With new car prices near record highs, buyers want to get the best bang for their buck when it comes to cars, trucks and commercial vehicles.
Fortunately, US News & World Report has solved much of the guesswork with its yearbook Best Vehicle Brands rankings. The magazine unveils its selection of leading brands after an extensive evaluation process.
“While most brands offer more than one vehicle type, we’ve focused on their offerings when they are broken down into four basic categories: cars, SUVs, luxury and trucks,” the company said in a press release.
“The winning brand in each category is determined by averaging the total US News score from each vehicle that has the brand in that category. Each winning brand typically offers options with the best combination of performance, interior quality, safety and reliability.”
Best car brand
US News voted Honda the best overall brand for cars for the second year in a row. Honda won the bid largely because of the ergonomics, quality and performance of the popular Civic compact car. The magazine highlighted build quality, interior design and performance options as reasons to prefer the Civic and thus Honda overall as the best car brand.
Heading into the mid-size segment, Honda was strong with its too Accord as the best middle class offer on the market. US News showcased the Accord’s spacious and well-appointed interior, as well as the car’s driveability and performance. The outlet also found praise for the Accord Hybrid as a fuel-efficient option. The Accord Hybrid was previously recognized as the best hybrid or electric car for families in 2022.
Best SUV brand
The SUV category has always been a bar fight for the best brand, though Hyundai led the rankings not least because the Hyundai Tucson is the best in class among compact SUVs. US News also appreciated the all-electric Ioniq 5 and the Kona EV.
The family-friendly mid-size SUV class also showed strength with the Hyundai extremely popular three-row Palisade SUV and the two-row Hyundai Santa Fe. US News favored Hyundai’s safety features and infotainment offerings, as well as the existence of the Santa Fe Hybrid. The smaller Kona and Venue SUVs were also highlighted as offering great value for consumers.
Best truck brand
In a move that may come as a surprise to some observers, Ram Trucks won the Best Truck Brand award. “Competition is fierce,” the US News writers said. Ultimately, the socket looked over Ford’s all-new Lightning electric truckand chose Ram because of the brand’s luxury combined with traditional truck capabilities.
The publication welcomed the Aries 1500 for its available variety of configurations as well as its towing capacity and choice of powertrains. But ultimately, it was the ride quality and luxurious interior that propelled Ram to the top of this list.
“In terms of material quality and design, the 1500 is the clear leader among pickups. The interior design of the upper trim levels is often compared to luxury vehicles.
Best Luxury Brand
Porsche topped the luxury car list with the impressive versatility of the Porsche 911 as a sports-luxury day driver as well as a pure sports car. with the last one Unveiling of the new 911 Dakar At the LA Auto Show, the 911 also impresses as an off-road adventure vehicle.
US News was also impressed by the Boxter and Cayman lines of lower-priced Porsches, as well as the all-electric Taycan sports car and the Panamera sports-luxury sedan. The strength of Porsche’s SUV range also helped the brand rise to the top of the rankings.
What’s that supposed to mean?
US News is a careful reviewer. According to the channel’s methodology, they not only scan reviews from their own experts, but also from reputable media outlets across the industry. Then they consider independent safety and quality ratings from organizations like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and JD Power’s Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) and Initial Quality Study (IQS).
With all of this input, US News ranks each offering within its class and then aggregates those rankings into the four categories to select the leading brand. As always, such rankings are estimates, and one person’s personal taste or usage needs may not perfectly match other people’s evaluation.