Watch CBS News

7 of the best cars made in the USA


Amid the American flags and fireworks, the Fourth of July may make you want to be sure your next car will be made in the USA. But in this era of globalization, deciding which cars deserve that label is trickier than ever.

German and Japanese companies hire American workers who assemble cars in this country. Honda (HMC) and Toyota (TM) make parts here as well. But those profits still go home to the foreign companies.

An index calculated by an American University professor takes all those factors into account -- not only parts and assembly but where the parent company is based and where research and development is done. The result is higher rankings for cars made by General Motors (GM). Ford Motor (F) is second. Chrysler Group, part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) now, ties with Honda and Toyota for the number of vehicles in the top 10.

Frank DuBois, a professor at American University's Kogod School of Business and an expert on the global supply chain, notes that his index goes beyond the data required by the American Automotive Labeling Act, which includes both U.S. and Canadian manufacture as "American" parts for its ranking. "A vehicle's domestic manufacturing composition plays a key role in determining its overall impact on the American economy," said DuBois.

We know shoppers want not only an American-made car but one that looks good, performs well and fits their needs. So we looked at seven categories of vehicles for models that scored 75 or above (out of a possible 100) in the Kogod Made in America Auto Index and that also ranked well in reviews compiled by U.S. News Best Cars.

Click ahead for a closer look at these models.

Small car: Chevrolet Cruze


The Cruze was in the vanguard of small, relatively inexpensive cars that came with the latest comfort and technology features. Reviewers like its comfortable ride, competent handling and roomy trunk for a car its size.

Assembled in Lordstown, Ohio, the Cruze was completely redesigned for 2016 for a sleeker exterior look and more comfortable interior.

The Cruze offers a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that's rated for 30 MPG in city driving and 42 on the highway. List prices run from $16,120 to $24,370 for a fully loaded model.

Midsize sedan: Honda Accord


Despite being manufactured by a Japanese company, the Accord ranks fifth on the Kogod index, with a total domestic content of 81 percent. It's perennially one of the two best-selling sedans in the U.S. along with the Toyota Camry.

The Accord, assembled in Marysville, Ohio, has a redesigned interior for 2016 that involves high-end materials and roomy, comfortable seats. The Accord's base four-cylinder engine is rated for 27 MPG in city driving and 37 on the highway. An optional V-6 is rated 18 city, 28 highway.

The list prices range from $22,205 to $34,680.

Large car: Chevrolet Impala


The 2016 Impala, which ranks No. 4 on the Kogod index, gets a No. 1 ranking among large cars from reviewers surveyed by U.S. News. For families or other buyers, Impala gives plenty of passenger and cargo room, a smooth ride and user-friendly technology.

The base Impala four-cylinder engine is rated for 22 MPG in city driving and 31 on the highway. An optional V-6 is rated 19 city, 29 highway. List prices run from about $28,000 to about $42,000.

Impala is assembled at the GM Detroit-Hamtramck plant.

SUV: Buick Enclave


The Buick Enclave ties for first both on the Kogod index and U.S. News rankings of best large SUVs.

Reviewers like the roomy seating for up to eight passengers and the stylish interior. And if it's cargo you want to haul, the Enclave boasts 115 cubic feet of space with the second and third rows of seats folded down. The Enclave is powered by a V-6, which test drivers say generates sufficient power to go up steep hills.

The Enclave has an EPA rating of 15 MPG in city driving and 22 on the highway. List prices range from $39,065 to $49,515.

It's assembled in Delta Township, Michigan.

Minivan: Honda Odyssey

David Folks/Wieck/Honda

The Odyssey is the top-ranked minivan in the U.S. News survey and ties for eighth in the Kogod index.

As it has in prior years, the 2016 Odyssey has powerful acceleration and agile handling -- especially unusual in such a large vehicle. The Odyssey's V-6 engine also has high gas mileage ratings for this category: 19 MPG in city driving and 28 on the highway.

Test drivers report that the Odyssey seats, even in the third row, are roomy enough for adult passengers.

Standard features in the base Odyssey LX include a rearview camera and front seats with power adjustment. List prices for the Odyssey, which is assembled in Lincoln, Alabama, range from $29,400 to $44,875.

Pickup: Ford F-150


The Ford F-150 is second in Kogod index and first in U.S. News ranking of pickups. Test drivers praise the F-150 for its roomy interior and agile handling. The agility comes partly from an aluminum body that weighs less than the earlier F-150s.

That lighter weight also helps the gas mileage. The base V-6 engine rated for 18 MPG in city driving and 24 on the highway.

Reviewers say that the F-150 also has an attractive interior and a roomy back seat in the crew cab version.

Assembled in Kansas City, Missouri, the F-150 has list prices ranging from $26,540 all the way up to $62,310.

Sports car: Chevrolet Corvette


To many sports car fans, the Corvette is the quintessential all-American car. And it ranks third in the Kogod index. Test drivers love the Corvette for its exhilarating acceleration and athletic handling in both the basic Stingray and the Z-06 high performance version.

The Stingray comes with a 6.2-liter V-8 engine that produces 455 horsepower but is still rated for 17 MPG in the city, 29 on the highway.The supercharged V-8 in the Z-06 is rated for 13 city, 23 highway.

Assembled in Bowling Green, Kentucky, the Corvette also has comfortable seats and stylish interior. List prices start at $55,400 and range up to $83,400 for the Z-06.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.