Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Written by Sara Routhier
Director of Outreach

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florid...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Jun 24, 2022

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Toyota has been one of the most popular car brands in the world for a long time, with reliability and safety as the most common characteristics associated with it. Toyota vehicles have always been regarded as family-oriented vehicles, that rarely break down and are relatively affordable and economical. These traits alone are enough for them to appeal to the masses that want a car with desirable features that can safely take them from point A to point B at a low cost.

Toyota Best Brand & Public Image

That’s why Toyota’s brand identity is always somewhere at the top of all surveys measuring brand perception, which indicates how consumers feel about a certain brand and can give a company a much-needed edge over its competitors.

Features of 2017 Toyota Prius

 2017 Toyota Prius
MSRPFrom $24,685
MPGUp to 58 city / 53 highway
Horsepower121 hp
Battery207 V lithium-ion, 202 V nickel-metal hydride
Engine1.8L I-4 Engine
Wheels15" aluminum Wheels
Transmission2-spd CVT w/OD Transmission
Torque105 @ 3,600 rpm
Drive TypeFront-wheel Drive

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7 Brand Ratings Determined Toyota’s Image

The great image that Toyota Motor Company has with the public was once again confirmed by one of the most impactful surveys measuring the popularity of car brands. It’s the annual Consumer Report Car-brand Perception Survey, which determines brand ratings based on seven categories: quality, safety, performance, value, fuel economy, design/style, and technology/innovation.

The Japanese automotive giant has topped the list several times in the past, but in the past couple of years, its brand lost some of its appeal as a result of numerous safety recalls, mainly due to faults in electric vehicles. However, according to the 2017 Consumer Report survey, Toyota is back as the top brand, earning a total of 145 points, going 25 points clear of second-place Ford, with 120.

How many vehicles has Toyota sold?

Toyota is the first automobile manufacturer to sell more than 10 million vehicles per year starting in the year 2012. You can probably think of a few manufacturing plants you’ve driven past, as their production goes beyond the industry average.

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Best Toyota Vehicle’s All Time

1Toyota Camry1992
2Toyota Stout1964
3Toyota Land Cruiser FJ401960
4Toyota 2000GT1967
5Toyota Corona1965
6Toyota Supra Turbo1993
7Lexus LS4001990
8Toyota Celica ST1971
9Lexus LFA2011
10Toyota Corolla GT-S1985
11Toyota Celica Supra1983
12Toyota MR21985
13NASCAR Toyota Camry2008
14Toyota Tundra2000
15Lexus RX3001999

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Toyota Running Ahead of Competitors Such as Ford

This is a 5-point improvement over the previous year for Toyota, while Ford earned 3 points more compared to the 2017 survey. Toyota and Ford are followed by Honda, which was ranked second last year, with 109 points. Chevrolet was ranked fourth, with 105 points, a 13-point improvement from last year.

These are all brands that traditionally have a good public image, so it’s no wonder that they are at the top of the list, but the next one on the list can be considered a bit of a surprise, as it’s a pretty young company, that has only been present in the market for a couple of years.

2017 Models of Toyota

Make / ModelPrice*MPG**
Prius v$26,67543/39
Camry Hybrid$26,79042/38
Avalon Hybrid$37,300 39/40
Corolla iM$18,75027/35
Yaris iA$15,95030/39
Prius c$19,56053/46
Prius Prime$27,10054/133

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*Starting MSRP

**Estimated fuel economy

Huge Jump for Tesla Motors & Public Image

It’s Tesla Motors, the electric-car manufacturer, which jumped to fifth place, with a score of 88 points. It’s a huge improvement, considering that it was ranked 11th in 2013, and it has to do with the continuous development and positive publicity the company got over the course of the last twelve months, with pretty good sales figures for its Model S sedan, its stock rising steadily, and finally reporting profits for the first time ever in its history.

Subaru a Huge Competitor of Public Image

Another notable detail from this survey is Subaru’s surge, which, just like Tesla, entered the top 10 for the first time, gaining 87 points, which was enough for 6th place.

The fact that some pretty famous brands, such as Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, or Lexus, are surpassed by newcomers like Tesla, or a pretty small player in the automotive industry, like Subaru, might seem a bit odd, but it actually makes a lot of sense, as the overall score was calculated based on how many times a brand was mentioned as a leader for a particular category, combined with category importance.

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More Toyota Articles

1Comparing Nissan, Honda, & Toyota
2Review of Toyota's Sports Car 86
310 Facts about Toyota
4How Far Can You Drive a Toyota on Empty?
5Toyota Camry Hybrid Review & Compared to Honda, Volt, and Ford Fusion

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Ford, Honda, & Toyota at the Top of Public Image

Considering that most respondents said that vehicle quality and safety are the most important attributes for them, and makes like Toyota, Ford and Honda gained the most mentions as leaders in these categories, whereas the famous luxury brands mostly gained recognition for their design and performance, which is clearly not a priority for car buyers, the results are not surprising, at all.

Final Thoughts

Be that as it may, the survey doesn’t determine which car makers sell good vehicles, and which of them sells bad ones, but it merely reflects consumers’ opinions about different brands, which as Consumer Report Deputy Editor Jeff Bartlett says, is “influenced by word-of-mouth, marketing, and hands-on experience.”

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