IRVINE, Calif. — Kelley Blue Book reported that Hyundai upheld its No. 1 spot for brand loyalty in the third quarter on for, marking its second consecutive quarter on top.

Hyundai's brand loyalty was at 48 percent, with Toyota nearly closing in at 47.9 percent and Subaru at 45.9 percent, according to Rounding out the top-five brands for the quarter were Kia in the fourth spot at 45.3 percent and Ford in fifth at 45.2 percent.

While Hyundai continues its lead in brand loyalty, it dropped 4.4 percentage points from the previous quarter. KBB analyst attributed the decreased to cooled interest in the Sonata and Elantra models.  

For the first time since Kelley Blue Book began tracking loyalty, Honda didn’t make it into the top five, sitting in the sixth spot at 44.2 percent. Analyst attributed Honda’s absence from the top 5 to a lukewarm reception of the 2012 Civic. Honda's perceived supply issues also have influenced shopper activity in the third quarter.

While the majority of automakers still show declines in year-over-year loyalty, a quarter-over-quarter shift into the black reveals that consumers may be taking notice to seasonal blowout deals and loyalty incentive offers. Manufacturers also have released the majority of their 2012 models, potentially narrowing consumers' shopping choices as they become familiar with the options available in the marketplace.

"The latter half of the year tends to draw interest toward sport utility, crossover and other large vehicles due to weather conditions and seasonality," said Arthur Henry, market intelligence manager for “Since Hyundai's flagship vehicles are its compact and mid-size sedans, it is natural that it suffers in this regard."