Made in the USA: 5 of the best cars made here

  • Chevrolet

    Full of patriotic feeling after the U.S. soccer team's World Cup run and readying for the Fourth of July holiday, you may want to be sure that any car you buy is truly "Made in the USA." But in a global marketplace, that label is increasingly tricky.

    German and Japanese companies have assembly plants here, and Toyota and Honda make parts here as well. But, die-hard Made in America buyers say, profits still go back to a foreign company.

    A new made-in-America index devised by an American University professor takes into account not only parts and assembly but also where the company is based and where research and development is done. The result is higher average scores for General Motors, Ford and Chrysler Group models.

    Associate Professor Frank DuBois of American's Kogod School of Business, an expert on the global supply chain, argues that his index gives the fullest picture of an American-made vehicle.

    Indeed, his top two rankings of 2014 models, with 87.5 out of a possible 100 points, are iconic American models: the Chevrolet Corvette (pictured above) and the Ford F-150 pickup. But the Detroit companies do not totally dominate the list. The Toyota Camry is one of the highest-ranked sedans.

    Of course, shoppers want not only an American-made car but one that is stylish, comfortable and fits their needs. So we looked at five high-volume categories of vehicle for models that scored 75 or above and also ranked well in reviews compiled by U.S. News Best Cars.

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    Jerry Edgerton, author of Car Shopping Made Easy, has been covering the car beat since Detroit companies dominated the U.S. market. The former car columnist for Money magazine and Washington correspondent for Business Week, Edgerton specializes in finding the best deals on wheels and offering advice on making your car last.