These Are The Car Brands That Earned Your Family's Loyalty

These Are The Car Brands That Earned Your Family's Loyalty

It seems we've got some Mazda fans in the crowd this afternoon.

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Photo: Mazda

Brand loyalty is a fickle thing, yet companies constantly strive to earn it. Every carmaker out there wants to be your carmaker for life — the single brand you buy, own, recommend to your friends, and pass down to your children. Yesterday, we asked for the brands that had earned your family’s loyalty, and some of you even had an answer that wasn’t Mazda. Let’s see what you said.

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Mazda

Mazda

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Photo: mazda616

Mazda. Bought a 2008 Mazda3 hatchback in August 2009 sort of on a whim before starting college. It was a former dealer loaner and only had 12,000 miles somehow. I kept it for almost seven years and the only issues I ever had were a brake light switch that cost $10 and a motor mount that was liquid filled and started to leak. Oh, and a door lock actuator that started to squeak and get stuck occasionally. The motor mount didn’t affect the car’s drivability but I noticed the leak, so I replaced it. I also fixed the door lock actuator with a junkyard unit from eBay. The 3 regularly got over 35 MPG on my many road trips during college and never rusted even though Mazdas earned a reputation for that. I drove it all winter, too. We then bought my wife a brand new 2013 Mazda CX-5 in December 2012 and kept it for seven years as well. Never any issues with it, either. Only thing I recall doing to it aside from normal maintenance was a software update to the transmission control module. The CX-5 was a bit underpowered but regularly got almost 40 MPG and served us well. I traded my 3 hatchback for a 2016 Mazda6 in October 2015 when we decided to start a family as the 3 was a bit on the small side for child seats. I still have the 6. It has 62,000 miles now and has only had to have brakes, tires, and a serpentine belt and tensioner. The belt tensioner was something I didn’t even realize was on its way out until my mechanic inspected it for me after the dealership told me it was failing. It was a 30 minute repair, thankfully. In addition to my Mazdas being very reliable and efficient, the few repairs to these cars I have had to make have been pretty easy considering they are newer vehicles. I’m sold. My next vehicle will be a 2016+ CX-9. But, my 6 is paid off and I’m enjoying the no car payment life coupled with its 30+ MPG status since gas is so high right now.

I tried like hell to get my wife to get a CX-9 when we went to replace the CX-5 with a 3-row SUV, but she ended up liking the outgoing 3rd generation Toyota Highlander better. So, we have a 2019 Highlander as well. She is a Toyota fan now.

So many of you said Mazda that I could almost have made this entire slideshow just about a single automaker. Mazdas are fantastic, I’ve owned two myself and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend one to a friend. Just, maybe one their head fits in.

Submitted by: mazda616

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Honda

Honda

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Photo: Honda

Honda. They’ve done it all (racing, motorcycles, econoboxes and amazing engine technology). I acquired all of my basic automotive knowledge wrenching on civics and integras with friends and family in high school and beyond. My first car was a 1994 Civic CX Hatchback that got about 40mpg. They are the true people’s car in many ways. The modern styling is not one that I can attest to loving. But, their engines are bulletproof. And if it weren’t for Honda, no one would be “K Swapping the World.” (Full transparency, I just bought a 1995 Civic Si from it’s original owner about a year ago and all it needed was some rubber bushings and a couple of gaskets with just about 200k on the clock and the original clutch)

Did you know that Honda’s main website isn’t even car-focused? You need to go to the Automobiles subdomain for that, the main site lists everything from side-by-side UTVs to generators. The Honda loyal will never want for variety.

Submitted by: ShowerThoughtsofJohnMayer

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The Original Saab

The Original Saab

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Photo: Jeremy from Sydney, Australia, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Pre-GM Saab. My mom drove a 99 in college, and after that she got a 900 SPG, my dad got a 900, my grandmother got a 900 convertible, my grandfather got his own SPG, and eventually I got my own 900 when I went to college. We also had a 9000 for a while. My mom almost bought a Viggen, but decided against it.

Early Saab was the home of weird designs, harsh angles, and longitudinal front-wheel-drive layouts. In short, it ruled. The edges were filed off once GM got involved, but the company did add a lightly dressed-up WRX to the lineup.

Submitted by: Garland - Last Top Comment on Splinter

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Mopar Or No Car

Mopar Or No Car

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Photo: Paul J Everett, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Well that nails my family: old school Detroit iron from the Chrysler Corporation.

The old man had nothing but Plymouths when I was a kid—including the family ride Fury former cop car I described in another QOTD that I took to 130mph. Later he moved on to a Chrysler Newport—my god, what a boat. But I tell you what, you want a vehicle to just float down the Interstate and eat up the miles, the Newport could do it all day long. Then his pickups for his business were Dodge Rams—Chrysler Corp ingrained to our DNA.

My brother’s wheels: a third gen Charger that he probably regrets selling.

And for me with a triumph of styling over reliability as my everyday car for years: a PT Cruiser. Yeah, I know—don’t rub it in too much—damn thing loved falling apart. It’s the one thing it was good at.

And the Charger: which is That Car. All-time styling masterpiece that the whole world knows about to this day—even tho it was only produced for three years—thanks to Hollywood turning the 2nd gen into an all-time star car. All the way from Bullitt to the Batmobile, when Hollywood needs an action car, it’s a 2nd gen which yes, works for me 1000%.

Stellantis may not be quite as far-reaching as Honda, but the brand’s enthusiasts will always have something that fits their needs. Pickups, economy EVs, Detroit muscle, and everything in between.

Submitted by: the 1969 Dodge Charger Guy

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Grandma’s Buicks

Grandma’s Buicks

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Photo: GPS 56 from New Zealand, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

I have owned (and currently own) more GM vehicles than anything else, but I’m not really brand loyal. My immediate family has also sampled deep from the well of automotive marques.

My grandma, however, has never not owned a Buick. From 1959 to the present day, she has always had a Buick.

Grandpa bought that ‘59 Buick, and from that day on, the entirety of Grandma’s automotive knowledge has been “Buick makes good cars.”

By the time I was born, they had expanded to a two-car household, and both cars were (almost) exclusively Buicks. There was a short time in the late 1980s when Grandpa had an Oldsmobile wagon, but Grandma still had a Buick.

When they were snowbirding in Arizona, they were up to 4 Buicks - 2 at their house in the Midwest and 2 at their condo in Tucson.

Grandpa passed away in 2006, but Grandma is 90 years old and still drives a Buick. (At her age, she needs to pass a road test annually in her state, and she just renewed with her upcoming 91st birthday)

As much as Buick has tried to shed its image of “cars for older buyers,” older buyers still love Buicks. At a certain age, people generally like cars that are a bit more plush — as long as Buick keeps making that, its audience won’t change.

Submitted by: smalleyxb122

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The Mini Life

The Mini Life

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Photo: IFCAR, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

My parents, after the kids left home, became a Mini household for some reason. They own 2 at the moment, and have had many more. They go on Mini rallies around the southeast. They went to England and rented a Mini for an England rally. My mom got a tattoo, her first, to match the graphics on the side of their car.

They aren’t car people, especially my mom. It’s so weird.

While writing this slideshow, someone on Twitter told me to buy a first-BMW-generation Mini Cooper. Is this a sign? Should I become a Mini Guy? They’re a blast to drive, but I can’t imagine maintenance is as fun.

Submitted by: Unacceptably Dry Scones

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Hyundai/Kia

Hyundai/Kia

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Photo: Damian B Oh, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

My parents bought a ‘90 Sonata brand new, and as they didn’t really get burned by it (helped by it getting written off at 5 years old), they’ve now owned about a half-dozen Hyundais (several of which were buying out the lease on some of my aunt’s cars, who’s owned a half dozen or so Hyundais herself). My in-laws are catching up (5 Korean cars in the past decade), even after my FiL’s first Elantra needed an engine rebuild before 60k miles. Meanwhile, I hated an old Accent I got stuck with so much I can barely consider a new H/K, no matter how much better they’ve gotten.

Kia and Hyundai may have gotten a bit of a slow start in the U.S., but the two have been killing it recently. Kia has some of the best-looking cars you can buy right now, and Hyundai’s N cars are an absolute joy to drive.

Submitted by: Maymar

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Ford/Volvo

Ford/Volvo

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Photo: Who is the Leader - 404 / Blog No Longer Available

My family on my dad’s side has owned mostly Fords. These Fords mostly fell apart in amusing ways.

My mom has mostly owned Volvos. These Volvos were mostly unreliable and ridiculously expensive to own.

My nuclear family’s fleet as of a few years ago.

I can’t recall anyone in my extended family ever having owned a GM product in my lifetime, though apparently my grandfather dabbled in Corvairs back in the day. So, naturally, in an act of rebllion (?), I bought myself a brightly colored Cruze that has, thus far, been incredibly reliable and pleasant to drive and own.

The few cars that were actually good (i.e. Tundra) seemed to have incurred no brand loyalty while the cars that were deeply terrible (i.e. Volvo XC90 FWD I5T) garnered the most loyalty. No, I have no idea why either.

Naturally this culminated in Ford and Volvo meeting with my sister’s new-to-her Volvo XC70. I was actually to blame for this one as I did the car shopping. Unfortunately, it has build quality rivaling even the old XC90 for shoddiness. Fantastic driving experience though and it hasn’t been that troublesome yet.

Ford and Volvo are a classic pairing, like gin and tonic or white and rice. The fact that the two automakers were at one point tied together doesn’t even seem to be a factor — households loyal to both existed long before that buyout.

Submitted by: Who is the Leader - 404 / Blog No Longer Available

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The Toronado

The Toronado

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Photo: Niels de Wit from Lunteren, The Netherlands, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

My uncle Ed bought an aqua colored Toronado in 1967 to replace his Mercury Breezeway, and never looked back.

I remember Ed showing up to our 4th of July family cook-out every third or fourth year with a new Toro; I think he drove them until they got about 50,000 miles on the odometer and traded them in, but he always kept his cars in immaculate condition.

I remember a green 1970, a brown 1973, a red 1977 and a black ‘81.

I drove the ‘77 across Kansas when Ed and I visited my father in Colorado back in 1979. I had just gotten my learner’s permit. My instructions were “Set the cruise control to 75, keep it between the lines and don’t hit anything. Wake me up when we drop to below a quarter-tank.”

Four hours later I released my death grip on the wheel and Ed took over the rest of the way.

The ‘81 was Ed’s last Toro, he did not like the downsized car as much as his big boats, and when the Toronado was shrunk again in 1986, he bought a Delta 88 instead.

Loyalty to a single brand is hard enough to maintain, but loyalty to a single model is even more difficult. Kudos for pulling it off for nearly two full decades.

Submitted by: Earthbound Misfit I

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The Rare Ford/Honda Split

The Rare Ford/Honda Split

You can keep your Eldorado
You can keep your Eldorado
Photo: GPS 56 from New Zealand, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

We were a split Ford / Honda family. My dad was pretty consistently a Ford guy, having owned a Model A, a Thunderbird, a Mustang, and a pickup, before purchasing a Datsun pickup in the early 1980s after the second OPEC oil price shock. (There may have been a Jeep between or along side the Mustang and/or the pickup, but that was before my time.) He returned to Ford as soon as oil prices stabilized by buying a tricked-out Econoline conversion van. He eventually traded the van for a first-generation Taurus, which is the car I learned to drive on. My mother was all over the map (Triumph TR5, Chevy Camaro) before getting a Honda CVCC for fuel-efficiency reasons in 1979, then sticking with Honda through an Accord and a CRX until they consolidated into one vehicle, a Ford Windstar. At this point things kind of went off the rails, because my mother was more in charge of car-buying decisions. After the Windstar there was a Subaru for a hot second (a change in life circumstances forced the issue), another Ford minivan that was a POS, and finally the Chrysler Town & Country that I took over when my mom gave up driving.

It seems that Ford families often share their fervor with another brand, and that other brand is usually a company known for smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles. Maybe Ford offering a commuter car smaller than the Ecosport might be a good idea?

Submitted by: burner’down

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American Motors

American Motors

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Photo: Charles01, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

I might be an outlier, but growing up we were an AMC family. Not strictly, but we had more than most. The first car I remember was our Rambler Marlin. I think we had another Rambler before the Marlin, but I would have been really young then. Then came the Matador station wagon; googling images it must have been a ‘73 because I remember that grille. I also remember the squatty rear end and how the maroon paint camouflaged the rust. Our last one was my dad’s ‘78 Concord 2 door sedan, the one I put in the ditch trying to corner like Eddie Cheever. After that AMC was bought by Renault, and though I lobbied hard for the euro-factor my dad drove a Renault Alliance and promptly bought a Sentra.

Having never coexisted with AMC (the company died out eight years before I was born), it’s always struck me as the oddball of the American automakers. No matter how stout that inline-six was, it couldn’t keep the brand afloat forever.

Submitted by: dug deep

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#SubieSquad

#SubieSquad

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Photo: TKOIII, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

My family is a Subaru family. My dad got an ‘86 GL wagon new and never looked back, except for the one time he bought a Taurus and hated it. He got a WRX hatchback to replace that. There was a time when we had a Toyota Sienna, but that’s only because Subaru never made a minivan. If they had, we would have gotten it.

My first car was an Impreza hatchback, and my current car is also an Impreza hatchback. My first Impreza was 19 years old and had 235k miles before it gave up the ghost, and my current one is 10 years old and has over 135k, and I have no doubt it will match or exceed the mileage of my first one. I’ll probably replace this Impreza with an electric car, but I have to say, Subaru’s Solterra doesn’t seem all that great. I’d get a Hyundai Ioniq 5 over that.

My brother and sister both drive Hondas. We’ve disowned them.

Subarus, in stock form, usually last until the quarter-panel rust finally reaches something structural. Their penchant for unreliability comes from the modding scene — where, once breathed upon by a tuner, all ringlands and main bearings begin looking for their exit. Keep one stock, though, and it’ll last you forever.

Submitted by: Kroozah

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Toyotathon

Toyotathon

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Photo: IFCAR, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

My wife and I are Toyota only now.

We got a 2007 Sienna new. Every control was in a logical place, the van rode well, handled acceptably, got acceptable gas mileage (for the time), and had great visibility. 15 years later, and it pretty much feels like the same van we got new all those years ago. In 260k miles it has required very little repairs and all of them were pretty routine and minor.

So when we went used car shopping about 9 years ago, a 2004 Camry with 120k miles didn’t scare us off. Since it was a stick, we got a great deal on it. When we go on a trip and park the Camry at the airport, we know that unless we get another Camry at the rental car place, it will feel like a downgrade. It’s needed basically nothing (ok, dead rear strut and a droooling valve cover gasket) and has 230k miles. Runs like a top.

For my wife and I, Toyotas seem perfect. The seats are the right size, shape and comfort level. The ride is great, the handling acceptable for our needs. They just seem to have nailed what we like for a daily driver when it comes to all the compromises. And they last for stank ever. It just isn’t that they put up insane numbers, but they feel like nearly new cars with these insane miles and years.

I know it is popular to crap on Toyota. The are a conservative company that has found and over used the ugly sticks recently. But they make a hell of a good vehicle. And when it comes to putting down the money for a vehicle, it is almost impossible to sign a check for a different manufacturer.

Toyota may not be known as the most fun automaker, though the GR line is certainly starting to convince people otherwise. It is, however, known to be possibly the most reliable — be nice to your ‘Yota, and it’ll outlive your grandkids.

Submitted by: hoser68

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Saturn

Saturn

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Photo: IFCAR, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

We were a Saturn family when I was younger. My sister’s and I got a combined ~23 years out of our 3 Saturns that all had almost 100k miles before we even bought them and then 2/3 broke 300k miles. Mine might have if I wasn’t so rough on it. My bucket list build is to make a sleeper Saturn SC with my son once we finish the house.

If Saturn would have survived, I could very well still be one. Perhaps GM axing Saturn is the real reason for my personal bias against them...

Saturn enthusiasm is rampant in the company’s (former) buyers. Every Saturn owner I’ve ever met has never wanted to even try another brand. They’ve all had to, since Saturn was unceremoniously brought out behind the shed back in 2010, but they all still want that red badge in their driveway.

Submitted by: engineerthefuture

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The Rarest Combo Of All

The Rarest Combo Of All

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Photo: Berthold Werner, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Growing up my family was a Ford/Chevy family. Chrysler was never up for consideration due to their longstanding reputation for poor quality. It’s worth noting that I grew up and still live in Metro Detroit which still has a much stronger loyalty to the American* OEMs than most of the country.

I now work for one of the Detroit automakers, so I’m a forced brand-loyalist at this point. Ironically my 15 years of experience in the auto industry have made me much more accepting of import brands, and now I can’t buy them!

Loyalty to one of the big three makes sense. Loyalty to two of them, at the same time, is unheard of. You’ve truly broken new ground here, panthercougar, and I respect you for it.

Submitted by: panthercougar

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