Made in USA: 5 Great American Cars Made Here

Last Updated Jul 8, 2011 12:33 PM EDT

We all love the fireworks and patriotic hoopla on the Fourth of July. But if you are thinking about a new car, buying one made in America is an even more patriotic way to celebrate -- helping to keep good manufacturing jobs in this country.

It is hard to know, however, what is really American-made; cars assembled here often have at least some parts made elsewhere. And U.S. companies based in Detroit assemble some models in other countries -- principally Canada and Mexico.

Just in time for America's birthday, the automotive web site has calculated what are the most American vehicles, based on the percentage of parts made domestically and the assembly location. To qualify for the list, a vehicle must have at least 75% of its parts made in the U.S. But here's the rub: With many factories in this country, overseas automakers score five of the top 10 American-made spots: The Toyota Camry and Honda Accord come in at No. 1 and No. 2. The other foreign-company models on the list are minivans Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna and pickup Toyota Tundra.

Based on the responses to my story last year, it seems patriotic purchasers want their dollars going to an American company. So we are concentrating here on five models from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. Chrysler might be debatable these days as an American company, since it is majority-controlled by Italian automaker Fiat. But since the U.S. government rescued Chrysler and still owns a sizable stake, we are declaring Chrysler still an American company.

Here are details and prices on the five models on the made-American list from Detroit companies.

Next: Ford Escape

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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.