Top Quality Winners Dominated by Honda

Despite changes to consumers’ personal mobility behaviors during the pandemic, new vehicle owners continue to love their vehicles. Honda’s product renaissance garnered the brand the most trophies from Strategic Vision’s 2021 Total Quality Awards. Last year’s leaders, the Honda Civic Coupe and Civic Hatchback are joined by the Accord Hybrid, Insight and Odyssey, according to Strategic Vision’s 2021 Total Quality Impact™ (TQI) measure.

“Honda begins with an advantage with customers,” explains Alexander Edwards, President of Strategic Vision. “Regardless of whether they purchased a Honda or not, new vehicle buyers are more likely to state that Honda has stronger reliability and trust. The pandemic created an atmosphere of insecurity in many aspects of people’s lives. Because Honda’s reliability and trust is seen as the foundation of the brand, customers shopped Hondas and (re)discovered the recent Honda model designs. The enhanced styling acted as a cue of thoughtfulness, further magnifying their existing perceptions of the Total Quality of Honda models.”

“However, it is not just Honda where new styling and innovation led to increased quality perceptions,” notes Chris Chaney, Senior Vice President of Strategic Vision. “The Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride are key examples where the combination of styling, innovation and warranty all converge to provide customers with the reassurance they need that they own a vehicle of the highest quality.” In addition to the Telluride, the Kia Stinger and Seltos were also segment leaders.

Luxury models also enhanced quality perceptions with product attributes and the emotions that follow. For example, Mercedes had three winners (S-Class, GLC SUV and G-Class) each leading their respective segments as customers essentially received their “ideal vehicle,” which was high in quality and delivered emotion including safety, prestige and refinement.

Even though the Lexus LC had a greater incidence of problems than others in its segment, it was also ranked the highest in Interior Workmanship, Styling and Versatility among Premium Coupes. Owners specifically acknowledged that their Lexus LC expressed their individuality in a uniquely personal way compared to what they felt other Premium Coupes had to offer.

Below is the full list of the 2021 Total Quality Award winners and scores:

Small Car

Honda Civic Coupe**


Small Hatchback

Honda Civic Hatchback*


Small Alternate Powertrain (APT) Car

Honda Insight


Mid-Size Car

Subaru WRX*


Mid-Size APT

Honda Accord Hybrid Sedan


Near-Luxury Car

Kia Stinger


Near-Luxury APT Car

Volvo S60 Hybrid


Luxury Car

Mercedes Benz S-Class*


Luxury Hatchback

Audi A5/RS5 Sportback


Specialty Coupe

MINI Cooper 4-door Hardtop


Premium Coupe

Lexus LC


Standard Convertible

Ford Mustang Convertible


Premium Convertible/Roadster

BMW 8-Series Convertible


Standard Pickup

Jeep Gladiator**


Full-Size Pickup

Dodge Ram 1500


Heavy Duty Pickup

GMC Sierra 2500/3500


Entry SUV

Ford Bronco Sport


Entry CUV

Kia Seltos


Mid-Size SUV

Hyundai Palisade


Mid-Size CUV

Kia Telluride**


Full-Size Utility

Chevrolet Suburban


Near-Luxury Utility

Mercedes-Benz GLC


Luxury SUV

Mercedes-Benz G-Class


Luxury CUV



APT Utility

Toyota RAV4 Prime PHEV



Honda Odyssey


* 2020 Winner

**2019 – 2020 Winner

Strategic Vision is an international consulting and advisory service organization that focuses on understanding and predicting advocacy, conquest and loyalty according to consumers’ personal values and decision-making structures. Strategic Vision’s 26th annual Total Quality Impact (TQI) report is based on results from the New Vehicle Experience Study® (NVES) surveying over 132,264 new vehicle buyers after the first 90 days of ownership. It incorporates the impact of problems with the vehicle as well as the drivers’ analytical and emotional evaluations of quality. For further information or interview requests please contact Alexander Edwards or Christopher Chaney at (858) 576-7141, or visit our website at


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