For the third consecutive year, the MINI Cooper has achieved high scores in Strategic Vision's 2004 Total Value Index (TVI). The index measures buyers? views of whether they received value from their car purchase and is calculated by correlating all economic issues against the quality of the ownership experience.

Questioning over 74,000 people for the Total Value Index, the MINI Cooper (813) was named “Best Small Specialty Car” under $25,000 and came in as the second model overall – only marginally behind the Toyota Prius (817).

The study measures both immediate economics such as value for the money, affordability, price/deal offered, warranty, technical innovation and standard equipment level, and also expected economics which include durability, resale value, mileage, economical to own and reliability.

“What you get for your money,” said Dr. Darrel Edwards, Strategic Vision president, “is vital in the value equation. A cheap price for a vehicle that doesn't stir the buyer's values and emotions will never be more than a cheap vehicle. One with strong perceived quality that scores well on the value factors will make a buyer feel like a real winner who made a smart choice.”

“We're very pleased with the results of this survey,” said Jack Pitney, vice president, MINI USA. “MINI instills a strong sense of passion in our customers and this survey helps to underscore the value we that provide to our customer throughout the complete ownership experience.”

Buyers participating in the study purchased their new vehicles between October 2003 and March 2004. They had at least 90 days of ownership experience before being questioned. All Total Value Award winners had to be 2004 models.

The top five scoring vehicles are:
Models: TVI Transaction Price (Median) Incentives (%)

  • Toyota Prius 815 $24,500 7%
  • Mini Cooper 813 $24,000 4%
  • Lexus LS 430 799 $61,508 19%
  • Mercedes C-Class Sedan 798 $35,000 35%
  • Lexus IS 300 794 $32,500 28%
  • INDUSTRY 717 $27,000 62%