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Honda, Mercedes Most Respected Car Brands

A poll from Harris Interactive attempts to show what people really think about automakers' reputations.

By Clifford Atiyeh Jun 28, 2012 1:48PM
Mercedes E-Class and Honda Accord (c) MSN AutosHonda and Mercedes-Benz are the most respected car brands in America -- the former among mainstream manufacturers, the latter among luxury badges -- according to the latest poll from research company Harris Interactive.

Of all luxury automakers, Mercedes came out on top for the second year in a row, followed by BMW, Lexus, Cadillac, Acura and Infiniti. Audi, which has been seeing month-over-month sales increases for more than a year, finished last.

For nonluxury automakers, Honda was ranked first, followed closely by Toyota -- this, despite less-than-stellar opinions of the new Civic and Toyota's massive recent recalls. The other automakers, in order, were Ford, Nissan, Chevrolet, Subaru, Hyundai and Volkswagen.

Harris, which asked more than 38,000 people how they favored certain brands, is not like the more popular surveys from J.D. Power and Associates, which also track customer opinion regarding automakers and specific car models. Harris, which has been conducting surveys since 1989, did not say what its rankings actually mean, nor did it divulge any sample questions or describe the format of the surveys, though it did say the line of questioning hinged "on key measures of brand health -- including how well the public knows a brand, how positively they think of the brand and their consideration to do business with ... a brand."

What do you think of these automakers, and do they really deserve to be recognized in this order? What about all the other automakers that aren't on here? We've got plenty of opinions, so tell us.

[Source: Harris Interactive]

Jun 28, 2012 2:35PM
What about my red 1951 Ford F1 Sandford and Son truck?
Jun 28, 2012 4:59PM
    Ford and Gm stopped making cars in 1941 so they could make all the weapons, tanks, ambulances, and ammunition for the Allies. They produced over 60% of all the military machinery needed to defeat Germany and Japan. In contrast Nissan suppllied all the weapons to Japan and Mitsubishi made the airplanes and bombs they dropped on Pearl Harbor. I know we need to forget this since it happened so long ago and at the cost of 600,000 American lives but sometimes its hard. Americans only care about one thing, how cheap a product is! These same people go into Home depot and buy a American flag made in China because its $3 cheaper than one made in the USA.
Jun 28, 2012 3:34PM
had a nissan frontier,fantastic truck,had 8 years,traded for a 2007 toyota tunra with 10,000 miles,brake booster went out at 16,000 miles,front end made noise tranny and driveshaft clunked when taking off ,sold it ,bought a 2006 corvette ,had 2 years wonderful car ,wanted to go back to a truck ,friend said give toyota a second chance ,probobly had a bad truck,bought a 2011 toyota tundra 5.7 crew cab,what a piece of junk, more problems with the front end, vibration and steering wheel shaking,riveshaft replaced, and this is new, now at 10,000 miles its fixed i think a used chevy would be more reliable than this new toyota,why spend the extra cash, soon i want to go back to chevrolet ,done with toyota they are not what they used to be
Jun 28, 2012 3:31PM

how do you respect an inanimate object?

I know allot of people who own mercedes and they all stay in the shop and if you think American made autos are expensive to fix, go pay for a simple tune up on an MB. you will part iwth a grand or better to put a set of plugs in one.

once again people purchase with their emotions rather than look at the big picture. But that is their business. I wished I ownd an MB dealership and could get rich pushing a mediocre product.

Jun 28, 2012 5:24PM
38,000 people for over 1 billion US car sales a year, no not a good report. I too own a 2011 Mercedes S class but have no respect for it since it spends more time at the shop than at home, on the other hand I have a 02 Cadillac DeVille and a 04 Denali and I can't remember the last time I had an issue with any of the older 2.
Jun 28, 2012 4:37PM
Buy American........................Otherwise shut up about the economy, the unemployment, food costs, gas prices etc.  Simply buy American..............Ford is my choice. Owned a F-150 for years and am happy as pie!! Have a new 2011 EcoBoost now and am super pleased. Alot of American choices out there now. And as dependable as anything. So "BUY AMERICAN".
Jun 28, 2012 4:00PM

When I met my wife I used to tease her about driving a rice burner.  I used to criticize her for driving a foreign piece of crap.  I only had owned GM's and Ford's previously.


When I am wrong, I admit I'm wrong.  She never had any problems with that Honda and drove it to over 250,000 before we sold it.  As a matter of fact, I had more mechanical problems with my American made vehicles.


We have now owned Honda's for the last 22 years.  We drove a 1994 Honda Civic for 277,000 miles before selling it to a coworker about 3 years ago.  They are still driving it as a commuter car.


 Our current 1999 Civic, which we bought used, got our daughter through college.  We assumed it back after she bought a new Civic.  It now has 264,000 miles and is still going strong.


You might pay a little more for Honda, but if you want a car that lasts longer with fewer issues than check out a Honda.  You got this former GM and Ford guy convinced.   

Jun 28, 2012 3:47PM
As for me, I'll stick with my Ford, an American company building quality American products.  Close the doors on a Ford truck vs the Toyota or Nissan and you can feel the difference.  I saw a bumper sticker that read "Real friends don't let freinds buy imported seafood" and it was on a Nissan truck.  Talk about an whiner.  Ford is building quality cars and trucks and deserves your respect.
Jun 28, 2012 3:52PM
Our family has owned foreign and domestic brands over the years.  There are reliable models in just about all makers stables.  We mainly stick with Fords because of reliability.  Even our auto-technoid that repairs our vehicles, that is Master Technician, has switched to Fords.  My current 1999 Crown Vic is over 190K and going strong.  My last Crown Vic, 1998, was sold at 278K and our 1981 van went well past 200K.  I can say they are making them better.  Saying one large brand is overall better than another is fiction.  Subaru may be an exception because it is smaller and offers few models.  The "bread and butter cars" are typically the most reliable.  Read that mid-size family sedans like the previous Taurus; until this year making it the Big Car that is smaller than the last Crown Victoria iteration.  A car's reliability has a lot to do with how you drive it and take care of maintenance.  I have also seen many luxury imports do 200K as well as some that you need a permanent loaner.  Honda and Toyotas both experience failure here in the Southwest when we have heat of 110 degree plus like today.  Reliability surveys are what people need to see and not buy an all new model till it is our about 2 years.  It takes about that long to start seeing and fixing the bugs that were not caught in testing or marketing rushed past engineering.
Jun 28, 2012 3:53PM
OK! I am an AMERICAN and buy only AMERICAN products when possible. I own an American auto and it is well past 100,000 miles and I don't NEED a warrany that tells me it might make it that far! Hyundai had to do that because their early autos would NOT make it. Remember the Excel? Totally throw away! Maybe when a few more people realize we are in the economy that we are in is because the foreign stuff is subsidized by their govenments and it costs American Jobs! They CLOSE their markets to any competition. This problem is not just with the automobile industry!
Jun 28, 2012 3:08PM
In my opinion, a lot of people who own Mercedes overlook small problems because of what they paid for their car. On the other hand, Honda has cheapened their cars to a point that make them non competitive. Honda builds supreme motors and that will never change. 
Jun 28, 2012 4:55PM



What an arrogant fool you are...perhaps you should do some reading before you start spouting your ignorance. Search out some MB blogs where you can read what all your snobby crybabies have to say about their expensive cars. What a pile of garbage they are, and how many times they have had to take them back, repeatedly for the same issues...

By the way you arrogant fool, I drive a Dodge Magnum...awd...and was very dissapointed when it puked its tranny at 130000 K. When I took it in is when I found out it has a Mercedes Benz transmission. Yep superior quality....what a fool!

Jun 28, 2012 3:25PM

I have purchased Mercedes and couldn't afford the upkeep necessary throughout the brand. Won't touch BMW for the same reason. This I have learned: buy a Lexus and enjoy the ride.

Jun 28, 2012 4:48PM
To be respected is one thing...but to buy it is another. The Audi data clearly supports that. Bentley is respected too, but if not taken over by a conglomerate..they too would rest beside the Studebaker, AMC, and many others. This world economy better improve or we could be driving downtown on our ride mowers..or kicking a scooter along to get milk.
Jun 28, 2012 4:35PM
The days of brand loyalty are numbered. All manufacturers share engines, transmissions, electrical parts and even unibodies. They're almost all manufactured in countries other than the one in which they're headquartered. I'll never forgive G.M. for failing to reengineer their prduct for years on end beginning in the seventies and caring not that their cars rusted out if you spit on them or leaked from their valve guides for fifteen years before G.M. decided the publicity was too bad and had to be rectified. Chrysler continued to sell their Minnie vans knowing the transmissions would fail very prematurely and did nothing to change it. Without the foreign competition they'd still be selling us this garbage.
Jun 28, 2012 9:13PM

well not to burst any bubbles here but here is how I see it. Your auto is like the second largest expense, but in buying new cars we all take it up the you know what. great car, extremely beautiful, but $500 dollars for  plugs and wires when the time comes thats after that big fat sticker price. What happened to America being the land of the free, heck last I checked I pay heavily ffor everytrhing I own. I have never bought a new car for the simple fact that when you really look at things in you ever really own anything. Tax, registration, fees, insurance inspection, emissions, should I go on? I try to keep it real, but i cant live in my car, so I wait on you guys who really take care of your nice new cars and are ready for another reamming from the auto manufactures. Drive a 2000 Volvo cars has 180,000 miles on it but was well kept. Beautiful car rides like a dream, and while yes at repair time I take a hit, my initial cost was only $3000.00.

I simply think that once we buy from these big manufacturers and get hit with those 40, 50, 60 thousand dollar sticker prices a law should be made to keep parts service and repair resonable for the life of the car no matter who many times its resold. I too own my own business. I do computer sales and services and when someone buys a pc from me I try to do cheap repairs and maintenance on them until it dies. I think that should be the american way. 

Jun 28, 2012 7:40PM

I have nothing against "buying American" if one so chooses but people need to get their facts straight. Many of the US big three's cars are actually made in factories abroad while foreign auto makers are building their vehicles in the US. Ironically my 2011 BMW X3 was built in South Carolina and my previous car a Mercedes was made in Alabama.

Jun 28, 2012 6:39PM

My first car was a 57 VW.  My dad owned a repair shop and his last American made car was a 65 Newport.  Rusted in 6 months.  I have never owned an American brand.  I do feel that if you hold on to a car for three years and less than 100,000 most any car will serve you just fine.  The quality comes out over several years.  My 89 Toytoa Camary was a gift to my brother with 313,000 miles he sold it with 359,000 miles on it.  It would not stop running.  Anyway it is all international now.  And there will be no turning back.  Camray's made in Ky, Nissans in Tenn,  my Dodge pickup, several years ago, was made in Mexico.  That Town and Country minivan is made in Canada.  So long as American workers are making money That is fine with me.  We all want to most for our money, and the most dependable car we can get.  It is called Capitailism.

Jun 28, 2012 8:17PM

@Cars101 - Lexus is the luxury brand owned by Toyota, hence why they had the same problems and why most Lexus vehicles have Toyota counterparts that look almost identical.


Also, I don't care which brand people drive as long as they aren't trying to be a dbag. There are some people that drive their vehicles and look like effing, entitled a**holes, whether they're in an F150 or a Benz.

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