Buying American is a priority for many car buyers. To help them choose a great car, Consumer Reports annually compiles a list of American Top Picks, highlighting exceptional models. These are the top-scoring domestic-branded cars—based on a composite of road test score, reliability, safety, and owner satisfaction—across 10 popular categories. (Learn more about our Overall Score.)
We need to get an important footnote out of the way: Because the automobile industry is global, many cars are manufactured in countries far from their corporate headquarters. It doesn’t make things easier that Chrysler is owned by Italy’s Fiat. Therefore, for simplicity’s sake, we have defined an “American” car as one coming from the three traditional domestic manufacturers: Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors. To help gauge its patriotic pedigree, we have also listed where each vehicle is built and its percentage of North American content.
Thanks to reinvigorated competitiveness, buying American doesn’t require sacrificing quality—far from it. Two cars on this list—the Chevrolet Impala and Ford F-150—also show up on Consumer Reports’ official Top Picks list. They’re the prime choices in their respective categories, besting all global competition.
The American Top Picks list also shows Ford’s strength in building refined, fun-to-drive cars. Many also benefit from improving reliability as Ford works out their bugs. But the list also reveals that some weak spots still exist among the domestic manufacturers.