So we know many of you will roll your eyes at this and let the charges fly, but the results of Consumer Reports' 2008 Car Brand Perception survey reveal that Toyota and Honda are "best by a wide margin." The rankings, based on responses from 1,720 adults whose households own at least one car, ranked the amount of times a particular brand was mentioned in any one of seven categories (listed in order of importance to consumers): safety, quality, value, performance, environmental friendliness, design, and technical innovation.

Toyota rang up 189 points, with Honda following at 146. The next three vote-getters were domestics: Ford with 112, Chevrolet with 110, and GMC with 102. Mitsubishi (21), Audi (14), and Acura (8) brought up the rear. The only category in which Toyota and Honda didn't make the top five was design/styling. That's not really a surprise, and the tie for the win in that category is: Mercedes and Lexus.

Of note is that the results of this survey don't exactly match the results of other surveys. Volvo, of course, leads the safety category, but Subaru was voted more safe than both Mercedes and BMW, and the latter two didn't even make the top five. Mercedes did make the quality category top five, even though it came third from last in CR's rankings for predicted reliability that measures quality over time. We can't speak to accuracy of CR's polling methodology, but the results seem to give us less information about the brands than they do about conflicting perceptions of the buying public.

[Source: Reuters via eGM Car Tech]