By on February 14, 2019

2019 Honda Passport with Accessory Roof Rack

A thought struck me the other day – since joining TTAC, I’ve liked just about every Honda I’ve reviewed. I even found little fault with the Clarity, which I was otherwise neutral towards.

That doesn’t mean I like every Honda. I drove the Fit for 10 minutes at a media event last fall (no review … 10 minutes isn’t enough time) and while I found it pleasant, it didn’t resonate with me the way the first-gen car did. The HR-V is fine, but I don’t think it would be my first choice in that class. I have yet to drive the CR-V and Pilot.

Realizing that I like most of Honda’s present offerings, I started wondering. Were I to work for an automaker, forced to switch vehicles every 60 or 90 days in order to cycle through the lineup, which brand has a roster I like enough that I’d want to rotate completely through?

Honda obviously leaps to mind, based on the preceding paragraphs, but I’d also sign up at Chevrolet – I’d trade a month of hell in a Trax for a shot at all the Camaros and Corvettes. I could also see Subaru – there’s a reason for the brand’s popularity – or coddling myself in Lexus luxury, even if it means putting up with weird interior design.

If it were you, what brand would you pick? To add a little challenge to this, let’s forbid cross-brand driving. So if you pick Toyota, you don’t get Lexus, and vice-versa. Let’s restrict this to brand, not parent company.

As far as trim or model variations go, we’ll allow it. You can drive the base model and circle back to the top trim later. You’ll also get to try out each engine or transmission combo. So you can drive an EcoSport Mustang and later a Mustang GT, both the manual and automatic versions. And if you pick Chevy, you get access to all the different Silverado variations – and all the different Corvettes.

Or maybe a smaller brand tickles your fancy? Maybe a brand that sells just five or six vehicles is fine with you?

Go ahead, take a few minutes. Tell your boss you’re working on something important while you browse each brand’s site to see what lineup fits you best.

[Image: Honda]

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84 Comments on “QOTD: What Brand Would You Rep?...”


  • avatar
    crtfour

    I’m a Land Rover fan so that one for me. I have an LR4 which I really like and actually take off road. I am not crazy about the crossover-like styling of the current lineup, but it would be nice to see how they drive and perform on the trails.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Jeep, I’ve had four of them and like most everything in their line-up

  • avatar
    Nedmundo

    For brands I’m likely to own, Honda, no question. I’ve driven much of the current lineup, and the only one I didn’t much like was the HR-V. The Accord, Civic, Insight, and CR-V were all great considering their intended missions.

    Otherwise, Porsche, for obvious reasons.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Well, twist my arm and *I guess* I could accept driving a Roll-Royce all the time.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    McLaren if I’m allowed to choose anything.

    Mercedes if I want to dream only a little bit. There’s enough S-Class variations that I could survive a stint in a CLA/GLA.

    Mainstream, probably Ford. The 90 days in the GT would even make the EcoSport worth it.

  • avatar
    NoID

    Assuming I can’t pick a brand headed by the guy who’s robo-pen signs my paychecks…

    …Cadillac.

  • avatar
    redgolf

    Chevrolet – ya want a truck – we got em, Silverado,Colorado, ya want sport – we got em,Corvette, Camaro , ya want suv – we got em Tahoe, Traverse, Equinox, ya want car – we got em (for awhile) Malibu, Impala, Cruze, Spark, Sonic, ya want EV – we got em, Volt (for awhile) Bolt, with plenty of EV’s coming! Plus our local Chevy dealership in Murfreesboro Tn. has a new very awesome glass tower 4 stories high that faces the opposite side of the front of the showroom on a busier high volume rd. that stacks the cars to showcase them! Geez, I’m ready to start selling! :-)

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I’d probably go with BMW or Mercedes-Benz. Does the latter give me access to Mercedes-Maybach and Mercedes-AMG products?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    If this is cost-no-object, then Ferrari, or maybe Aston Martin. FTW.

    Here in the real world, I’d pick Audi. Aside from the base-engine, FWD stuff, I can’t think of a single car in their lineup I wouldn’t spend my own money on.

    (It helps that I DID spend my own money on one, but I suppose that’s beyond the point.)

    If Tesla didn’t have such a thoroughly rotten rep as an employer, I’d rep them too.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    A top salesman once told me that if you want to sell a product, you’ve got to believe in that product with your heart. My problem is that the brands I “believe in” are also the ones that get the most crap from everyone else. I can’t say I know why but the antipathy to those brands is completely unreasonable to me; they’re much better than those people want to believe.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I disagree. It depends upon what it is. I don’t think you *do* need to believe in something to sell it. Also, I don’t think Tim said you had to be a sales rep for the brand. So you could, like, be in corporate as an engineer or a spreadsheet-pusher (like Doug DeMuro was for Porsche USA).

      With that in mind, what would be your brand?

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        You’re telling this to a guy who believed in his product so much, that the customer to whom he was selling the product decided to open their own business FOR that product and hired me to sell it.

        Think about it.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          I’ve never met a car salesman who knew more about the car I was buying then I did

          *Does his homework ;-)

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Love it when I drive a car that the salesperson knows absolutely nothing about. I checked out an Infiniti last fall, and the lady I worked with had no idea the thing had a six-cylinder engine.

            On the plus side of the ledger, she was nice-looking, and rather flirty.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I’m much the same way, L2me. When I go into a dealership, I know exactly what I want and its up to them to find it for me. This held true even for my latest purchase–where the truck I wanted was available… 100 miles away. We tried for over a week to work an exchange with that other dealership but that one refused to swap… so I ordered instead.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            Yea if I’m going to look at a specific vehicle then I have already done enough research to know more than the salesman. And unfortunately I expect that now.
            However if the salesman sticks to the basics (these are discounts available, we have this in x options headed to dealer or can transfer in a V8 version, etc) then I don’t mind it. But if the salesman starts trying to talk about the features and clearly has no idea what’s under the hood or what wheels drives the car, or worse tries to appeal to my emotions – then I’m gone.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Sure. There’s something to be said for passion. It will probably get you a lot further than someone who isn’t passionate about the product.

          But it isn’t a requirement to be successful in sales.

          • 0 avatar
            CobraJet

            I’ll never forget going to the Ford dealer to look at new pickups with my Dad back in the 60’s. The salesman was touting the features of the new model. He said “It has that great new Twin IBM Suspension” Even as a kid I knew better than that.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Today that same salesman is bragging on that Apple Core Play

          • 0 avatar
            threeer

            Kyree…truth! Back in my younger days, I hung out quite a bit at the local Honda dealer (late 80s/early 90s). One weekend, while they were closed, I went down to press my nose against the CRX Si, amongst other cars on the lot. An older couple were doing the usual Sunday afternoon “lot lizard-free” vehicle shopping. They wound up asking me a ton of questions, which I gladly answered. A few days later, the manager called me in and asked me if I had any interest in selling cars. At first, the thought of being able to be around a lot full of new Hondas every day excited me, and I started talking all about my passion and love of cars. She quickly told me that while that was all fine and good, it didn’t mean squat if I bled Honda…selling had little to do in her eyes with love and passion for he car. That kind of sucked any joy out of the consideration to do so…

  • avatar
    Rocket

    Genesis for me. There isn’t a bad car in the lineup, and it’s only going to improve. I respect that Genesis seems determined to provide a distraction-free driving environment … No touchscreen-only interface and everything is where it should be. A few years ago, I would have said Land Rover/Range Rover without hesitation, but I despise what RR is doing with their interiors. (Audi, too, for the record.) Lincoln would probably be a second choice. For mainstream brands, I think I’d have to go with Jeep or Dodge.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    PORSCHE

  • avatar
    d4rksabre

    This is actually a question I find myself asking pretty regularly. If I were to work as a car salesman, what brand would I be the most comfortable putting people in? What brand would I *enjoy* selling to people?

    The answer surprised me too: Jaguar.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      I 2nd Jaguar. Have to assume that anyone walking into a Jag dealership already has a predilection for the brand. And there demographics would probably skew towards those willing to pay for what they want.

      And if I get to drive the demos, it means that I would have the pleasure of driving different Jags without any maintenance or upkeep worries.

  • avatar
    200k-min

    As much fun as it would be to drive an exotic for 90 days I’m not sure I’d want that all-the-time. So that said I need a full-line mfr. and given the constraints of the exercise here that’s not something that’s easy to do these days. Ford would’ve been my go-to choice as they have everything in terms of trucks to the GT which is amazing in its own right. But killing every sedan? I’d take 90 days in a Fusion Sport or Focus ST. Even a Taurus SHO wouldn’t be half bad. Their business choices are killing the fun of this imaginary game. Chevrolet would be cool if I were a Corvette fan. The “it” car of aging boomers just doesn’t do it for me and while I enjoy their trucks and large SUV’s the rest of their stable is ho-hum. Toyota is truly full line but their vehicles are so damn bland. Going from a 4Runner to a Rav4 would be soul crushing. Honda isn’t really full line IMO and also bland as can be. I don’t believe in Nissan so out they go. Dodge I don’t really consider full line. Same for all the Euro’s…

    Guess I’ll just have to go with Gensis. They are standalone, right? Decently capable luxury and no worries about changing vehicles every few months so it’ll basically be defacto ownership.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    Genesis or Alfa-Romeo. But it’s getting nigh impossible for me to enjoy most vehicles from any single brand. It’s more like one or two from some brands – and nothing from most brands. Chalk it up to the times in which we live.

  • avatar
    arach

    Trick question:

    DODGE or hyundai

    Dodge: If the question is: Who would I happily drive all their different cars 30-60 days at a time, its dodge. Their cars are all great to drive (except the Journey, but its not THAT bad). Love the durango, Challenger, Charger… Do you include ram? Hope so, love those too. There’s not a bad car to drive at all, and they are a blast. uconnect is one of the best systems out there too.

    BUT I wouldn’t want to own them and wouldn’t want to sell them. Reliability is awful, their platforms are aged, and I couldn’t stand behind them.

    To sell, I’d choose Hyundai. I’d gladly drive any car in their stable… They make the best small to midsized cars. The Sonata, Ioniq are excellent. The accent, Elantra, aren’t bad at all for a small car. Their SUVs are good too… that new palisade… They all have ample tech, the best tech interface I’ve seen on any make, and wonderful build quality. They last forever, look good, and are just over all really well designed.

    So again, if the question is “which company would you like to drive their entire line without having to worry about maintenance and service” it would definitely be dodge. If its “which company could you stand behind all their offerings and appreciate being stuck behind” its Hyundai.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      Mopar for me. Other than the Journey and Renegade I could live with all the others just fine.

      I know a lot of people harp on the reliability, but they weren’t the only minivan with glass transmissions and their newer vehicles are just as reliable as any other on the market. Probably better than BMW or Mercedes now that they have fallen so far in the last decade.

      The only aged platform is the RWD cars and they have updated them pretty well throughout the years.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Why except the Journey and Renegade specifically? The Renegade is mechanically identical to the new Compass and only about 6″ shorter, so only marginally lighter, yet is rated for 1mpg better than the Compass. And they’re both very similar to the Cherokee, whose only real difference is it uses the Renegade/Compass’ optional engine as its base engine with an optional V6 because it is notably heavier than either of the two smaller cars.

        So again, why do you except the Renegade and Journey?

        • 0 avatar
          Flipper35

          The Journey is the only vehicle my butt falls asleep within 15 minutes of getting in. The Renegade is too small. I am weird, I have a small two seat roadster but in general I really don’t like small cars. I am sure the Renegade is a fine vehicle, I would just feel cramped from what I can tell visiting the showroom floor.

          The 2500/3500 trucks are a pain to get into, but they are comfy once you get there. All the trucks should have a step on the side that drops down to step up onto so you can reach inside the bed from the side.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            The Renegade has electric seats (at least, my wife’s does.) She is six feet tall with VERY long legs and yet she sits in it comfortably. I have to raise the seat nearly 3″ and move it forward almost six inches just to have a comfortable reach to the pedals. You’d be surprised how well the Renegade can fit you, considering you already drive a roadster.’

            As for the trucks, I’ve complained for years that they’re too tall and they’re just getting taller. That’s ONE reason why pickup trucks are one of the most deadly vehicles on the road. Not to their own occupants but rather to anything and anyone they hit in a crash OTHER than another pickup truck.

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    Since I have been a life long brand fan, I would pick Toyota. At one time or another I have owned a broad spectrum of their products (Corolla, Tercel, Avalon, Sienna x 2, MR2 Spyder, pickups). Yeah, they may be boring. But there is a familiarity with each of them that lets you know you are in a Toyota. Maybe I have been lucky with my purchases. But if I had to rep for a company, I would find reliability, dependability, and toughness a pretty good thing to build upon.

  • avatar

    Mercedes-Benz is the answer for me.

    They have a comprehensive lineup and offer multiple body styles within the same model. They sell so many things that it would be a long time before you’d have to repeat a model. Years.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Ford. I like their lineup very much and would be proud to rep a company with such a compelling history.

  • avatar
    Turbonius

    I’ll take Pontiac or Saab. I don’t think either of those has come out with a car in a while so there shouldn’t be much to actually rep or pretend that it’s any good. Simultaneously this will provide the added benefit of freeing up time for me to do the things that really matter in my life.

  • avatar
    deanst

    I guess it would have to be BMW – just for the manuals. Honda and Mazda get honorable mentions.

  • avatar
    RSF

    I would go with Porsche as well. Even if I was stuck with a base Cayman or Cayenne things could be much worse! I almost said Ford since I’m a truck guy at heart though.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Since someone else did a defunct brand then I’m going to do Hummer, I don’t have to worry about trying to sell crappy unibody crossovers pretending to be off-road vehicles like Jeep.

    On the reverse I would have to say Buick, BMW, and a good majority of Fords I would least like to represent since I couldn’t sell they’re products without a guilty conscience or with no belief in the product.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Morgan of course.

    I would have an awesome company car and would not have to work real hard as a bonus.

    2 or 3 dealers in the US and a continuous 2 year back log.

    Damn, I’m good at what I do.

  • avatar
    nels0300

    I need a manual transmission, so I’m going to have to go with HONDA.

    Huge kudos to Honda for offering a midsize sedan with the optional more powerful engine AND a manual.

    And no torsion beam funny business with the Civic.

  • avatar
    nels0300

    ~30 years ago?

    Toyota without a doubt.

    MR2, Celica alltrac, Supra, Corolla GTS, 4 runner, Land Cruiser, a real compact pick up,

    Daaaaamn, what a lineup!!

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    Dodge, easy. That includes Ram, marketing monkey motion be damned. Hell legally Rams are still Dodge. Jeep could have been a contender but outside the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, I care nothing about the other wannabes.

    Within Dodge, the only real loser is the Caravan. As minivans go it’s not bad for what it is but Im a single guy so I have zero use for such a thing and would look absolutely ridiculous in it. The Journey gets a bad rep it doesn’t deserve. As long as it has the Pentastar, a bold color and is in R/T trim its about the least depressing CUV this side of a Cherokee Trailhawk. Challenger/Charger/Durango with the 345 Hemi on up…needs no explanation. Same with the trucks…Rebel and Power Wagon are the cream of the pickup crop these days.

    • 0 avatar
      Highway Cruiser

      seconded, Dodge with no hesitation. Even Caravan isn’t a looser, check the sale numbers. Most of the other cars compared to Dodge are boring econoboxes with lack of identities.

  • avatar
    teddyc73

    “Rep”? You couldn’t type out “represent”?

    “Subaru – there’s a reason for the brand’s popularity” Yeah, the perception that it’s trendy and somehow better than all other cars when the reality is they are no different than any other car. Subaru has been masterful at marketing and the lemming auto buyers bought it.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Sumasu. A merged Subaru, Mazda and Suzuki.

    Then I’d set up shop in Trollhattan building Saabs… Somebody needs to do it; Scandinavia has a motorsport culture and geography despite their recent wussification; and with all their freah immigrants, they’ll have working age people even once the last Japanese turns 100. Besides, Aging Japanese managers and engineers get to eat freshly killed whale there.

  • avatar
    redgolf

    if you really want to sell a car then you have to do what Rudy Russo (played by Kurt Russel) in the movie “Used Cars” told Jim the Mechanic ( played by Frank McRae ) to get a person committed to buy – JIm the Mechanic – ” Get in the car! I said get in the FREAKING car”!

  • avatar
    relton

    The only car I’d rep is Bentley. You get to deal with grown-ups, not adolescents looking for a fantasy, or gearheads trying to show you how much they know. Or boy racers seeing how fast the demo will go.

    It’s Bentley’s centennial year, and they are offering great deals on the Bentayga, the SUV. Plus there’s a new Continental GT hitting America in a few months. What’s not to like about that lineup?

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Ummm, me thinks dealing with Paris Hilton crowd might be a bit more taxing then perhaps you have considered…

      I would take Joe Hellcat owner wannabe anyday over that crowd

      • 0 avatar
        relton

        Paris Hilton doesn’t do the actual shopping for a Bentley. She sends an agent, or aide, who is probably an adult.

        With a Bentley, you never have to worry about the customer’s color choice, since Bentley will make a car in any color except the green that the Queen has reserved.

        One of the reasons the Queen gave up on Rolls-Royce is that they wouldn’t reserve her favorite color. The idea that any billionaire could drive a Rolls the same color as hers was just too much to bear.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Ummm, me thinks dealing with Paris Hilton crowd might be a bit more taxing then perhaps you have considered…

      I would take Joe Hellcat owner wannabe anyday over that crowd

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Many moons ago, I sold Toyotas and later Chevys and Plymouths. Three low-priced brands. The Chevy/Plymouth mashup was the result of the local Megadealer consuming it’s local competition. I didn’t stay long…

    But, these days, I would probably stick to either Chevy, FCA or Hyundai. When I say FCA, I’d like to work one of the super-dealers that has the Italian marques attached to it. For the other two, I think you’d have more opportunities with full-line dealers, although, you do have to deal with the general public, too…

  • avatar
    Ermel

    Volkswagen. Yeah, I know. But their vehicles all seem pretty nice to drive, and also pleasantly un-hideous to my eyes (that’s the quality that most of you guys call “boring”).

  • avatar
    Steve Lynch

    Been there. At American Honda we could drive any model and more importantly could occasionally borrow anything from the fleet/press cars. Once had a 1991 NSX serial number 00007 for a weekend.

    At Mercedes-Benz, field reps could have up to an E-Class or GLE. Like above, I once borrowed an SL65 for a few days.

    Was sentenced to a year at Chrysler while at Benz, the only good thing about that stint were the company cars, a loaded Grand Cherokee Limited and a 300, loved them both.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    There was a time when Honda would have been an easy choice. I still have a variety of their products in the driveways, all purchased new. I certainly don’t believe in the cars they’re making now, and none of them are without unacceptable flaw. They probably still mostly drive very well though. My next car will most likely be some sort of Toyota. The problem with Toyota is that although they make the best cars, and they make cars the best; they also offer awful things like a BMW and a Subaru. Then there are the cars they make that are of no interest, like the C-HR. The new Tacoma seems overly flawed. On the other hand, the Land Cruiser is the only aspirational car left. Still, there is too much chafe in their line.

    For the above reasons, I would pick Mazda. It is true that only the Miata actually interests me of their offerings, but nothing they make is undrivable.

  • avatar
    Garrett

    Bugatti.

    /call me

  • avatar
    SilverCoupe

    Well, since no one has said Audi yet, sign me up. Not that I have much of an interest in the Q series, but maybe I could drive them during the winter.
    I could work my way through each lineup, starting with the A’s, then the S’s, then the RS’s…..

  • avatar
    CobraJet

    Buick- or Studebaker. I like a challenge.

  • avatar
    DearS

    Honda, BMW, Toyota

    If only someone made an affordable sporty RWD small sedan the world would be a better place! Second hand BMWs fill that ok.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    As I teenager I read Car and Driver and fantasized about driving new cars. As a young adult I found myself working for a large OEM (with access to a discount lease plan), and came to the depressing realization that (factoring in fuel and insurance), there were *no* vehicles in the company lineup that I was excited about driving.

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    Only one person said Mazda, so I’ll choose that. At least until the brand gets taken over by people who want it to zoom-zoom to SUVs only.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    BMW – wide range of interesting cars and not-so interesting CUVs. A few duds but lots of performance options in the field. And no warranty worries.

    Second Place: Audi (all those S cars – yum)

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Jaguar, just to cycle from the F type to the F Pace, to the XJ to the electric I Pace. That’s got to be interesting

  • avatar
    brn

    Every time I go car shopping, I try to cross shop several brands. Every time, I wind up with a Ford product. Their vehicles are just a really good balance. So yea, it’d be Ford.


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