Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

Kelley Book Brand Survey: What's Reality, What's Not

I'm always amazed at the number of times someone will send me an e-mail or stop me when I'm out on a story and tell me something that they swear is the absolute truth. My favorite response: The Big 3 have no fresh ideas. Anyone who thinks that should check out the new Ford's with Sync coming out later this year.

I bring this up because Kelley Blue Book has just released its quarterly "brand watch" survey.Essentially a survey of consumers about what brand of cars/trucks/SUVs they like. Check out the results.

2008 Honda Accord

Best Exterior Styling:
Non-Luxury Sedan/Coupe/Hatchback Segment: Honda
Luxury Sedan/Coupe/Hatchback Segment: BMW
Non-Luxury SUV Segment: Ford
Luxury SUV Segment: Mercedes-Benz
Truck Segment: Chevrolet
Minivan Segment: Honda
Sports Car/Convertible Segment: Porsche

Best Interior Layout/Driving Comfort:
Non-Luxury Sedan/Coupe/Hatchback Segment: Toyota
Luxury Sedan/Coupe/Hatchback Segment: Lexus
Non-Luxury SUV Segment:Toyota
Luxury SUV Segment: Lexus
Truck Segment: Chevrolet
Minivan Segment: Toyota
Sports Car/Convertible Segment: Lexus

Overall findings:
Best Overall Exterior Styling: Porsche
Best Overall Interior Layout/Driving Comfort: Lexus
Best Overall Prestige Brand /Luxury/Sophistication: Mercedes-Benz

Richter's Tickers

A few things stand out in the results. The biggest being the view among car buyers that Toyota or its Lexus brands are viewed as being the best for interior layout and driving comfort. For years when I have brought up the strength of Toyota and Lexus, I have had people say to me, "sure, Toyota cars are nice, but they are bland." The latest Kelley Blue Book results show that most buyers do NOT find the models from the Japanese automaker to be boring.

Also, Chevy trucks being tapped as the best interior styling shows GM has gone a long ways towards changing the perception its truck cabs were a notch below the competition.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Questions?  Comments?