Chevy Corvette, Ford F-150 Named Among 10 Most American Cars of 2017

American University has released its regular list of the cars and trucks with the most 'Mericuh in their veins.

Ford, GM

As it has regularly since 2013, American University in Washington, D.C. has compiled a list of the most American cars of 2017. According to their website, the Kogod School of Business's  2017 Made in America Auto Index is designed to parse through the data and determine what vehicles deserve to be considered the most patriotic (or at least domestically-rooted) of all. 

So what makes a car American? Isn’t is an American car if it has an American badge on it? Not exactly, according to AU. To rank cars by how American they are, American University used the following criteria:

  • Profit margin - This is where American manufacturers have an advantage. If the brand’s global headquarters is in the U.S., they automatically get points.
  • Labor - If the car was assembled in the US, it gets points.
  • Research and Development - This looks at where the car was researched, developed, designed, etc. For example, if a car was designed in Japan, but built in the U.S., it gets some points, but not as many as a car that’s both designed and built in the US.
  • Inventory, Capital, and Other Expenses - This category is a little redundant. It gives a car more points for being assembled in the U.S.
  • Engine - If the engine is made in the U.S., the car gets a bunch of America points.
  • Transmission - Same deal as the engine, but with fewer points.
  • Body, Chassis, and Electrical Components - This factors in the AALA (American Automotive Labeling Act) percentage to determine the car’s final score.

As a big asterisk to all of this, the American-but-not-really brands of Fiat Chrysler get half credit in the profit margin and R&D categories for being a half-American company incorporated in the Netherlands. If you want to see the full list, you can check it out here. Here are the top 10 (with lots of ties):

1) Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia

The GM crossover triplets are built at the Lansing Delta Township Assembly in Michigan. They’ve been manufactured in the U.S. for the entirety of their production since the 2009 model year.

2) Ford F-150

Among the most American vehicles in spirit, these iconic pickups coming in at second place are built in Missouri and Michigan.

3) Chevrolet Corvette (automatic transmission)

All Corvettes are built in Bowling Green, Kentucky, but the GM automatic transmissions are more American than the Tremec manuals. No matter how patriotic you are, we still recommend the manual which is in 14th place on this list.

4) Jeep Wrangler Rubicon/Unlimited Big Bear/Limited Sport

Apparently, not all JK Wranglers are created equal. Built in Toledo, Ohio, different trim levels presumably have different bits that scatter them all over this list. (The Rubicon is the one you want, anyway.)

5) Jeep Wrangler Sport, Ford Expedition

The Wrangler Sport is built in Toledo, and the Ford Expedition is related to the F-150., but built in Louisville, Kentucky.

6) Lincoln Navigator, Ford Taurus

The Navigator is built at the same Louisville plant as the Expedition and the aging Taurus sedan is built in Chicago, Illinois.

7) Cadillac ATS Sedan AWD / CT6 Platinum AWD, Chevrolet Colorado 4WD Z71 Crew Cab

The Cadillac ATS is built at the Lansing Grand River Assembly plant in Michigan, while the CT6 is built at the Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly plant. (Presumably, the AWD components make these luxury cars more American than their RWD counterparts.) The Colorado Z71 is built in Wentzville, Missouri.

8) Jeep Cherokee

The popular Jeep Cherokee (KL) crossover is built in Toledo, Ohio and Belvidere, Illinois.

9) Honda CR-V AWD LX / Ridgeline / Pilot, Acura RDX, Kia Optima, Toyota Camry

Tied for ninth place, we have a whole lot of “imports.” The Hondas and the Acura are built in Lincoln, Alabama, Greensburg, Indiana, and East Liberty, Ohio. The Kia Optima is built in West Point, Georgia and the Toyota Camry is assembled in Georgetown, Kentucky. Next time a Chevy or Ram fanboy makes fun of your Alabama-built Ridgeline, kindly point out that it’s more American than a Silverado or any Ram truck.

10) Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Malibu LTD Hybrid

The Ford Explorer is built in the same Chicago factory as the Taurus. For the environmentally conscious patriot, the Kansas City, Kansas-built Chevy Malibu LTD Hybrid is the most American hybrid in the US.