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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 24, 2012 at 6:28 pm

American cars are great. Support all american companies, are apply for unemployment!

July 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm

We have owned a VW Rabbit that was a lemon; a VW 411 wagon that was a bigger lemon; a Mercury Sable that was good, a Pontiac Grand Prix that was a lemon, a Pontiac Grand Am that was good, a Saturn L300 that was really good and a VW GTI that was pretty good. Then we got a Nissan Altima, Subaru Outback and Subaru Forester, and a Toyota Rav-4. Those four cars were, and still are, fantastic and way above the domestic ones in quality. We put over a quarter million miles on the Outback and are heading toward that on the Forester. I am surprised that Subaru did not top off this list.

Navy Chief Bob
July 24, 2012 at 5:48 pm

I own American made foreign cars, have for the last 10 years. I will never own another GM or Chrysler product...pure junk held up by the US government. Maybe a good old restructuring after bankruptcy would have been good for their organization and more importantly their attitude. My money is on the Asian cars, Beemers are real nice cars too. If you want an American brand, the only thing I would buy is a Ford Truck. Honda, Toyota, Suburu, Hyundai,and BMW all prove that Americans can build great cars, sure there are lemons in all brands, but I have 2-2011's sitting in my drive and I love them.

July 24, 2012 at 5:47 pm

What really gets me here is that ALL of these cars are made in America and very few are imported...What does that tell ya? When they were imported they were junk and now they have copied all of the American car examples and are being built and engineered by Americans and don't have to pay import tariffs anymore and charge some pretty hefty prices...I will go for Ford or If they still had it a Pontiac any day!!! jus sayin' BMW Johnny ....Are these Garbage now!!! NY is garbage city...maybe that's where you get that stuff?

July 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Hondas are "JUNK"
These are the same people that named the Land Rover "The Best American Truck of The Year" !!!

July 24, 2012 at 1:22 pm

I have two Hondas. A '91 Prelude and a 2001 CR-V. Both run as good as the day I got them. Wouldn't have any other kind of car. I will get another when the CR-V finally goes. Almost 200,000 miles right now and very little has ever gone wrong with it.

July 24, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I loved my Honda Odyssey until the transmission went on it when it was 2 months out of warranty. When I researched it I found out that Honda had lost a class action lawsuit for transmissions for this car in 1999. My car was made in early 2000 and had a faulty transmission. Honda would not stand behind it. I even asked them just to pay for the part and I would pay labor but they wouldn't do it. I won't buy another Honda - too many other choices. They lost a loyal customer.

July 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Up till now, I had mostly sports cars, but the Chrysler 300 S / limited AWD drives better than my friends new Mercedes .. I think that it was a 3 class. He said that he wishes that he would have looked at mine first. His neighbor has the same car as mine and Howard just loves it. If you are looking for a full size car that really handles wit 20" tires, you owe it to your self to take a test drive.

July 24, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I have a 2012 Chrysler 300 S / limited AWD and up till now, I have only owned Fords. My dealership sells both. Once I got into the Chrysler 300, I new that it was my new love. It has alot of Mercedes Benz technology in it...the moving headlights, the auot blinds in the back, the synch type technologh and the 8 gears drive. It also has dual paddle control among many other safety features. YOu name it, and it probably has it..blind spot leds, and cross traffic leds, back up camera. I would have to do a lot of typing in order to describe it, albeit, I love it. I never thought that I would like a Chrysler. I has the brighest lights and I have narrow angle glaucoma and wasn't able to drive at night until now. I have never seen a car that had lights that moved in accordance to the steering wheel and changes its up and down when you went up or down a hill. I just thought that I would put my two cents worth in. It even looks and drives like a Mercedes. It also has a Sports mode for power, but I see no necessity, as it is really quick.

July 06, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I own a New Car Store in New York and Im here to tell you all American Cars Are GARBAGE!! Buy New BMW? Buy from me. 1-800-522-5633. Thanks