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Every year, automakers hope their latest model introductions sell well with consumers and earn a little recognition with critic awards. Kelley Blue Book is one organization that evaluates, rates, and awards brands and their vehicles. A coveted award series automakers look forward to from Kelley Blue Book every year is the Brand Image Awards.

These awards do more than honor one or more particular models. They highlight those automaking brands that resonate with consumers, based on reputation and their portfolio of vehicles, across various categories. This year’s Best Luxury Brand category produced two primary recipients: Tesla and Porsche. Based on Kelley Blue Book’s evaluations and consumer data, Tesla and Porsche take the cake in almost every luxury award category.

What are the 2022 Brand Image Awards?

A red Tesla logo on a white building with a blue sky in the background.
Tesla logo | Getty Images

Kelley Blue Book describes the Brand Image Awards as the opportunity to “recognize automakers” and their lines of SUVs, trucks, and cars based on their ability to “create enthusiasm” among car buyers and shoppers.

The brand image doesn’t only involve gauging consumer awareness of a particular brand, either. These top awards represent vehicles that actually excite buyers and inspire more buyers to test drive and ultimately buy new vehicles.

The Kelley Blue Book team drives and evaluates hundreds of new models annually. And through those thousands of miles driven, they provide comparisons, reviews, and ratings. Additionally, they compile opinions of existing vehicle owners as part of their Brand Watch Study.

This study captures consumer attitudes and trends of the current market roster of available new vehicles every year. It’s those sentiments and a year’s worth of behind-the-wheel experience that drive the results in the 13 Brand Image Award categories.

There are three core categories, each housing its own menu of subcategories, all intended to represent the best brands of each segment. There is the Best Brands Award, with Honda, Subaru, and Dodge dominating. And there is the Best Overall Truck Brand, which only has one subcategory and winner, Toyota. The third pillar category is the Best Luxury Brands, and it’s here that Tesla and Porsche both show their dominance as automakers.

Tesla and Porsche dominate the luxury category

In the Best Luxury Brands category, Kelley Blue Book breaks down the most resonant brands in a few unique segments. Tesla comes out on top in a few, including Best Overall Luxury Brand, a distinction earned for three consecutive years. Market Watch ranks Tesla fifth among luxury automakers. Tesla also won Kelley Blue Book’s Best Value Luxury Brand and Most Refined Luxury Brand. According to Kelley Blue Book, Tesla is the top brand for value, cleanliness, and elegant refinement.

Porsche comes in second, winning the Best Performance Luxury Brand and Best Styling Luxury Brand categories. Among consumers, there are very few brands as focused on top-notch performance and sleek, modern designs quite like Porsche. Porsche is no stranger to taking home hardware for being the best in a luxury category. Porsche shares some of its other luxury awards, including Gear Patrol’s World Luxury Car of the Year and US News and World Report Best Luxury Brand in 2020.

Lexus still took one luxury category

While Tesla and Porsche seem to be mopping up in Kelley Blue Book’s Best Luxury Brands, they didn’t get every single niche. Lexus, a brand synonymous with luxury and upscale touchpoints, does win one of these luxury brand titles. Lexus earned the Most Trusted Luxury Brand recognition award. It’s been the award holder for this category since 2016.

Do you agree that Tesla and Porsche are among the Best Luxury Brands today? As you consider your next luxury vehicle purchase, Kelley Blue Books awards might carry some weight. If you want the highest value, cleanest styles, modern designs, and incredible performance, Tesla and Porsche bring all of the above with the upscale luxury touchpoints.


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