The 2010 Toyota Prius
Ford may have swept the NACOTY awards, and Hyundai may be riding a wave of great press in the U.S., but the American public still views Toyota as the best brand -- and they're more loyal to it than to any other.
For the third year in a row, Toyota has taken the #1 spot on Consumer Reports' annual Brand Perception survey. The survey asks consumers to evaluate brands in seven areas: safety, quality, value, performance, design/style, technology/innovation, and whether the brand is environmentally friendly/green. Given the success of well-designed, high-tech hybrids like the 2010 Prius, Toyota's win isn't very surprising -- though with other stylish green models heading toward showrooms, the company will have to up its game to remain at the top of the heap.
Also faring well on Consumer Reports' survey were Ford (#2), Honda (#3), and Chevrolet (#4). At the bottom: HUMMER, which came in dead last, just below the three-way tie of Saab, Mercury, and Mazda.
Toyota did equally well at the Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards, where it was recognized for Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer, breaking General Motors' nine-year winning streak. (Honda won for Overall Loyalty to Make.) If pressed, we could've likely guessed most of the winners on Polk's list, although we were intrigued by Audi's award for Most Improved Loyalty to Make. Maybe Audi's goal of beating Mercedes and BMW in sales isn't as far-fetched as some had thought.