A new Consumer Reports "Car Brand Perception Survey" showed Ford and Toyota locked in a race for first-place overall, but only one stood out in the safety, value and quality ratings. Ford.
Ford, stuck behind Toyota for many years, had been slowly gaining ground for the past two surveys and finally caught up with its controversial competition in 2011.
The survey asks consumers to rate automakers in seven different categories. In addition to the three mentioned above, performance, design, technology/innovation, and eco-friendliness are were also rated.
Toyota took first place with a score of 147, while Ford came in three points behind at 144. While the first-place winner took home the overall trophy, the automaker had lost 46 points over the past two surveys most likely due to the many lawsuits and manufacturing problems plaguing Toyota.
Ford, however, gained 35 points over the past two years. Coming in third place, Honda lost 28 points, but didn't move in the rankings from last year.
Interestingly, Consumer Reports magazine concluded that "a brand's reputation as being environmentally friendly or green continues to become a less important factor to car buyers." Who knew?