Toyota has topped a US consumer based study for the third year running. The survey by Consumer Reports involved randomly questioning more than 1,700 US car buyers and aimed to determine a new owner's perception of vehicle brand quality, use of technology, environmental credentials and reliability.
But despite the public's perception, Toyota underperformed on official sales figures seeing a shift away from the brand and a total decline of 36.7 percent as compared with December 2007.
After conducting the survey, authors account for variations in brand recognition before ranking the brands which found Toyota, Honda and Ford rank as the best brands in consumers' minds.
Toyota also placed first (and Honda second) in consumers' perceptions of quality and environmental friendliness, with Honda topping Toyota for representing the best value for money.
Ford, Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz filled out the rest of the survey's top five brands overall.
"Consumers perceive these brands as among the best because of their design, prestige and marketing", said Jeff Bartlett, Consumer Reports' Deputy Online Automotive Editor.
Strangely for Mercedes-Benz, who finished in the top five for design and perceived quality, did not fair so well when it came to reliability with consumers ranking the brand 27th.
Similarly Cadillac who scored top five results for technology and perceived quality scored poorly on the reliability front with a ranking of 31st.
Suzuki, Mazda, Saab and Hummer received the lowest scores from consumers of the brands surveyed.