San Diego, California – Increased perceived quality and reliability have resulted in a “revolution in buyer perceptions,” according to Strategic Vision’s 2009 Total Value Index (TVI), as customers look beyond traditional factors when considering automobiles.

The report found that, for the first time ever, Toyota did not have a vehicle leader in any segment. “Toyota has evolved to be defined by customers as a paradigm of reliable and durable vehicles,” said Darrel Edwards, chairman of Strategic Vision. “Toyota meets an essential part of the purchase contract. Toyota provides buyers the security needed to make the purchase. However, with so many manufacturers, inspired by Toyota, improving in perceived quality, customers have a wider range of options to choose from in our current economic climate. This allows them to find both value and love in their new vehicle.”

Fuelled in part by a recovering economy, the revolution has had an impact across all vehicle segments, including luxury vehicles, where the Hyundai Genesis is the Near Luxury Car Segment leader, and with many Lexus, Infiniti, Cadillac and BMW owners trading in their vehicles for the Genesis.

“Durability alone and simply satisfying customers is not enough for buyers who demand both immediate and long-term value,” said company president Alexander Edwards. “Customers no longer feel constrained to consider only the ‘usual suspects.’ Because of increased quality, competitive prices and manufacturers fighting for their lives to provide ‘Loveworthy’ vehicles, this is truly an exciting time for car buyers, today and in the near future. Manufacturers are listening and reacting quickly to stay competitive.”

Buyers in the survey rated the following 2009 vehicles top in total value in their segments:

Small Car: Honda Insight

Small Multi-Function: Ford Focus Coupe

Medium Car: Volkswagen Jetta/Volkswagen Passat (tie)

Medium Multi-Function: Volkswagen Jetta Wagon

Larger Car: Volkswagen Passat CC

Near-Luxury Car: Hyundai Genesis

Luxury Car: Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Luxury Multi-Function: Mercedes-Benz R-Class

Small Specialty: Mini Cooper

Premium Coupe: Chevrolet Corvette

Mid-Specialty Coupe: Honda Accord Coupe

Convertible Under $30,000: Ford Mustang

Convertible Over $30,000: Saab 9-3

Minivan: Honda Odyssey

Small SUV: Volkswagen Tiguan

Medium SUV: Chrysler Aspen

Medium Crossover: Ford Flex

Large SUV: Ford Expedition

Near Luxury SUV: BMW X3

Luxury SUV: Audi Q7

Standard Pickup: Honda Ridgeline

Full-size Pickup: Chevrolet Avalanche

Heavy-Duty Pickup: Ford F-250/350

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