What is the Best Car Brand?

Best Car BrandsWe frequently hear the question, “What is the best car brand to buy?”

The answer to that question: It depends.

It depends on whether you’re asking about best looks, best comfort, best cargo space, best styling, best performance, best safety, best future resale value, or best reliability — or the best combination of all these things.

Since most car manufacturers offer a variety of types of vehicles (small, large, coupe, sedan, SUV, minivan) for customers to choose from, selecting the best brand boils down to choosing among those that have the best overall mix of 1) value, 2) reliability, and 3) value retention.

Value is simply a measure of what and how much you get for the money you spend. Some luxury brands, for example, don’t provide much value because you don’t get much for the extra  money, except for some prestige and possible notice from friends and neighbors.  Good value means getting a great car for a relatively low price.

Reliability is a measure of how often a vehicle has problems, particularly the kind of problems that will leave you stranded and require days in the repair shop. An inexpensive car that frequently needs repairs is no bargain. Reliability is also a measure of how well the manufacturer monitors quality control.  The better the quality control, the more consistent the quality of their vehicles.

Value Retention is a measure of how well a car retains resale value in coming years. Car brands with good reputations, good quality, and good reliability will sell for higher prices in the future. This is important when you sell or trade your car in a few years. You lose money on vehicles with low value retention.

So which brands are best?

Every year in reviews and consumer polls, such as those by Consumer Reports magazine, there are two brands that ALWAYS end up on top — Honda and Toyota.

Does this mean you should not consider any other brands?


There are other vehicles by other manufacturers that are very competitive with Honda and Toyota vehicles. Examples are the Ford Focus, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Infiniti G37, Mazda Mazda3, Hyundai Genesis, Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Malibu, and Subaru Forester.

Free New Car Price QuotesYou can get free price quotes on any of the above cars from Edmunds.com.The quotes will automatically include any cash-back rebates or discounts that are currently available.

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