Toyota Takes Top Spot on Brand Perception List

Ford finishes second while quality was most important factor.

by on Feb.05, 2014

Toyota took the top spot in Consumer Reports' Car-Brand Perception Survey ahead of Ford and Honda.

The people have spoke and Toyota’s still the best. At least, that’s what “people” think anyway.

Consumer Reports released the results of its Car-Brand Perception Survey today and the Japanese maker retained the top spot in the minds of consumers with Ford, Honda, Chevrolet and Tesla rounding out the top five spots.

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These scores reflect how consumers perceive each brand in seven categories: quality, safety, performance, value, fuel economy, design/style, and technology/innovation.

Ford finished second to Toyota in the annual Car-Brand Perception Survey by Consumer Reports.

“Combining those factors gives us the total brand-perception score,” the magazine said in a statement. “While the scores reflect a brand’s image, they do not reflect the actual qualities of any brand’s vehicles.”

Toyota’s total score was 145, which is a five-point increase over last year’s mark, and 25 points better than Ford’s 120. The Dearborn, Mich.-maker’s total jumped three points this year.

The biggest improvement was posted by Tesla with a score of 88 points. The 2014 result is 47 points higher than the previous year and shows how positive publicity, such as being touted by Consumer Reports for getting the best score ever in its testing last year, helps change perception.

(Airbag issues continue to plague Honda in U.S. For more, Click Here.)

“The key word here is ‘perception,’ as influenced by word-of-mouth, marketing, and hands-on experience,” the magazine said. “Often, perception can be a trailing indicator, reflecting years of good or bad performance in a category, and it can also be swayed by headlines, such as Subaru and Tesla garnering awards, or brands being caught in widespread recalls, such as Honda, Jeep, and Toyota.”

Here is the top 10 list for 2014:

  • Toyota (145)
  • Ford (120)
  • Honda (109)
  • Chevrolet (105)
  • Tesla (88)
  • Subaru (87)
  • Mercedes-Benz (82)
  • Volvo (80)
  • Cadillac (78)
  • BMW (73)

Honda lost 16 points last year while Chevrolet gained 13. Toyota’s jump suggests that it has overcome the recall issues it suffered through not long ago, though Honda’s drop shows its ongoing airbag problem may be on the minds of consumers.

(Click Here to follow Ram Diesel’s claim to the truck mileage crown.)

The bottom five on the list were: Land Rover, Maserati, Jaguar, Rolls Royce and Scion.

(To see how the weaker yen boosted Toyota earnings 500%, Click Here.)

Consumer Reports also noted that of the seven qualities they used to create the rankings, quality captured the top spot and Toyota ranked highest in that measure among all the brands. Safety was a close second.

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