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These are the best vehicle brands according to U.S. News & World Report

Some of the winners are repeat customers but a few of the results may surprise you.

Photo courtesy of Mazda

U.S. News & World Report has ranked the vehicle industry's brands from worst to first. The list of this year's Best Vehicle Brand award winners includes companies that are based across the globe, including one from Michigan.

"Deciding where to start looking for a new car, truck or SUV can be one of the most overwhelming parts of buying a car," said Jamie Page Deaton, executive editor of U.S. News Best Cars. "The Best Vehicle Brands provides consumers with the greatest possible starting point, no matter what type of vehicle they're shopping for."

To determine the award winners, U.S. News Best Cars averaged the overall score each model of the given brand's products received in U.S. News ratings. The brand with the highest overall average score was named the winner in the category.

Best Car Brand: Mazda

2019 Mazda Mazda6

Photo courtesy of Mazda

For the fifth consecutive year, Mazda won this car class on the strength of its cars, the Mazda3, Mazda6, and Mazda MX-5 Miata. According to U.S. News, all three models have, "top-notch performance that puts an emphasis on direct, sporty handling, as well as quality interiors that are more upscale than their price tags might suggest."

Best SUV Brand: Kia

2020 Kia Telluride

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Honda has won this category for the last four years but this year Kia broke through because of the variety and quality of its lineup, which spans the subcompact Niro to the three-row Telluride. Kia models also come with long warranties, premium interiors (in top trims), and good fit and finish.

Best Truck Brand: Ram

2020 Ram 1500 Big Horn

Photo courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Though Ford has higher sales, Ram has overtaken it in this category. This year is the first time that Ram has edged out its Dearborn competition. The Ram 1500 is a big part of why the company won here, with its coil-over suspension that makes the Ram comfortable whether you're commuting and capable of doing serious towing and hauling. Ford models also can't match the quality and design of the Ram's interior.

Best Luxury Brand: Porsche

2020 Porsche Macan Turbo

Photo courtesy of Porsche

Porsche has held on to the win in this category for the fifth straight year. Why? Because of its well-rounded lineup, which includes thoroughly modern SUVs and cars. Porsche vehicles are fun to drive, no matter the model, and come in a variety of trim levels to suit driver desires.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Volkswagen has sold seven generations of the Golf in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen is saying goodbye to the Golf in the U.S. Kind of. The small hatchback is popular overseas but failed to find a continued, dedicated audience in North America where buyers are opting for larger SUVs and trucks over cars.

"Over four decades, the Golf has delivered a great value to American drivers," said Hein Schafer, Senior Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "It exemplified what Volkswagen does best—melding dynamic driving characteristics with purposeful packaging and unmatched quality. While the seventh-generation Golf will be the last of the base hatches sold here, the GTI and Golf R will carry its legacy forward."

Though its audience has faded recently, the Golf family has been popular with buyers in the U.S. for decades. Nearly 2.5 million of the cars have been sold since 1974.

The first-generation Golf was sold as the Rabbit in the U.S.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

1974 V

Production of U.S. bound 2021 model year VW Golfs ended last week at the plant in Puebla, Mexico. The run of models that has already been produced is expected to sustain the market through the end of the year. It will be available in just one grade: Golf TSI. That car is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine that makes 147 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Buyers can choose from either a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Every Golf TSI comes standard with LED daytime running lights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated washer nozzles, keyless entry, 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels, a sunroof, leatherette steering wheel, heated front seats, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring, blind spot monitor, and rear traffic alert.

Pricing for the 2021 Volkswagen Golf with a standard six-speed manual transmission starts at $23,195. The eight-speed automatic transmission starts at $23,995. The destination charge for all Golf models is an additional $995.

How to get a Mk 8 Volkswagen Golf

But, if you really, really want a new, eighth-generation Golf, there's a way to get one. The Golf GTI and Golf R, both performance-focused versions of the Golf, will be arriving in the U.S. this autumn for sale as 2022 model year vehicles.

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Subaru has partnered with Feeding America to deliver over 150 million meals in the last year.

Photo by Getty Images

In April, as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in America, Subaru of America stepped up donating the funs to supply 50 million meals to hungry Americans via the Feeding America hunger relief organization. To kick off 2021, Subaru of America, Subaru of New England, and Subaru Distributors Corporation.

"Once again, Subaru is working with Feeding America to help the millions of families struggling with hunger across the U.S.," said Thomas J. Doll, President and CEO, Subaru of America, Inc. "As we continue to weather these unprecedented times together, we hope our contribution to Feeding America ensures the most vulnerable members of our communities are fed and cared for."

According to a release, one in four children in the U.S. are vulnerable of facing hunger because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The pandemic has posed unique challenges for food banks and the people we serve," said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. "We are tremendously grateful to Subaru of America, along with Subaru retailers and distributors, for their generous support and commitment to fighting against hunger in communities across the country."

The 633 Subaru retailers nationwide will work with Feeding America to disburse the donation to the organization's 199 food banks with the highest food insecurity rates and child food insecurity rates. Subaru retailers have made an additional donation of 5.6 million meals to those in need.

For every $1 cash donation, at least 10 meals are secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks.

As they did with the donation last spring, Subaru will launch a new creative campaign showcasing the impact of the donation. The spots will run on broadcast and digital platforms.

This new donation is part of Subaru's Subaru Loves to Help pillar, the community-focused pillar of the Subaru Love Promise. Other recent initiatives include the donation of blankets to the homeless and an anti-litter campaign.

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