• Jan 31st 2011 at 11:00AM
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2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T - Click above for high-res image gallery

Strategic Vision has released its annual Total Value Index for 2010, and it looks like a few serious changes have begun to take hold. While Volkswagen still retains its position on the top of the heap, Ford has moved up into the second position by bumping Honda down the podium. That move is particularly commendable considering that the Blue Oval was ranked dead last in the study just eight years ago.

Ford wasn't the only stand out star, though. The Hyundai Sonata, while technically a 2011 model, managed to take the highest Total Value Index score of any vehicle ever tested by Strategic Vision, even amongst luxury badges. The new sedan managed to pull in a total of 860 points, prompting the creation of a new Special Value Award category. Interestingly enough, the vehicle with the next closest number of points is the Hyundai Genesis with 852, while the Audi A8 rounds out the top three with 821 points.

Strategic Vision combines information from a whopping 442 data points in order to rank individual vehicles, and a company's score is created by averaging the verdicts for all of its respective products. The True Value Index is generated by surveying owners who actually purchased new vehicles during the calendar year. Hit the jump for the press release.

Photos copyright ©2011 Zach Bowman / AOL

[Source: Strategic Vision]
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The 2010 Total Value Awards
For immediate release - Tuesday, January 25, 2011
San Diego – Now in its fourteenth year as the industry's most comprehensive "value study," Strategic Vision announces the Total Value Index™ (TVI) leaders of 2010 with results that indicate value leadership is evolving. Behind Total Value corporate leader Volkswagen of America, Ford Motor Corporation now ranks ahead of American Honda Motor for the first time in the study's history. Also stunning is the 2011 Hyundai Sonata's highest Total Value score in the history of the study-and that is in all of the segments, luxury included.

"Typically we do not include 'early-next-calendar-year' launch models in our current calendar year studies, but in the case of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata, its performance was so outstanding we created a new "Special Total Value Award" just to recognize a truly superior Value accomplishment," says Strategic Vision Founder and Chairman Darrel Edwards, Ph.D.

According to Strategic Vision President Alexander Edwards, "When the data came back on the 2011 Hyundai Sonata, it was so impressive it prompted us to re-examine it several times to be certain." "The findings were solid with particular superiority among owners ranking Value for Money, Technical Innovation, Standard Equipment, Fuel Economy and a great Warranty all wrapped in vehicle with eye catching styling," continues Edwards. Hyundai had two other segment leaders with Genesis (Near Luxury Car) and Tucson (Small SUV).

Despite Hyundai's targeted and rising success, Volkswagen of America (with Audi) leads all corporations with seven models being segment leaders as well as the most of any Luxury brand with Audi A8, TT Coupe, A5 and Q7. Strategic Vision's Vice President Christopher Chaney noted: "Ford Motor Corporation's ranking ahead of American Honda Motor is quite an accomplishment, especially considering that just eight years ago they ranked last among all corporations. Ford Fusion ranked first among the popular mid-size cars, and Ford also had class leaders with Lincoln MKT, Flex, F150 and F250/350." Chaney continued, "It's certainly not that other manufacturers have completely fallen, it's that the bar is being raised with the buyer ultimately winning."

Honda, Nissan, GM, Chrysler and Toyota corporations are all producing valued products, but they must all take notice and respond to where the consumers want to go. Manufacturers must increasingly be more open and honest with themselves. This is a difficult economy. Times are hard and people are working harder than ever. Increasingly, shoppers will define value as more than the listed residual or resale value numbers, and include "What am I getting now that I have spent tens of thousands of my hard earned dollars?" It's an interesting challenge for product planners and marketers, but the payoff can be more sales and loyalty.

We present Total Value findings as a way of summarizing a very comprehensive collection of over 442 data points on over one hundred thousand new car buyers annually. The crux of this study is that as more parity exists among the long term "value" economic expectations (Fuel Economy, Reliability, Durability, Economical to Own and Resale Value), the more consumers will focus on short term economic factors, or "what will you provide for me today!"

The following are the number one ranked vehicles in Total Value in their segments, as rated by new vehicle buyers:
Segment Winner(s) TVI Score

Small Car
Honda Civic Hybrid 814

Honda Civic Coupe 812

Small Multi-Function
Volkswagen Golf 790

Mid-Size Car
Ford Fusion 802

Mid-Size Multi-Function
Subaru Outback 760

Large Car
Volkswagen CC 806

Near-Luxury Car
Hyundai Genesis 852

Luxury Multi-Function
Lincoln MKT 815

Luxury Car
Audi A8 821

Specialty Coupe
MINI Cooper Hatchback 817

Premium Coupe
Audi TT Coupe 816

Mid Specialty
Honda Accord Coupe 781

Saturn Sky 817
Volkswagen New Beetle Convertible 814

Premium Convertible/Roadster
Audi A5 Cabriolet 820

Volkswagen Routan 748
Honda Odyssey 746

Entry Utility
Hyundai Tucson 800

Mid-Size Crossover Utility
Ford Flex 786

Mid-Size Traditional Utility
Toyota 4Runner 762

Large Utility
GMC Yukon 747

Near-Luxury Utility
Mercedes-Benz GLK v

Luxury Utility
Audi Q7 798

Standard Pickup
Honda Ridgeline 732

Full-Size Pickup
Dodge Ram 1500 767
Ford F-150 766

Heavy Duty Pickup
Ford F-250/350 698

The Total Value Index™ was calculated from 111,212 buyers who bought models during September 2009 to June 2010. Strategic Vision has presented Total Value Awards™ annually since 1995. The calculation of Total Value begins with clear statements that owners make about value (e.g. expected reliability, expected fuel economy, price paid, expected resale value, innovation, etc.). Total Value then incorporates the importance of the variables that make up the ownership experience, and it is here that Strategic Vision finds "True Value" - the worth of the attribute weighed against the costs.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Most of the sonata's and genesis's winning "value" actually comes from hyundai's overall warrantee numbers. Not necessarily the winners by the car itself but that warrantee is great!
      • 4 Years Ago
      @ nardvark

      I agree. Can you imagine what Consumer Reports findings would be like if they did away with their "predicted reliability" category!!? For instance, "last year we 'predicted' the Toyota Tundra to have excellent reliability because its a Toyota" thus giving the Tundra a high overall quality score. "Now its this year so lets predict the Tundra's reliability based on last years quality results... 'Oh wow, look at that! We gave it a high quality score last year so based on that we can 'predict' it will be reliable again!" what an amazing truck it must be!"

      Thats CR's biggest flaw! Their predicted reliability crap. Why not just not predict at all and let your tests and members results speak for themselves.
      • 4 Years Ago
      wow for some reason the chrysler 300 and the sonata look like they're in the same stable
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wonder how much it changes if you throw out all of the BS categories such as "expected reliability" and "expected resale value." My experience has been that those things can change pretty dramatically on a 2-3 year time scale, and are basically meaningless.
      • 4 Years Ago
      what's interesting I believe is not the ranking but how close are competitors if you look at the list in details !
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sorry, but surveys like this are 25% reality and 75% perception. Fords did not go from worst to near best because of the differences in their products. Yes. The products are better, but not THAT much better. Most of this is public perception for Ford.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think it's like 99% perception. Here's some of what they looked at:

        "expected reliability, expected fuel economy, price paid, expected resale value, innovation, etc"

        Next to everything is what the customer EXPECTS. The only thing objective there is the price they paid. If they actually asked the owners to report the # of problems they've had, what their actual fuel economy is, looked at average resale values, etc then we'd be getting somewhere. And I have no idea how VW is #1 when they always end up near the bottom for actual (not expected) reliability.

        This whole article is very misleading. Shame on Autoblog for not disclosing what metrics they looked at.
      • 4 Years Ago
      your comment is kind of lame but I agree...this survey is stupid
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm not surprised at all that it's from Ford and Hyundai.
        • 4 Years Ago
        But you have to be surprised about VW. All 3 seems to be going nicely lately. Toyota and Honda have had their time.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Who would have thunk 5 years ago that VW, Ford and Hyundai would be toppling Toyota, Honda and Lexus on this list?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Topping Honda. I see 5 Honda's listed, only 2 Hyundais. I realize this is Autoblog, and most posters are blinded by Hyundai, but 5 is still greater than two.
        • 4 Years Ago

        Nonetheless, putting aside the fact that Hyundai doesn't have models in 3 of the categories that Honda had the highest rated vehicle, it's a pretty safe bet that w/ next year's survey, Honda's "win" in the small car category will be replaced by Ford, Chevy or Hyundai.

        And only taking into account the categories that both Hyundai and Honda compete in, as well as counting the Sonata as a "win" (despite being a 2011 model), that gives Hyundai a 3-2 edge head to head.
      • 4 Years Ago

      Using your logic, to which there is a degree of truth regarding perception, you fail to recognize that while you think the publics perception of ford quality is greater than actual quality...it is likely that before, the publics perception about fords lack of quality was greater than their actual lack of quality. And vice versa for toyota and hondas perceived quality all these years. That and id say there is still plenty of people who still wont wake up and realize ford products are winning segments so id say, at least for ford, they ACTUALLY belong in the top 3 righg now
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