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If Cars Ran for President...

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Many politicians feel the need to stretch the truth. It's nothing personal, they have to do it. The liberals have to appear a little more conservative and the conservatives have to appear a little more liberal - all in the name of getting votes. But what's the one thing we really want from our presidential candidates? Honesty, right? From the campaign trail to the White House, we just want someone who will tell the truth. We want our elected officials and candidates to say what they mean and mean what they say.

We want the same thing from the cars we buy, especially while we're shopping. We don't want Toyota to be presented as a high-dollar, ultra-exotic brand, nor do we want Lamborghini to be portrayed as affordable. That would be silly, and no one would believe it.

When we vote and when we buy, we want to know exactly what we're getting. Like some politicians, a few automakers are better than others when it comes to sticking to their word. Here are a few that are tops when it comes to brand integrity:

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Auto Brands with the Most Integrity
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BMW
BMW's "platform" is "The Ultimate Driving Machine." Sure, there's a little hyperbole in there, but when you get behind the wheel of a BMW, you know what you're getting based on the company's slogan - and they really deliver. BMWs are not robots or computers with wheels; they are machines that are meant to be driven. The redesigned 2012 BMW 335i is a perfect example. It functions nicely as transportation, but it also has that extra edge a real enthusiast wants. The steering is quick, the engine is powerful and the car looks aggressive, even when parked.

Buick
Buick stands for attainable and inclusive luxury. The new 2013 Enclave has a comfortable and stylish interior and, thanks to a revised suspension and an improvement in noise reduction, should be quieter than ever. The Enclave isn't trying to be the pinnacle of luxury, and the prices reflect that. The base price for an Enclave is less than $40,000. 18-inch wheels are standard, there's plenty of storage space behind the third row, and the 288-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 is incredibly smooth.

Mazda
Mazda is a great example of a brand that knows what it is, and doesn't pretend to be anything else. The catchphrase "Zoom-Zoom" might seem a little dated, but it really lets you know where Mazda's head is when it comes to building cars. As expected, the compact and sporty Mazda3 embodies Zoom-Zoom in spades. The real surprise is that the company's SUVs have that spirit, too. This is particularly true of Mazda's compact CX-5 SUV. Like other compact SUVs, the CX-5 is affordable and has a decent amount of cargo space. However, the Mazda CX-5 adds a little something extra. The CX-5's tough little look and sport sedan handling easily outclass other compact SUVs. Plus, the Mazda CX-5 with a manual transmission earns an EPA estimate of 26 mpg city /35 mpg highway.

Porsche
Porsche is a brand that's totally honest about itself. Sure, the old "There is No Substitute" tagline was a little cocky, but you still got the idea. Today, Porsche is like that girl in high school everyone was in love with. You wanted to believe she wasn't worth the trouble, and yet everyone who knew her tells a different story. They can't forget her, and neither can you. That's what it's like to drive a Porsche - and everyone knows it. Porsche sticks to the proven formula of building cars that are efficient, fun and a little exclusive. No car more perfectly embodies this than the new 2013 911 Carrera S, and I expect the same from the upcoming Porsche Macan.

So here's hoping this election season is filled with truth, honesty and everyone meaning what they say. But even if you don't get if from the candidates, you'll surely get it from one of these cars.