US: Consumer Reports brands survey sees Toyota on top image

In the annual consumer perception survey, just released by Consumer Reports, Toyota’s eponymous brand is still on top and even widened its lead over competitors amongst the highest-rated auto brands.

The Toyota brand, synonymous to the world’s biggest automaker, now leads the next brand – Ford – by 25 points (five more than last year) — which is in turn followed by the Honda brand in third place.

The top ten is rounded up by GM’s Chevrolet brand, followed by Tesla, Subaru, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Cadillac and BMW. This year sees Dodge and Hyundai out of the first ten roster, the new additions being the electric Tesla and the sporty Subaru.

“The key word is ‘perception.’ Consumers are influenced by word of mouth, marketing and hands-on experience. Often, perception can be a trailing indicator, reflecting years of good or bad performance in a category, and it can also be influenced by headlines in the media,” said Jeff Bartlett, Consumer Reports deputy automotive editor.

With around 8 million subscribers and being a nonprofit magazine, Consumer Reports is considered widely influential among car buyers and assigns perception scores in order to reflect how consumers perceive each brand in seven distinct buying areas, ranked in order of importance: quality, safety, performance, value, fuel economy, design/style and technology/innovation.