Toyota has returned to the highest ranks of best perceived car brands in the U.S., according to YouGov BrandIndex, a daily consumer-perception research service. Toyota was off the top 5 list for the first half of 2011, Toyota returns to take the number three spot, knocking BMW out of the group. Right in front of Toyota are Ford and Honda, in the same places as first half 2011. Rounding out the top 5 ranking are Volkswagen in the #4 spot and Chevrolet, which had the #3 spot last year.
While Toyota gained the most perception ground with consumers in the first half, it easily outdistanced the other car brands which made the biggest perception gains as well: Chrysler, Kia, Infiniti and Toyota sibling Lexus.
All domestic and international car brands were measured with YouGov BrandIndex's buzz score, which asks respondents: "Do you have a general positive feeling about the brand?" All respondents are age 18+.