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Honda, Mercedes: Top car brands?

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

Honda and Mercedes-Benz are the top car brands, according to a new study by Harris Interactive. More than 38,500 Americans responded to the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend Automotive Scorecard, which assessed brand equity among automakers as well as online auto shopping sites, automotive service centers, motor oil, tires, navigation systems and motorcycles.

Honda ended up on top in the full-line automaker category. Toyota rose in the rankings from last year, placing second for 2012, followed by Ford, which dropped from first in 2011. Interestingly, Ford's equity score actually increased over last year, though it was still bested by Honda and Toyota. Equity scores between the three brands were very close: 62.55 (Honda), 62.51 (Toyota) and 62.10 (Ford). Rounding out the top five were Chevrolet (61.95) and Nissan (57.29).

In the luxury auto brand category, Mercedes-Benz held onto the top spot for the second year in a row with an equity score of 61.02, followed by BMW at 58.71 and Lexus at 58.40. Cadillac was a very close fourth, with an equity score of 58.39, followed by Acura in fifth at 56.32.

Consumers' perception of quality and their interest in buying a car from one of these brands affects the rankings, according to Harris Interactive.

Top brands in other categories in the poll include Kelley Blue Book (online auto shopping), Napa AutoCare Center (automotive service center), Bose (new car audio), Pennzoil (motor oil), Michelin (tires), Garmin (GPS navigation) and Yamaha (motocycles).

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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August 05, 2012 at 4:54 am

JEEP? You mean the ones that get the front end unstoppable tire wobble that was exposed on I believe 20/20 back in Feb 2012 ?

There were multiple cases of these Jeeps - the small ones based om the wartime size buggers . The thing would apparently get up to about 50 or so the begin an unstoppable wobble that jeep responded to as normal . and check the tire pressure and other quixotic remidies none of which were the root of the issue as it ( based on my last take ) was inherintly flawed design of the steering rack and its poor connecting rodds , Idler arm and well pretty much the whole enchalada , guacamole extra . I dont know what came of it but the Kybosh was put on that story getting any further than the news magazine which ,may have been 60 minutes ? Regardless - I strangley never heard another PEEP anywhere about it as I think Jeep wisely proabably contacted these multiple owners and either took them back or upgraded them to something else that made em happy -- but that story was enough to keep me far enough away from jeep ad-infinitum as It rang true and with other Jeep experienced 1st hand I have no desire to own one no matter how hard the PR stories ram it down our gullets . Jeeps may be good on some level and some trims but heck If I am going that direction its a Mazda CX-9 OR and Outback 3.6 Both of which are considered to pinnacle of motoring excellence and flawless

August 01, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Funnny that 38k people cited Honda and MBZ as the #1 brands ? If you actually do research , lets cite ONE source of many -2012 Best & Worst cars CONSUMER REPORTS May 2012 . These ratings were based on ALL the vehicles manufactured by the respective Brands and is an average of Reliability , Cost of ownership ,Performance , Residual Value and Fun to drive . #1 75 points, SUBARU #2 74-points -Mazda #3 73 -points Toyota #4-Honda -72 points skipping to number 11-!!! Mercedes-Benz with a whopping pathetic 58-Points . Trailed by BMW in 10th place with 63 points-- so "people" on average know very little about cars in general and usually are drawn in by "status symbols" and what thier purchase will say about them vis-a-vis other people.
Im in the car business and most people dont know squat about which cars are reliable and which cost an arm and a leg to maintain ---last --VW for example -not picking on them -- Thier reliability put them in the cellar and the cost of ownership is almost Identical to AUDI which is 180 per/hr shop rate -
a regaular service for a 2.0 VW which is the Audi engine in the Beetle , passat , Golf , everything they make is around $400 --for an oil change !!!! of course they need to do "other" thigs too. Then BMW pays for the first50K of servicing the the next service after that expires is the BIGGIE and I wont even tell you how much that is --- But niether MBZ or BMW will change your brake pads UNLESS you buy NEW rotors weather they are bad or NOT ! so most people get big surprises after they buy the cars they think are "the best " Honda has its own list of issues also .

July 29, 2012 at 7:25 pm

So this is based on 'perception' and 'interest' not on actual data? This is less than worthless. In fact, it's the oposite of being useful. It's decietful and misleading.

Whoever wrote this article is an idiot.

July 29, 2012 at 6:58 pm

It appears that many Honda owners are brainwashed. In the rust-belt, they can count on spending big $$ on their exhaust systems in about 3 years after driving off the dealers lot; and their brake systems are maintenance issues as well. I and my sons have owned (3) Hondas, and at this point in time, aren't interested in owning another. My son's Prelude even had the fuel filler rust through, which dumped fuel on the drive when filling. We junked the car, even though it still ran great.

July 29, 2012 at 6:12 pm

We've had several Subaru Imprezas. We love the All-Wheel Drive when it snows a ton.

D. Smith
July 25, 2012 at 9:40 am

a quality measure based on a survey? less than worthless. Everyone knows Honda has been going downhill the last couple of years.

Ken Kotarski
July 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I have had my Jeep for about 6 months now...! It is GREAT..!Stick your Over priced New Car Store BOLONEY...!