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When it comes to reliable car brands, Honda is one of the most popular. Dependability is one of the many reasons the Civic and Accord sedans are always high on best-selling lists. While Subaru hasn’t reached Honda’s level of fame in the States, it still offers a great selection of reliable vehicles.

These two automakers took the top spots in the Kelley Blue Book 2022 Brand Image Awards. Why is this award such a big honor, and how many categories did Subaru and Honda sweep this year?

All about Kelley Blue Book’s Brand Image Awards

Honda written on a lit wall above greenery.
Honda | Getty Images

Unlike many rankings, these awards aren’t based on a car’s performance from professional automotive critics’ standpoints. Instead, Kelley Blue Book’s Brand Image Awards are issued based on any given car’s reputation with the average driver. Kelley Blue Book collects the opinions of over 12,000 consumers each year to find the winning brands in each category.

Additionally, Kelley Blue Book uses its annual Brand Watch Study data. This study centers around the buyers’ enthusiasm toward an automaker, which plays a crucial role in deciding which vehicles they browse. The Kelley Blue Book Image Awards winners are split into three groups: luxury brands, non-luxury brands, and trucks.

Everything Honda and Subaru won in 2022

Honda was Kelley Blue Book’s top choice for the best brand overall, the most sophisticated, and the brand with the most value. Subaru took home the award for the best-performing vehicles and was once again the most trusted automotive brand.

Styling was the only non-luxury category award that neither Honda nor Subaru won this year. That honor went to Dodge for its unique and exciting muscle car offerings.

Why Kelley Blue Book picked Honda and Subaru above the rest

According to Kelley Blue Book, the overall winning brand should be able to make quality vehicles with a wide range of options for every driver. Honda currently offers two sedans, four SUVs, and one truck. Honda is also one of the only automakers to carry a minivan for 2022.

Hybrid models include the Insight, the CR-V Hybrid, and the Accord Hybrid. You can even purchase the fuel-cell-powered Honda Clarity if you live in California. Even the “worst” Honda boasts a pristine cabin, great fuel economy, and ample seating arrangements.

Kelley Blue Book says that consumers trust Subaru the most, probably due to its exceptional reliability. Minus the Ascent SUV, each of Subaru’s 2022 models has promising reliability ratings on Consumer Reports. The WRX and BRZ’s long-term dependability has yet to be assessed.

The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek is currently the most reliable car in the lineup. It allows drivers to pursue light off-roading with confidence, and it always offers a smooth ride no matter the terrain. 

Honda offers the greatest value because its vehicles come with many great features at an affordable price. For example, the cheapest new Honda is the Civic LX, which has an asking price of $23,365.

If your budget allows for $3,000 more, you can get a better deal with the Civic EX. You’ll get several more convenience features and USB ports, plus a heartier engine with 180 hp.

The Subaru WRX and BRZ sports cars offer a lot of performance potential. The WRX is one of the only AWD cars in its class, carrying a gutsy BOXER engine with 271 hp under its hood. Both of these models are available for under $30,000.

While performance is essential for many drivers, comfort is also required to enjoy the ride thoroughly. Honda vehicles showcase the most modern cabin designs built with quality components, especially in the higher trims. Subaru used a little too much plastic to secure this award, but both brands are obviously still huge hits with consumers.


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