Passenger Car: Honda Fit
Premium Compact Passenger Car: Lexus IS 250
Passenger Car: Toyota Prius
Premium Passenger Car: Toyota Avalon
Luxury Passenger Car: Infiniti M37
Convertible: MINI Cooper Convertible
Premium Convertible: Lexus IS 250C
Sporty/Coupe: MINI Cooper Hatchback
Premium Sporty/Coupe: Volvo C30
Performance Car: Chevrolet Corvette
Compact Crossover/Wagon: Toyota RAV4 4cyl
Premium Compact Crossover/Wagon: Audi A3
Crossover/Wagon: Subaru Outback
Premium Crossover/Wagon: Lexus RX 350
Luxury Crossover/Wagon: Volvo XC90 3.2
Minivan: Toyota Sienna
SUV: Toyota 4Runner
Full-Size SUV: GMC Yukon
Premium Full-Size SUV: Lexus GX 460
Compact Pickup: Toyota Tacoma
Full-Size Pickup: Toyota Tundra

“As the economy slowly builds back up, consumers are getting ready to re-enter the buyer’s market, but they are concerned of what’s going to give them the most value for the longest period of time.  That’s where we come in with a mission that has remained the same for the last 25 years; we empower consumers to make better purchase decisions, by providing independent and essential automotive information and tools,” said Vogelheim.

“The BOVYs are another tool that help consumers recognize cars and trucks whose total cost of ownership is significantly lower than expected compared to their peers. In essence, the awards provide a quick reference to highlight vehicles that promise the best value over duration of ownership.”

While this year’s awards reflected a diverse group of winners across a range of price points and manufacturers, it was Asian manufacturers that continued to show the strongest best overall value, with Toyota accumulating seven wins of the 21 total categories, once again making it the highest award winner. Lexus accounted for another four category wins, including Premium Passenger Car, Premium Full-Size SUV, Premium Convertible and Premium Crossover/Wagon.

Certain cars and trucks made repeat appearances on IntelliChoice’s Best Overall Values ranking. Not surprisingly, were wins from Chevrolet Corvette and MINI Cooper Convertible; both were awarded honors for their class leading value retention and lower cost to insure.

“The most important thing about choosing a car wisely is knowing that it’s not just about the lowest sticker price,” said IntelliChoice Executive Editor, Charlie Vogelheim. “In fact, the purchase price is just the first cost; there are many other factors to consider when gauging overall cost.”

Throughout the year, IntelliChoice aggregates and analyzes data on nearly 1800 vehicle models to determine its Best Overall Values. Data gleaned from auto manufacturers, the U.S. government, and third-party data resources is used to determine the actual costs of ownership for new vehicles over a five-year period. After determining ownership costs, IntelliChoice assigns a value rating to each vehicle and compares that rating relative to their peer models to determine a Best Overall Value in vehicle class.

About IntelliChoice
IntelliChoice, part of the Motor Trend Auto Group is the market leader in automotive ownership cost and car values analysis. Founded in 1986, IntelliChoice is committed to empowering consumers to make better purchase decisions by providing independent and essential automotive information and tools. Through the IntelliChoice.com web site consumers get the help they need to research, compare, configure and price new cars. The site also connects buyers to the buying alternatives of their choice, including vehicle manufacturers and an online car buying guide. Motor Trend Auto Group is a subsidiary of Source Interlink Media, a recognized provider of targeted media and marketing services and one of the largest publishers of magazines and online content for enthusiast audiences.

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2011 Honda Fit
2011 Honda Fit (Image from Honda.com)

2011 Toyota Avalon
2011 Toyota Avalon (Image from Toyota.com)

2011 Toyota Highlander
2011 Toyota Highlander. (Image from Toyota.com)

2011 Toyota Sienna
2011 Toyota Sienna (Image from Toyota.com)

2011 Toyota Tacoma
2011 Toyota Tacoma (Image from Toyota.com)

2011 Volvo C30
2011 Volvo C30 (Image from Volvocars.com)