There’s a lot to consider when buying a new car, but a new annual list hopes to help buyers decide which brands to consider when shopping. As 2024 model vehicles roll onto showroom floors, U.S. News & World Report crunched the numbers to see which brands do the best when compared to one another.
“We have some brands that have held on to the title of a best brand in a certain segment for a few years now, and then there’s some newcomers as well,” said Jim Sharifi, managing editor of the autos team at U.S. News and World Report.
For the third year in a row, Honda ranked number one among car brands, and, according to Sharifi, the brand’s success comes with the redesign of the popular Civic and Accord models that consumers have enjoyed.
“I think that part of Honda’s success is, one, they’ve got a really great product with a reputation for reliability, and there’s a lot of trust in the brand there,” he said.
A surprising newcomer to the list is Mazda for sports utility vehicles. Sharifi said Mazda SUVs did well for how nicely they drive and for having models that have “premium, upscale interiors.”
“What’s really helped push them over the edge there is they launched a new three-row SUV in the last year, the Mazda CX-90, which is available both as a normal SUV and as a plug-in hybrid variant,” he said.
Another car brand taking the top spot comes in the category of best luxury brand. This year, it wasn’t BMW, Mercedes or Lexus, instead EV maker Rivian was named the best.
He said the brand of electric SUVs and trucks are a premium brand that start in the high $70,000 range.
“It’s really not that much of a price jump if you’re looking at a three-row Rivian R1S versus a luxury mid-size SUV that’s just a conventional gas vehicle,” Sharifi said.
He said the brand also received accolades for how far you can drive on a charge — around 321 miles. Rivian vehicles also accelerate well and provide a “fantastic” overall driving experience, Sharifi said.
For buyers in the market for a 2024 truck, Ram comes out on top. Sharifi said this is the fifth year Ram has received top honors. He said the suspension on the trucks rank them highly in ride quality.
“They look and feel upscale inside as well,” he said.
Ram also has some of the most user-friendly tech features on the market, according to Sharifi.