Consumer Reports Survey Gives Toyota, Ford Top "Brand Perception" Honors

consumer reports survey gives toyota ford top brand perception honors

With TTAC bringing retail market share into its year-end sales analysis, we’re fascinated by the results of Consumer Reports’ Car Brand Perception Survey. The results show Toyota falling slightly but holding onto the top spot, and Ford making strides towards overtaking the Japanese Juggernaut. That trend at the top absolutely comports with our retail market share data for 2010, as does Honda’s less-dramatic slide in favor. CR also shows Chevy losing some ground in most of the survey’s rating areas, especially “Design/Style,” where the bowtie brand dropped out of the top five brands. Still, Chevy does surprisingly well in the CR survey, considering it lost more retail share than any other brand besides Toyota. Between TTAC’s year-end retail share numbers and CR’s brand perception survey, industry-watchers now have more ways than ever to track the performance of automotive brands in the minds of consumers, rather than as measured by sheer volume.

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  • 50merc 50merc on Jan 05, 2011

    That CR survey may be of dubious value, but for what it's worth, here is my perception of the 2010 Escape Limited I bought eight months ago: it was put together superbly. I have not found even one flaw, either in fit, finish or function. Back in the 60's a new car would have to go back for fixes under warranty several times in the first year. So Ford is doing something right, as are the people in Kansas City (Mikey's UAW brothers and sisters, by the way) with the welders, screwdrivers and wrenches.

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    • Cdnsfan27 Cdnsfan27 on Jan 07, 2011

      Monty, I'm originally from Quebec City but have spent the last ten years in Washington DC and now live in Tampa. The bad roads in DC may have contributed to the strut issue but I will admit to the hoonery. The ST is almost invisible to the cops as it looks like the ordinary Focus. It is a hoot to drive though with the Mazda 2.3 and the Euro Focus suspension. Best deal I ever got too as they were not selling in Feb 05 when I bought it. Sheehy Ford in Springfield VA had 6 lined up in the back of the lot $21K MSRP had people scared off but I drove out with my ST fully loaded for $18K. Still love it and wouldn't change a thing about it other than it eats brakes and tires. Of course if we drove it like an old man it wouldn't...but what would be the point. My wife drives it to work as she has the longer commute and her co-workers seeing her screech in in a cloud of brake dust (and her two recent speeding tickets) have nicknamed her Danica. She is a southern girl and drives fast. So does her mom in her Acura TSX, her sister in her baby Lexus and her other sister in her Acura TSX...all nurses by the way

  • Twotone Twotone on Jan 05, 2011

    "Overall Brand Perception" -- are those in metric or US units?

  • Ihatetrees Ihatetrees on Jan 06, 2011

    Uh, where's Porsche?!? BTW, can any CR subscribers give me a breakdown of the dots, colors, and shadings for '08 Cayman?

  • DC Bruce DC Bruce on Jan 06, 2011

    Only one of those results particularly surprises me -- the relatively low ranking of the MINI brand. I don't know what all of the categories were that CU used in the survey -- certainly the size of the MINI alone is going to condemn it to a low ranking on the "safety" factor, based on appearances alone. If I were BMW AG, I don't know whether I would be concerned or not about this. On one hand, the MINI, more than any other car, is marketed and sold as a pure "fashion statement" vehicle. If you want a min-vehicle, there are lots of other choices that are cheaper, more reliable and more functional (can anyone take the rear seat in the MINI seriously as a place for other than your dog or your 10-year old?). So, I might be concerned about the brand's fate if it fell out of fashion. On the other hand, the MINI -- at least as originally introduced -- did not try to be all things to all buyers. The original branding strategy was to target a segment of the market precisely and reap the rewards -- i.e. be a niche brand. With the introduction of the "countryman" I'm not sure BMW AG is comfortable with that original strategy. You could defend the introduction of the "clubman" as a response to those buyers who wanted a serviceable back seat for adults. But, a jacked-up AWD MINI? I don't get it. Re Toyota: I think the de-contenting of Toyota is pretty obvious to everyone, not just gear heads. As the owner of two Previas, when we went back into the market in 2008 for a CUV, we shopped, among others, the Highlander. My wife immediately complained about the look of the interior and the "chunk of foam" seats -- even on the top line, leather model, whereas the seats on our top-line Previa were fabulous. I liked the engine and drivetrain of the Highlander; and the handling was not bad. However, it was to be my wife's car . . . and she preferred the interior of the top-line Pilot, even though the Pilot's handling was more ponderous and its engine/drivetrain were admittedly inferior. Also, in her mind, the purpose of an SUV or a CUV is relentlessly practical. That means that it really should be a box on wheels. So, she takes points off for swoopy styling that compromises interior space and/or utility. This completely nixed the MDX for her -- she wasn't even interested in driving it. And the then-new GM CUVs Outlook/Envoy/Enclave seemed larger to her than the Pilot, with not that much more interior room and, in the case of the Enclave, utility compromises in favor of styling. If it had been my choice, I would have gone for the Enclave. I was very impressed by it -- a far more civilized vehicle than either the Pilot or the Highlander. And, having driven both the Outlook and the Enclave, I found both to drive "smaller" than they actually were . . . a good thing.

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    • SVX pearlie SVX pearlie on Jan 06, 2011

      WRT the Mini, please see my earlier post. Being #9 on the "worst" list isn't a bad thing when you consider how few Mini are sold.