• Jan 29, 2008
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]


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  • 62 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Really, this news comes as no surprise to me. As a Honda owner, I have experienced a high level of satisfaction not only with my daily ownership experience, but I also regularly receive excellent service from my local dealer. I can't say this for many other manufacturers' cars my family and I have owned in the past.

      Probably the most striking experience came as a pleasant surprise one afternoon as I learned that my catalytic converter went out on my '03 Civic at around the 77,000 mark. I didn't purchase my car from Honda, therefore I couldn’t purchase an extended warranty. Nevertheless, a Honda service rep informed me that my cat was guaranteed up to 80,000 mi., and that the over $1200.00 job would not cost me a dime. Do you think GM or Ford would've done the same?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes, other automakers would. It's called a Federal Emissions Warranty. Look it up.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'd take the VW over the Chrysler version any day. Of course, having said that, I'd like to indicate that I, am, in no way defending VW for their choice for an engineering partner. I'm just banking on the VW being a little nicer than its Chrysler counterparts, especially if VW uses THEIR parts suppliers and not Chrysler's. Plusher leather, perhaps?

        I guess we can't hold out for an AWD version with a DSG tranny, can we? Diesel?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually yes GM and Ford probably would cover a cat. This is considered an emissions component and that warranty is federally mandated.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'd take the VW over the Chrysler version any day. Of course, having said that, I'd like to indicate that I, am, in no way defending VW for their choice for an engineering partner. I'm just banking on the VW being a little nicer than its Chrysler counterparts, especially if VW uses THEIR parts suppliers and not Chrysler's. Plusher leather, perhaps?

        I guess we can't hold out for an AWD version with a DSG tranny, can we? Diesel?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wonder how many people went down the list and wrote "Toyota, Toyota, Toyota, Toyota...."
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe a little off the point here but my wife and I recently dropped our subscription to CR after more than 10 years (also 2 gift subscriptions we had been renewing for years). Reasons: (1) perceived bias in more than a few reviews and (2) disagreement with numberous product reviews based upon personal experience with the product in question. While CR has been helpful on occasion and the content is often interesting, we no longer have confidence in it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As much as I personally disagree with CR, it is hard to argue that the average person who reads CR would have anything less to say than Toyota and Honda are great cars.

      Simple logic is that if CR polls THEIR readers, and year after year CR recommends the same brands, well shock and awe, the loyal readers will agree and echo CR's opinion.

      Now if CR did 100,000 cross country cold calls then I might say they have some scientific data.

      For my own purposes, in an office of 40 people, mixed races, all Bachelor's and higher degrees - CR's results are spot on for the under 30 group. Most of them wouldn't even consider an American brand when asked did they cross shop before buying a new car. Despite the fact that most of the other older, higher paid employees drive American and German cars.

      The results sound like a generation specific statement - they grew up with Japanese products, where as the older group grew up with American products. These days people hardly make decisions that are personal. They do as they are advised (told), what is the biggest social boost (style), what benefits them (value) or what they can afford (cost).

      Go figure.
        • 6 Years Ago
        psarhjinian,

        To say I am biased to any age group is misplaced when I am speaking of people I know personally. If the group I am using as an example is flawed, it more for geographic or economic factors and less for age.

        I do love a good debate but it is hard to ignore the influence of Japanese companies on the younger generation - more so on the Coasts and less so in the middle the USA.

        Back when I was a kid, Speed Racer and Gigantor on UHF were the only "Anime" to be found. Now it is hard to find a child's toy or show that is not heavily influenced by or isn't an outright Japanese re-dub. There simply wasn't much to see let alone buy so the influence was minimal.

        The Fast and Furious scene as far out stripped the Hot Rods of the 60's despite GM and Ford still making rumbling V-8s pony cars. An Acura or Lexus buyer looks at the Mustang as a dinosaur, despite the fact it can perform on equal footing. That is something that the Japanese makers and the media tells the impressionable youth not something they think for themselves.

        While you may take offence, I think you are ignoring that simple fact that a generation ago, Atari, Mattel and Coleco were the big three of the video game world. They were replaced by Sega, Sony and Nintendo. Was the video game industry also asleep at the wheel?

        Televisions? RCA, JVC and Zenith were replaced with Toshiba, Sony and Mitsubishi.

        Design, Music, Movies - at one time the whole world looked to the US for influence, now they have became Asian forums for their products.

        Thankfully the global market place is seeing more diversification but the automotive industry is far more "It worked for me and that is good enough for my kids" world which is turning into "Dad, Buick is not what it used to be. Buy a nice Honda instead"

        While every dog has its' day is still true to push aside an American designed product and only purchase something else is an impressive feat that can only be accomplished by making Americans doubt their fellow countryman's ability to be competent.

        True enough that American car companies failed at making what the public wanted but there is something to be said for Japanese auto makers plans to change American mindsets about their products. When they focused on that as much quality, they tipped the scales just a bit.

        To deny all this, is to say it didn't happen. I have no bias to the truth but it did happen and it does continue.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hondas and Toyotas are junk. Overpriced junk.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Japanese are best according to Consumer Reports. Why are we surprised? All CR credibility was lost when they admitted that they relied on Toyota's data for reliability.
        • 6 Years Ago
        http://www.autoobserver.com/2007/10/consumer-report.html

        No More Automatic Recommendations for Toyota

        Because of its findings, Consumer Reports will no longer recommend any new or redesigned Toyota-built models without reliability data on a specific design. Previously, new and redesigned Toyota models were recommended because of the automaker’s excellent track record, even if the publication didn’t have sufficient reliability data on the new model. If Toyota returns to its previous record of outstanding overall reliability, Consumer Reports said it may resume this practice.

        Sure looks like Toyota is slipping.

        If you read the entire article you may be surprised and begin playing violin solos to yourself.
        • 6 Years Ago
        They did no such thing. They gave some Toyota models (the Camry and Tundra) a conditional recommendation based on past performance. When the performance didn't live up to that, they stopped doing so. They still do it for other historically reliable models like the Civic or Impala.

        Again: here's the smallest violin playing for domestic fans. Boo-frickin'-hoo.
      tom
      • 6 Years Ago
      Buy American,,,,,stillmadeinusa.com
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is it me, or are most of the people who post to this site Toyota bashers? Of the last three cars my wife and I have owned only the Toyota hasn't given us any trouble. The Ford F250 we have is a disappointment and the Chevy Suburban was the worst piece of #$%# ever! Granted, as Toyota gets bigger their quality does seem to be diminishing. But Chevy's are junk. Even if they are made in Mexico.
      • 6 Years Ago
      hi , i received letters from my email jaf_ng30@yahoo.com that i won at lottery Toyota car promotion CVR-nr-34574565 is that true

      thanks.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Having just bought my first Honda in August I have to agree with the survey. My previous vehicles, in order of most recently owned were, 05 Nissan Murano, 05 Infiniti G35, 00 Miata, and 95 Dodge Stratus.

      the current car is an 07 Civic EX. What really amazed me is that this car is actually much tighter, quieter, and the finish is better than the 05 G35 was.

      Then again, it didn't take me long to realize that when I bought an Infiniti that the brand is simply marketing driven and not much else.

      The Miata was also trouble free, I haven't met anyone who ever had a problem with one either.

      Parents are Ford drivers, and outside of the 95 Windstar (which did last 100K+ miles after a new engine free of charge) their cars have been very good.

      Still the best seem to be Lexus and Honda from observance of what I and friends own
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not surprised you found the Honda better than the Nissan. In the long term dependability studies, Nissan consistently gets beat by most automakers, including Chevy, Pontiac, Chrysler, Ford, etc. For that matter, Mercury, Buick and Cadillac rate higher than Toyota and Honda so it probably shouldn't be too surprising.
      • 6 Years Ago
      wow, toyota is even 4th in perception of performance. just wow.

      And people wonder why Bush got voted twice...
      Daniel Van Soest
      • 6 Years Ago
      In recent years Mercedes has become one of the ugliest cars on the road. Howm cars like this and most other newer caRTS CAN EVEN BE CONSIDERED STYLISH BOGGLES THE MIND. MOST OF THE REAR ENDS LOOK LIKE PICKUP TRUCKS(ALL tHEY NEED ARE HINGES TO LET THE TAIL SWING DOWN. hOW ABOUT FRONT ENDS. hAVE YOU REALLY LOOKED AT THE CRYSLER 300. tHAT GRILL BELONGS ON A "pETER" BUILT TRACTOR. What ever happened to the sweeping lines and styles that various brands used to be known for and held in awe for generations? Most new cars todat are velveeta cheese boxes. Cookie cutter production with no imagination. THEY ARE UGLY!!!!!!
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