Help Me Rank Automobile Makes (In General)

I was watching a TV show and I obviously have no idea of what cars cost and what is fancy, other than the obivious

Anyway I was thinking since I know so little about cars I’d ask for some opinions here

I was wondering if anyone can help me rank the makes of cars in general. By rank I mean in terms of general price and overall status of the make of car. Not how reliable they are etc

Like a Rolls would be top of the line
Then would come Mercedes and BMW
Then Lincoln

And so forth all the way down. (Maybe those three are wrong)

I am talking just in general. Obviously Chrysler is higher up than Plymouth but there may be brands of Plymouth which are better than Chrysler.

Again I just was looking for a “General” rankings of classes. You don’t need to rank all the cars. For instance, if you throw Chysler/Plymouth together that is fine.

I would also exclude any totally exclusive cars which are specifically made in limited numbers just so they cost.
Thanks for your opinions

Are you looking for ranking by luxury, cost, performance or something else entirely? Keep in mind, some people buy top-of-the-line cars for performance (Ferrari, Porsche, etc) and some buy for luxury (Lexus, Beamer, Mercedes, etc).

There’s no conclusive list, really. (By the way, Plymouth and Chrysler are the same car, Plymouth stopped being made as an independent brand some years ago.)

Typically, they’re grouped in ‘tiers’.

There’s ‘tier 1 imports’, which are Honda and Toyota, and tier 1 domestics, which are (now) Ford and Chevy (depending who you ask, an Alphapoint -Dodge, Chrysler & Jeep- as one store is a Tier 1). But those are ranked by desirability to the ownership as much as any inherent value, and Domestics and Imports are split up for those considerations.


I was just wondering about a general overall ranking, mostly about status and cost.

Like is a Volvo a better class of cars (in general) than a Lincoln? Would it cost more and if you had a Volvo would people THINK it’s a higher “status” car than a Lincoln.

Obviously there are way too many variables to produce a correct list. For some reason in my pea-brain, I pictured Rolls-Royce in the same class as a BMW and after looking around, I saw Rolls is above a BMW in class, price and status. At least in a “general” opion.

Like you can own a Kia and it may be a great car but it has a lower “status.” Like the best running car I ever owned was an AMC Gremlin, but that was way down at the bottom of this list too.

I’ll start it off by asking

Is a BMW and Mercedes (in general) in the same class and price range?

Are Volvos and Lincolns in the same class and price range.

If not which is higher or lower?

Lincoln, typically, is viewed as an ‘old people car’ (because old people and those who get switched from fords are the only ones who drive them).

Volvo is viewed as an overpriced soccer mom’s car.

While the car themselves might possibly be ranked higher or lower based on certain criteria (but we’d need specific criteria, not general “rank”), it’s impossible to do without some baseline.

Give or take, yeah. BMW has some lower end cars that Mercedes doesn’t (IIRC, but I’ve never sold either or considered buying either, so I’m not sure), but if you drive an upper end beamer, or an upper end Mercedes, you’re considered well enough off.

They’re in the same price range, but that’s really not a fair comparison, because the lowest end Lincoln and the highest end Lincoln aren’t even in the same price range. But yes, their ranges overlap.

But their classes are different.

I agree it’s tough to rank without criteria.

Even if we try to rank just by social standing, we’re gonna be all over the map due to just plain old variation in opinion.

To me, the Mercedes, BMW, and Porsche are about equal with each brand emphasizing different aspects of uber-car status. Audi is a notch below them, but gaining. They are top of the heap amongst all actual prodution cars. I consider Rolls, Bentley, Ferrari, etc. to be hand-built and out of the OP’s game.

The Japanese Lexus & Inifiti are several notches down, mere gold-plated Toyotas & Nissans. They might be next in line below the Germans, but there is a huge gap.

Meanwhile, somebody else in their 20s will probably rank the Lexus / Inifiti at or well above the Audi & BMW.

There’s no way reconcile what really amounts to individual taste.

Based on what I see all day long in my Socal coastal town where every other car is a luxury make/model, here is my list. It has Ferrari maserati Rolls dealerships.

Maybach Rolls
bentley maserati lamborghini Ferrari
antique cars
tesla lotus
porche mercedes amg
BMW Audi 7 series or eqiv
all the lower starter BMW Audi mercs
Volvo Infiniti cadillac hummer
I think every other car here is a Lexus suv or BMW. I can’t rate the other American ones because they seem to be on the same level as good value cars that have a wide range of models.

I’ll give it a shot, but won’t be hurt if I’m strongly disagreed with. For mass-produced vehicles available in the USA, from top to bottom in percieved status:

Audi, BMW (+Mini), Mercedes (+Smart), Porsche

Acura, Infiniti, Lexus

SAAB, Volvo

Cadillac, Lincoln, Hummer

Buick, Chrysler, Mercury

Honda, Mazda, Toyota, Volkswagen

Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Jeep

Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford

Hyundai, Suzuki, KIA

Caveats: sorry if I’ve forgotten any, it’s very early in the morning. I’d say this list applies more to passenger cars and SUVs than light trucks. I left out Ferarri, Lamborghini and Maserati as for me they don’t really fit the ‘mass-produced’ label. Porsche, OTOH, builds quite a few cars per year.

Yes, in my mind they do seem to stratify mostly by national origin, but then there seems to be a natural tendency for competitors in specific markets to duplicate each other’s lineups.

That’s hard to do since so many have such a broad range of vehicles. You can potentially get a Ford F-150 truck that is as nice or nicer than some Cadillac cars, for example.

While I admit that I have a Continental that I love, I sometimes do feel like I should be bald and wear a Fedora. I’ve had that baby for 8 years now, and I’m only 38. Real sleeper, but I do admit to the former world view. On the other hand, the only current fogey Lincoln is the Town Car, and most of those are fleet sales these days. The MKZ is an awesome upgrade on Fusion, and I’m having a tough time picking between a Taurus SHO or an MKS as a replacement for the Continental. And the Navigator is certainly not a senior citizen car! I can see that Ford’s marketing still hasn’t been doing a good job changing the perception, apparently.

My current 2009 Expedition is much, much, much nicer than my Continental. Quite honestly, I have to think that the Expedition is the best car that I’ve ever driven in my entire life anywhere. Caveat: long term company loaner, not “mine” mine.

Im actually in advertising, and have sold Ford/Lincoln/Mercury at a complex (which also had pontiac, Buick, gmc, Honda, Toyota and Nissan) recently.

My statement comes from looking at average Lincoln purchasers and experience with thr demo charts.

My problem with Lincoln is that they’re starting to switch to front wheel drive v6’s. I don’t hate v6’s, as I just traded a v8 for one, but I refuse to ever buy a front wheel drive vehicle.

Here’s how I’d do it from a UK perspective:

BMW, Mercedes, Porsche

Audi, Saab

Volvo, Alfa Romeo

Volkswagen, Honda

Renault, Peugeot, Citroen

Seat, Ford, Vauxhall

Fiat, Skoda

Kia, Hyundai, Suzuki
Particular models of particular cars greatly influence their ‘cool factor’ however. A Ford Focus RS is far cooler (and more expensive) than a BMW 118d for example.