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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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July 01, 2012 at 12:06 pm

buy american

July 01, 2012 at 11:14 am

just being real couldn't be more wrong about recalls the media will only report on domestics Honda has far more recalls.

Just the facts…
July 01, 2012 at 10:45 am

I had one of those cars always rated "the best," and it was in the shop 17 times in 6 years (in addition to routine maintenance), and it still had an unresolved problem when I traded it in. I had to trade it in, and could not sell it for "market value" with the outstanding problem without lying about it...which I would not do.

July 01, 2012 at 10:45 am

This report talks about brand equity, not quality. M-B particularly has had problems with new models, so it's best to wait for the second year. Problems have included overheating issues and A/C issues

JUst Being Real
July 01, 2012 at 10:09 am

Being patriotic doesnt mean buying american cars. If were going to be ignorant to the fact we will best at everything is childish. Honda is the best and i do not know what your talking about but american cars have to many recalls. You get what you pay for.

July 01, 2012 at 9:42 am

If these foreign cars are so darn good,why do the owners trade them in every year, maybe two. Tell the real story, not one that you are paid for. Oh yes, we know you so called experts are in their back pocket. And why do you leave out the big difference in price? Ask someone that has owned some of these cars for more than a couple of years and you will see a big difference. BUY AMERICAN !!!

July 01, 2012 at 8:33 am

Be patrotic, buy American.

Norman Mather
July 01, 2012 at 3:09 am

We just came back from Rome and we saw a car called the Manning. I do not know who makes the Manning & could you please find out. Maybe the Ford, Manning or ?????? I did like the lines of the car etc.

July 01, 2012 at 12:43 am

If this is to be a true report of all the different cars in the world, ok those 3 are on top, but why didn't they give us the information of the same type of report on cars made in the USA? I find that the more we praise foreign cars, the less we praise, Made in the USA.

Tara Baukus Mello
June 29, 2012 at 9:23 am

Marcus Moyar: This blog post is a report of the Harris Study, which ranked Cadillac fourth in luxury brands behind Mercedes, BMW and Lexus respectively. The research cited is accurate as Harris reported it and is the result of responses from over 38,500 Americans.