Many car shoppers want to choose an American car, whether it is to maintain brand loyalty or to put their payments toward stimulating the national economy. Thing is, defining “American” has become increasingly difficult in this global market.
The good news for car-buying patriots is that American-made products are available from most mainstream brands. Of course, many models from traditional American nameplates are imported, especially from Canada and Mexico.
For this list, we focused on the vehicles that scored highest in our road tests that are built in the USA—meaning assembled in the lower 48 states. Further, we emphasized choices that use domestic engines and transmissions. A couple models here stretched the rules a little since some powertrain components may come from elsewhere.
Embarrassingly, perhaps, it’s easier to find great all-American cars that have Japanese nameplates than Detroit labels. Here are 10 really good cars and SUVs made in the USA. Listed by vehicle type.
Base MSRP price range: $54, 000 - $83, 000
Built in Bowling Green, Kentucky, since the 1980s, “America’s Sports Car” moved into its seventh generation for 2014. With its 460-hp V8, the newest Vette delivers ferocious acceleration, precise handling, and excellent braking, all for thousands less than such high-performance competitors as the Porsche 911. With the adjustable driving modes the car can be a civilized cruiser or track-ready race car. While the seven-speed manual gearbox is made in Mexico, the new eight-speed automatic is a GM design made in Toledo, Ohio.
Base MSRP price range: $30, 995 - $43, 935
One of the better three-row SUVs, the quiet and comfortable Traverse seats up to eight, handles with agility, and has a steady ride. A recent freshening brought the better MyLink infotainment system and head restraints. Handling is relatively agile and secure, and the Traverse steers nicely. The Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia are close cousins. The Traverse is assembled in Lansing, Mich., with a V6 and a six-speed transmission also made in Michigan.