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Back in 2007, <A HREF="http://my.is/forums/f41/2007-lexus-wins-intellichoice-autopacific-awards-344429/">we wrote about the Lexus IS being awarded the IntelliChoice Best Overall Values of the Year Award for that year</A>. In the next intervening couple of years, the Lexus IS fell off the list and, as is typical for these awards, the multiple categories were rejigged and tampered with. Now, IntelliChoice has just announced the latest round of BOVY awards, and the Lexus IS 350 returns with a vengeance as the 2010 IntelliChoice Best Overall Value of the Year in the Luxury Sports Sedan/Wagon category.

As <A HREF="http://www.intellichoice.com/carBuying101/2010_what_is_bovy">IntelliChoice's What is a BOVY? page</A> informs us, the research firm "aggregates and analyzes data from auto manufacturers, the U.S. government, and third-party data resources to determine the actual costs of ownership of new vehicles over a five-year period, and assigns a value rating to all mainstream vehicles sold in America each year. This insightful value rating factors the accumulated ownership costs of depreciation, maintenance, repairs, fuel, fees, financing, and insurance to identify the true standout models in each class...While there are many factors to consider when buying a new vehicle, the annual BOVY winner list provides a quick reference to distinguish those vehicles on the market that promise the best return on investment."

Toyota and Lexus haters may be surprised that, with the ongoing recalls brouhaha, the Lexus IS would win this sort of award. Don't think for a minute, however, that they turned a blind eye to Toyota's recent travails. Quite the contrary, as in a separate page on the IntelliChoice website titled <A HREF="http://www.intellichoice.com/press/2010_best_overall_car_value">Toyota Nets Most Winners - Value Ratings withstand Impact from Recalls</A>, the research firm's executive editor, Charlie Vogelheim, writes that "Recalls hurt Toyota image, but not Toyota value. Toyota and Lexus badges took five of the eight overall rankings for cars and trucks, and 11 of 31 total vehicle segments, once again giving Toyota the highest number of winners. 'In light of the current recalls we reevaluated the data factoring in a potential drop in desirability, and 16 Toyota vehicles were still value leaders in their class,' said Vogelheim. 'Specifically, we analyzed the long term impact on resale values and ownership costs of vehicles that had been subject to well publicized recalls in the past. And what we found is that while the vehicles take a short-term hit, over a typical ownership period the changes are barely measurable, and fall within the range of fluctuations one typically sees in retained value over time. Also, given Toyota's history of strong long-term resale values, we expect these cars will continue to recapture competitive to above average retained value at resale time. Toyota has built up a significant level of goodwill among the consumer over the past 20 years. Given that Toyota and Lexus vehicles excel in every facet of cost ownership, they managed to lead the pack again this year, despite the issues created by the recalls'."

<A HREF="http://pressroom.toyota.com/pr/tms/toyota-and-lexus-dominate-2010-153706.aspx">The official Toyota USA Newsroom story</A> that first brought the latest IntelliChoice awards to our attention features a full listing of all the winners bearing Toyota and Lexus badges. Also worth checking out is the <A HREF="http://www.intellichoice.com/best_values/value">IntelliChoice Value Rating</A> page that further explains their methodology and their site's <A HREF="http://www.intellichoice.com/reports/vehicleReport/vehicle_nmb/43960/2010/Lexus/IS%20350">dedicated 2010 Lexus IS 350 RWD page.</A> Er...is there any other kind of IS 350 that isn't RWD?
 
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