With new vehicle prices reaching near record highs, buyers want to get the best bang for their buck when it comes to cars, trucks and commercial vehicles.
Fortunately, U.S. News & World Report has taken much of the guesswork out of that conundrum with its yearbook Best vehicle brands rankings. The magazine unveils its picks for leading brands through an extensive evaluation process.
“While most brands offer more than one type of vehicle, we focused on their offerings, divided 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 US News aggregate score of each vehicle that has the brand in that category. Each winning brand tends to offer options with the best combination of performance, interior quality, safety and reliability.”
Best car brand
US News chose Honda as the top overall automotive brand for the second year in a row. Honda received the award based largely on the ergonomics, quality and performance of the popular Civic compact. The magazine cited build quality, interior design and performance options as reasons to choose the Civic and thus Honda as a whole as the best passenger car brand.
Honda entered the mid-sized segment and was strong in it as well Accord as the best midsize offer on the market. US News kept an eye on the Accord’s spacious and well-appointed interior and the car’s handling and performance. The outlet also found praise for the Accord Hybrid as a fuel-efficient option. The Accord Hybrid was previously named the best hybrid or electric family car of 2022.
Best SUV Brand
The SUV category was always going to be a bar fight for the top brand, but Hyundai led the ranking largely because the Hyundai Tucson is best-in-class among compact SUVs. US News also appreciated the all-electric Ioniq 5 and the Kona EV.
The family-friendly midsize SUV class also showed strength for Hyundai with the 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 singled out as great value for the consumer dollar.
Best truck brand
In a move that may surprise some observers, Ram Trucks was nominated for Best Truck Brand. “Competition is fierce,” say the writers of US News. Finally, the exhaust looked past Ford’s all-new Lightning electric truckand chose Ram based on the brand’s luxury combined with traditional truck capabilities.
The publication praised the Aries 1500 due to the available variety of configurations, towing capacity and powertrain selection. But in the end, it was the ride quality and interior luxury that put Ram at the top of this list.
“When it comes to material quality and design, the 1500 is a clear leader among pick-ups. The interior trim of the higher trim levels is often compared to luxury vehicles,” it said.
Best luxury brand
Porsche topped the luxury car list with its impressive versatility of the Porsche 911 as a sport-luxury daily driver as well as a pure sports car. With the recent unveiling of the new 911 Dakar at the LA Auto Show, the 911 also shows off as an off-road vehicle.
US News was also impressed by the Boxter and Cayman line of lower-cost Porsches, as well as the all-electric Taycan sports car and Panamera sport-luxury sedan. The strength of Porsche’s SUV range also helped the brand rise to the top of the rankings.
What does it all mean?
US News is a careful judge. Following the outlet’s methodology, they scan evaluations not only from their own experts, but also from respected media outlets across the industry. They then consider independent safety and quality evaluations from organizations such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and JD Power’s Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) and the Initial Quality Study (IQS).
With all 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 an individual’s personal taste or usage needs may not perfectly match someone else’s evaluation.