Mazda's car line-up captured the "Best Car Brand" honor from U.S. News & World Report.

Automotive awards season is just about to get underway in full and U.S. News & World Report is kicking it off by unveiling its Best Brands Awards.

The magazine recognizes “brand-wide excellence” for cars, SUVs, trucks and luxury vehicles. The idea behind the honors is ultimately to help consumers buy vehicles that provide the most bang for their buck.

“Deciding where to start looking for a new car, truck or SUV can be one of the most overwhelming parts of buying a car,” says Jamie Page Deaton, managing 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.”

(Mazda gives sneak peek of Mazda6 before LA Auto Show. For more, Click Here.)

This year’s big winner for “Best Car Brand” is Mazda. The Japanese maker captured the class on the strength of the Mazda3, Mazda6 and Mazda MX-5 Miata. All three feature superior performance that “puts an emphasis on direct, sporty handling, as well as quality interiors that are more upscale than their price tags might suggest,” according to editors.

The Honda CR-V is a big reason why the company won the "Best SUV Brand" award.

Honda was named Best SUV Brand with the CR-V fast becoming the company’s top-selling model and the new HR-V dominating the sub-compact part of the market, the company’s win isn’t all tha surprising. Plus, Honda introduced a new iteration of the Pilot this year.

“Honda’s current crop of SUVs puts the brand well ahead of the pack, with the Honda HR-V, CR-V and Pilot all providing consumers with the comfort, utility and reliability that SUV and crossover buyers are looking for,” the mag said.

(Click Here for a review of the all-new 2018 Honda Accord.)

In a close race, editors noted, the Ford F-150 nabbed the Best Truck Brand award for Ford, with the F-150’s capability, safety, and high-tech features putting it over the top.

Porsche took top honors for best luxury brand. The magazine correctly notes that “many consumers think Porsche only makes sports cars,” it points out the company also produces to high-end sport-utes – Macan and Cayenne – as well as two hybrids and the four-door Panamera.

“In addition to pacesetting performance, all Porsche models indulge their occupants with opulent, driver-oriented interiors that score high marks with reviewers. It’s also one of the most reliable brands on the market,” the magazine said.

(To see details about Porsche offering a subscription service, Click Here.)

To determine the award winners, U.S. News Best Cars averaged the overall score of all the given brand’s products in each award class. The brand with the highest overall average score was named the winner in the category. The overall scores come directly from the U.S. News Best Cars rankings, which are based on a combination of the consensus of the automotive press, safety scores and reliability data.

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