The question is, which are the most American vehicles on sale right now? Cars.com has answered this question with the 2020 American-Made Index.
No fewer than 91 vehicles made the list, yet companies such as Karma Automotive didn’t make the cut for obvious reasons.
If you’re curious how Cars.com got these results, the classifieds website has used information from more than 300,000 vehicles in their online inventory, the American Automobile Labeling Act, Automotive News, automakers, and in-person dealership audits. In other words, the index paints the best picture we have in regard to the Americanness of these vehicles.
As strange as it may sound, the ever-popular Ford F-150 didn’t even break the top 10. The same applies to the likes of the Jeep Gladiator, GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Silverado and Bolt EV, Buick Enclave, and Ram 1500. Having said these, let’s go through five of the highest-ranked nameplates on the list.
Ah, the Ranger! Retired in the U.S. in December 2011 because the mid-size segment wasn’t doing great at that time, the Blue Oval revived this nameplate with a few notable differences over the T6 platform that was developed in Australia for the entire world.
First and foremost, it’s the only Ranger with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost. And secondly, Ford has operated a few styling changes in order to adapt the pickup for the U.S. market. The Ranger Raptor we tested last year, however, is not available in North America.
Produced in Wayne, Michigan in the assembly plant where the all-new Bronco will also be made, the Ranger features 70 percent U.S. and Canadian parts content. Cars.com also mentions that the four-cylinder turbo and 10-speed automatic transmission feature predominantly American content as well. At the time of writing, the most affordable specification kicks off at $24,410 with rear-wheel drive (excluding freight).
Often criticized for not being a true Jeep, the Cherokee ranked second in the 2020 index even though it was the most American-made vehicle in 2019 and 2018. The compact crossover is manufactured in Belvidere, Illinois as well as Changsha, China by GAC FCA.
Underpinned by a platform that Fiat Chrysler debuted in 2010 with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, the Cherokee has a longer wheelbase than the Grand Cherokee’s first generation yet it pales in comparison to the SJ series from the 1970s and ‘80s. Despite its unibody construction, the outgoing model can handle its own off the beaten track quite well.
Even a Limited with all-wheel drive and the MultiJet turbo diesel is more than capable for light off-roading scenarios, but the cream of the crop is – of course – the Trailhawk. In addition to red-painted tow hooks and Trail Rated badging, best Cherokee out there comes with a ground clearance of 8.7 inches (22 centimeters), Selec-Terrain Traction Management, a locking rear axle, a low-range ratio, and a crawl ratio of 51.2:1.
Tesla Model S
Tesla is synonymous with electric vehicles, and despite Elon Musk’s aggressive push into China and the European Union, the Model S is the most American EV on sale today. The full-size liftback sedan is available in two specifications in the United States of America, and even the lowliest of the two accelerates to 60 mph (97 kph) in 3.7 seconds.
Capable of more than 402 miles (647 kilometers) thanks to a large battery and continuous revisions to the dual-motor powertrain and software, it’s hard to think of a better EV in this price range. Excluding potential savings, the Model S Long Range Plus starts at $75k.
Twenty grand more expensive than the base spec, the Performance defies one’s expectations with ludicrous figures such as 2.3 seconds to 60 miles per hour. The Model S will be treated to a three-motor version that Elon Musk refers to as “Plaid” sometime next year, featuring two e-motors driving the rear wheels and a third one in charge of the front axle.
Tesla Model 3
Remember how much of a hype Tesla made when the Model 3 was revealed? How about the hundreds of thousands of reservations? There’s no mistaking that the American automaker was right to launch an EV with mass-market appeal, yet the Model 3 isn’t exactly affordable.
The $35,000 version that Musk was talking about is nowhere to be seen on the U.S. configurator, leaving the Standard Range Plus as the cheapest choice at $37,990 excluding savings. The Long Range is miles ahead in every respect, yet $46,990 still is out of the reach of many.
However, Tesla didn’t develop the Model 3 to “democratize” the electric vehicle. Expecting the Palo Alto-based manufacturer to undercut the competition is wishful thinking, and there are a few reasons for that. In addition to the desirability of the T-shaped logo, industry-leading EV technology justifies the price point of the 3.
This may come as a bit of a surprise, but Honda is responsible for the fifth most-American-made car on the list. It’s not a truck, a sedan, or a sport utility vehicle, but a body style which is unfortunately falling out of favor in North America. Indeed, it’s the Odyssey minivan!
Produced in Lincoln, Alabama, the fifth generation comes standard with a J-series V6 engine which is proudly manufactured in the United States as well. Elevated to a 10-speed automatic transmission for the 2020 model year, the Odyssey rivals the Chrysler Pacifica and the now-defunct Dodge Grand Caravan in a segment that totaled 408,987 units last year.