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Chevrolet TrailBlazer and Scion xB Offer Most Legroom for Commuters Craving Extra Inches Behind the Wheel According to Autobytel QuickView Report.

Scion xB Earns Best Overall Ranking for Commuters

IRVINE, Calif. -- Americans are commuting farther and longer than ever before which translates to a lot of time crammed behind the wheel. This new lifestyle can prompt many to seek out a more comfortable vehicle with additional legroom. To that end, Autobytel Inc.'s (Nasdaq:ABTL) Q3 2006 Quarterly QuickView1, powered by its Automotive Information Center (AIC) division, reveals the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and Scion xB inch out the competition on legroom. The Scion xB in particular is a great option among smaller vehicles, and when Autobytel evaluated it on additional criteria such as cost and fuel economy, it was named best pick for commuters.

According to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report, extreme commuters spend more than 90 minutes behind the wheel each day and as people move farther out into the suburbs, those drive times are dramatically increasing. Last year, Americans spent more than 100 hours commuting to work on average, and even with rising gasoline prices, nearly nine out of 10 American workers commute by car.

All of this time spent in a vehicle can leave commuters feeling confined, which is why additional legroom is a sought-after commodity for many consumers when searching for cars. The need for extra legroom is rapidly spreading to all forms of travel. In fact, airlines such as United's TED are capitalizing on the trend by offering special legroom-only upgrades for a fee.

"Consumers want roomier vehicles to make long, stressful commutes more bearable and additional legroom can be a key comfort factor for many drivers," said Autobytel senior analyst Christian Wardlaw. "Commuters think 'If I have to be in the car for a long period of time, I might as well be comfortable.' Autobytel's QuickView guide to legroom should bring added comfort to long-legged car shoppers who currently feel squeezed behind the wheel."

Stretch Out in a Big SUV, a Small Wagon is a Close Second

Consumers have affordable options for premium legroom experiences in the 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer, thanks to 46.9 inches of legroom, and the 2006 Scion xB at 45.3 inches of legroom.

For commuters seeking a utilitarian, fuel-efficient car without compromising comfort, the Scion xB is Autobytel's best pick. Wardlaw comments, "The Scion xB has a number of things working for it compared to the TrailBlazer. It has a surprisingly large and comfortable interior and when you consider how affordable, durable, and economical it is, the overall package is a great offering for commuters."

Coupe and convertible drivers with luxurious tastes and higher purchase power may want to take a look at the 2007 Jaguar XK possessing 45.1 inches of legroom. A more affordable coupe, the Infiniti G35, is an alternative for shoppers to consider at half the price, but legroom is reduced slightly to 43.8 inches.

Surprisingly, however, some of the overall largest vehicles on the list - minivans and pickups - rank lowest according to available legroom.

Autobytel analysts found a 4.5-inch difference among the highest-ranking vehicles, showing consumers a range of choices when shopping for cars with extra legroom (see Stretch Out chart).

Legroom Becoming a Must-Have

Just how much more important is nearly five inches of extra legroom? On budget airlines such as TED, travelers will pay between $50-75 for additional space to stretch their legs on a long flight which doesn't begin to compare to those commuters who spend up to 100 hours a year behind the wheel of a car. Extra legroom is evolving from a nice-to-have feature to a must-have feature for many travelers and commuters who yearn for a few extra inches.

Vehicles with the Most Legroom by Class

This extensive list ranks vehicles in the following categories for a total of 19 classes:

* SUV (Full Size, Midsize, Small, Luxury); Class winner - Full/mid size Chevrolet TrailBlazer at 46.9 inches

* Wagon; Class winner - Scion xB at 45.3 inches

* Coupe (Luxury, Sport, Family, Economy); Class winner - Luxury coupe Jaguar XK at 45.1 inches

* Convertible (Luxury, Sport); Class winner - Luxury convertible Jaguar XK at 45.1 inches

* Sedan (Large, Sport, Compact, Luxury, Midsize); Class winner - Large sedan Kia Amanti at 44.5 inches

* Minivan; Class winner - Toyota Sienna at 42.9 inches

* Pickup (Compact, Full Size); Class winner - Compact pickups Ford Ranger, Mazda B-Series, Nissan Frontier at 42.4 inches

The complete list of the 19 best in class vehicles for legroom can be found at

1Quarterly QuickView results are based on a study of 2,517 vehicles available for sale in the U.S as of 6/13/06 (at the trim level) and account for both standard and optional features

The study is based on information supplied to AIC by external sources believed to be reliable, but no responsibility is assumed by AIC or its affiliates for errors, inaccuracies or omissions. The study is provided strictly on an "as is where is" basis, and AIC further expressly disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose regarding the study.

About Autobytel Inc.

Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq:ABTL) is one of the largest online automotive marketplaces, empowering consumers to make smart vehicle choices using objective automotive data and insightful interactive editorial content. The result is a convenient car-buying process backed by a nationwide network of dealers who are committed to providing a positive consumer experience. Every day consumers choose Autobytel-owned and operated websites Co,,,,,, and - to facilitate their car-shopping decisions. Autobytel's ability to attract millions of highly qualified, in-market car buyers and connect them with retailers has made it a leader in facilitating the entire customer car-buying lifecycle.

The Company's innovative marketing, advertising, data and CRM products, including its Web Control[R] customer management system, Retention Performance Marketing (RPM[R]) service reminder program, Special Finance Leads(SM), and AIC[R] data center, are designed to enable dealers to offer a premium consumer experience. Since pioneering pro-consumer online automotive content and purchasing in 1995, Autobytel has helped more than twenty-seven million car buyers, generating billions of dollars in car sales for dealers.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 26, 2006
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