• Oct 10, 2006
Strategic Vision just released its list of top automotive brands and models and it looks like Toyota slipped a bit while Honda held strong and GM moved up. Strategic Vision is a marketing research company that consults with automakers on vehicle values. Through surveys, they questioned more than 64,000 new vehicle owners about their experiences and whether they believe they got their money's worth. The study is unique in that it also incorporates emotional responses to vehicles.

Honda stayed on top in the overall rankings as the best full-line automaker, which is no surprise. General Motors, however, won four categories and was the only domestic automaker with a segment-topping vehicle. Toyota, had seven winners in 2005, but managed only three categories this year. "One thing about Honda that is just really clear: They have the strongest brand equity of any brand out there," said Alexander Edwards, president of Strategic Vision's automotive research group. Honda's "perceived reliability and durability," helps boost the brand's value, Edwards added. The full list of segment winners can be found after the jump.

[Source: Detroit News]
Segment Winners:

-- Small car: Honda Civic
-- Small multifunction: Scion xB
-- Medium car: Kia Optima
-- Medium multifunction: Mazda6 Wagon
-- Larger car: Hyundai Azera
-- Near luxury car: BMW 3--Series
-- Luxury multifunction: Audi A4/S4 Avant
-- Luxury car (three--way tie): Lexus LS 430, Acura RL, Audi A8
-- Small specialty under $25K: Mini Cooper
-- Small specialty over $25K: Chevrolet Corvette
-- Mid--specialty: Honda Accord Coupe
-- Convertible under $30K: Mini Cooper Convertible
-- Convertible over $30K: Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
-- Minivan: Kia Sedona
-- Small SUV (tie): Saturn Vue, Hyundai Tucson
-- Medium crossover SUV: Honda Pilot
-- Medium SUV: Nissan Xterra
-- Large SUV: Nissan Armada
-- Near luxury SUV: Lexus RX 330
-- Luxury SUV: Mercedes GL--Class
-- Compact pickup: Honda Ridgeline
-- Full--size pickup: Nissan Titan
-- Heavy--duty pickup: Chevrolet Silverado
-- Best model: Mini Cooper
-- Most improved brand: Honda
-- Best corporation (overall): Honda Motor Co.
Source: Strategic Vision Inc.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think I'd wait a few years before saying that KIA is better than a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry.

      KIA and its Hyundai parent have only recently been considered reliable cars. Both Honda and Toyota have a long history of reliable service. If Hondas and Toyotas cost more than Kias, there's a good reason for that.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Excellent posts as always Lithous! Keep 'em coming!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I've owned many Honda made cars and been happy with them. However, they were not bulletproof as all had their own small problems. I also have owned one Toyota which had a multitude of little problems. But, most of the problems reported today seem to be just nit-picking. As long as a car doesn't break down and leave you on the side of the road you should be okay.
      -THAT MEANS AVOIDE VW AT ALL COSTS-
      With GM's new warranty, I may even take a chance on them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      ***EVERYBODY PLEASE STAY ON TOPIC***
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have to agree with #7 on the craptastic quality of a Scion. We have a tC in our family and it has been loaded with problems. The sunroof gets stuck when you go to close it and trim pieces in the back are falling off.

      The service is a problem as well. The car has a recall on it to install laminate over the moon roof for safety issues, but we can't find a dealer who can fit it in their busy schedule. When we do get in to get it done, they don't have the parts. Guess they are busy with other Toyota recalls.
      • 8 Years Ago
      where do you live that you can not get 1) a serivce appointment for your tC recall, and 2) they can not get the part?

      I had the same recall. What did I do? Called on Wed, went in on Saturday at noon. Got an oil change and the sunroof "fixed"(and I told them NOT to rotate the tires every 5,000 miles. I let them do that every 10,000 miles. regular maintainence).
      Where do you live?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Our tC, purchased in sept 2004, Blue, now 65,000 miles. Only issue was the passenger side wiper arm broke, 2 times.
      Other gripe? The seatbelt rubs one's neck, so we purchased seat belt clips through a mail orde4r brochure to correct this issue.

      The Optima(2006.5) does not surprise me for Winning the Midsized Sedan award.

      I knew it smoked the Fusion, Malibu, 500, and the OVER PRICED(by thousands) Accord, Camry.

      Kia also won best Minivan(as it should)!
      Honda, Toyota? GM/Ford/Chrysler?

      Rock On, Kia!
      • 8 Years Ago
      poster 11: I personally have owned a 1999 Sonata GLS V6 for 139,000+ miles. Only reason I got rid of it was due to taking my car to soemwhere else other than my normal Hyundai service center, in late 2004.
      The radiator started to leak some, and they replaced it, and when I kept having issues, they said" we replaced it with a comparable Ford radiator!"
      Makes Sense(lol). It was nearly 6 years old, so I just traded it in for 3,300 dollars for the Scion tC.

      Camry loaded liek I would want it? 28,000 dollars. Optima loaded(on sale/after bargaining) like I want it? 20K.
      With financing and the differences in taxes, etc, also added in, figure around 10 Grand difference.
      Yeah, if the Optima lasts me 6 years, 140,000, I;d be happy, and save a ton of cash, too. 34MPG hwy(see Edmunds, or Motorweek.org's tests).... with 161hp I-4( more than Camry's I-4, which would cost me maybe 24-25K loadedlike I like, which is still 5,500-6K difference, after taxes, 5 year loan, etc... ).

      Is the Camry better? yes. Is it 6-10K better? Not for me it ain't, since I drive my vehciles well over 100K, and past pay off.
      Seems the people in the survey weren't impressed by a name on the decklid, and that's what counts!


      • 8 Years Ago
      Michael, You're asking AZMike, Lithous and a few others to make a helluva jump,

      Use math to make decisions? It's too much for them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Honda received a well-meaning ranking in quality. Honda has stood for quality and has produced quality products year after year. Toyota was one of the quality manufacturers for many years, but now in their rush to take the number 1 spot from GM, they have put new cars on the market with a multitude of defects. Toyota has literally led the auto industry in recalls this year and has delayed new introductions in an effort to correct their quality control problem. GM...keep working because you have the ability to produce quality automobiles.
      • 8 Years Ago
      all of these "surveys" are ridiculous. I received two from Strategic Vision this year; I filled out about half of each. I bailed out when they started asking important questions like "do you feel your new vehicle shows power and status?" (fill in the blank with five choices, from least to most important). now, continue on with two pages of this same drivel.

      I went thru the same crap with the much-vaunted (and least deserved) J. D. Power survey. for those not familiar, 'ol J. D came up with the survey idea back around 1980. he went to the domestic manufacturers (no interest), but the Japanese companies were interested. lo and behold, the Japanese companies have dominated the survey ever since. is this some coincedence? I think not. I overnighted the Power survey back to their main office with a two page letter; never (of course) heard a word back from them.

      then we have more "experts", like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. when one of their new surveys come out, every "news" show waits with baited breath. do me one favor here; let me know when you will be having your next accident in a vehicle being pulled by a cable, to a controlled crash over a glass-smooth floor. I don't see too many "real world" similarities here, but everyone just eats it up as the gospel truth.

      then, of course, the grandaddy of all experts, the "small timer's bible", Consumer Reports. here we have a publication that can rate toaster ovens, toilet bowl cleaner, tampons, and cars with equal aplomb.

      when it comes to cars, their secret is to just hate anything domestic. Volkswagen has a bad service record? no problem. rate it at the top. a Buick with more rear seat legroom (by the numbers) than the competition? say the rear seat is "cramped", no explainations necessary...and the stupid public eats it up. why think for yourself?

      I NEVER pay any attention to "surveys" or someone's opinion. the one thing I've learned to do is to buy anything that Consumer Reports hates. I've never been disappointed yet.

      Mike
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