Intellichoice survey reviews 2009 hybrid and diesel cars

Posted By on August 21, 2009

TDI QuestionA 2009 Intellichoice survey compared the cost of ownership beyond the sticker price by factoring in depreciation, financing, fuel, Insurance, maintenance, repairs and state fees. By doing this, consumers should have a better idea of what a vehicle’s long-term ownership costs might be and better be able to decide which vehicle is a better overall value.

This year they reviewed 51 different hybrid and diesel model cars and have concluded ‘surprisingly’ that the maintenance cost of both the diesel and hybrid vehicles were on par with their gasoline only counterparts in a 5 year comparison*. They also describe ‘clean diesel’ vehicles as a “game changer” and the PDF charts show the Volkswagen Jetta TDI as the best return for the dollar (even in 5 years) when comparing its MSRP premium, fuel cost saving, maintenance and resale value.

* What it doesn’t show, and should be pointed out by those of us that drive hundreds of thousands of miles and keep their cars for more than 5 years, is that diesel cars and trucks have significantly higher resale values AND have traditionally had a lower cost of maintenance per mile as a vehicle ages. At this time, one can only  spectulate that a hybrid owner will eventually face the high cost of a new battery on top of its internal combusion engine, which will most certainly impact long term values and the cost of owning a hybrid vehicle compared to both gasoline only and diesel vehicles.


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.