How American can a vehicle be?

Each year, the American University’s Kogod School of Business conducts a survey of the automotive industry. The D.C.-based school maps out the most American-made vehicles, regardless of their brand. Seven key criteria are used in determining the rankings, but it comes down to the percentage of American and Canadian parts used and location of the vehicles’ assembly, research and development, and corporate headquarters.

Though Kogod’s inclusive survey ranks every vehicle sold in the U.S., we’re focusing on the top 10. Much of the list hasn’t changed over 2016, but there are a few additions and missing models. An update in scoring for 2017 allows half-points for automakers (FCA, in particular) that have headquarters in multiple countries. As such, the Jeep Wrangler joins the list, despite the vehicle itself not changing. For a full explanation of the points system, check out Kogod’s website. To skip to the Top 10 most American vehicles, keep reading here on

Continue reading for the Top 10 Most American Built Vehicles.

Cadillac ATS

2015 Cadillac ATS Sedan High Resolution Exterior
- image 559232

The ATS might not be the sales junkie Cadillac hoped for, but though wanting a mid-sized premium American sedan should look no further. The sedan comes with four- and six-cylinder engine options, including the impressive 3.6-liter twin-turbo V-6 in the ATS-V. However, the ATS with the most points in the Kogod survey is the AWD version.

2.0L Turbo DI VVT 2.5L I-4 DI VVT 3.6L V-6 DI VVT
Displacement (cu in / cc): 122 / 1998 150 / 2457 217 / 3564
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 3.39 x 3.39 / 86 x 86 3.46 x 3.97 / 88 x 101 3.7 x 3.37 / 94 x 85.6
Block material: cast aluminum cast aluminum cast aluminum
Cylinder head material: cast aluminum cast aluminum cast aluminum
Valvetrain: DOHC, four-valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing DOHC, four valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing DOHC, four valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing
Fuel delivery: direct high-pressure fuel injection direct high-pressure fuel injection direct high-pressure fuel injection
Compression ratio: 9.5:1 11.3:1 11.5:1
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 272 / 203 @ 5500 (SAE certified) 202 / 151 @ 6300 (SAE certified) 321 / 239 @ 6800 (gas – SAE certified)
Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm): 295 / 400 @ 3000-4600 (SAE certified) 191 / 259 @ 4400 (SAE certified) 275 / 373 @ 4800 (gas – SAE certified)
Recommended fuel: premium recommended but not required regular unleaded regular unleaded or E85
Maximum engine speed (rpm): 7000 7000 7200
EPA-estimated fuel economy (city / hwy): 21 / 31 (auto – RWD)
19 / 30 (man – RWD)
20 / 30 (auto – AWD)
22 / 33 19 / 28 (RWD)
18 / 26 (AWD)

Read the full review here.

Ford Taurus

2014 Ford Taurus High Resolution Exterior
- image 524403

Ah, the humble Ford Taurus. This cop car in disguise is Ford’s best-selling sedan and its most American made. The four-door sedan can be had with a 3.5-liter V-6 making 288 horsepower or the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder making 240 horses. Believe it or not, Ford still makes the Taurus SHO – a performance-themed variant with the venerable 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 making 365 horsepower. FWD is standard on all but the SHOW, and AWD is optional on the base V-6.

Type 3.5-liter DOHC Ti-VCT V6 2.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost I-4
Manufacturing location Lima Engine Plant, Lima, Ohio Valencia Engine Plant, Valencia, Spain
Configuration Aluminum block and head Aluminum block and head
Horsepower 288 @ 6,500 rpm 240 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque 254 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm 270 lb.-ft. @ 3,000 rpm
Layout Front-wheel or all-wheel drive Front-wheel drive
Transmission Six-speed SelectShift® automatic, 6F50 Six-speed SelectShift automatic, 6F35

Read the full review here.

Lincoln Navigator

2015 Lincoln Navigator High Resolution Exterior
- image 539485

Sadly, this is the 2017 Navigator and not the all-new 2018 model scheduled for release this fall. The updated Navi’ is definitely worth the wait, but for those needing a body-on-frame luxury SUV that slightly out-ranks the Cadillac Escalade in terms of its American roots, the 2017 Lincoln is the one to get. Then again, the less luxurious Ford Expedition also makes this list, so skipping the luxury badge can save some coin. Those set on the Lincoln will get the familiar 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 with its 380 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is standard, as is RWD. 4WD is optional.

Engine 3.5-Liter Twin-Turbo GDTI V-6
Transmission Six-Speed Automatic w/ SelectShift
Horsepower 380 @ 5,250 RPM
Torque 460 LB-FT @ 2,750 RPM
Fuel System Direct Injection
Compression Ratio 10:1
Driveline 2WD Standard / 4WD Optional
Fuel Economy 15 CTY/21 HWY/17 CMB

Read the full review here.

Ford Expedition

2015 Ford Expedition High Resolution Exterior
- image 542821

It comes as no surprise the Ford Expedition follows the Lincoln Navigator on this list. The two are basically one in the same, with all but minor bodywork and interior trim separating the two. The Expedition is more down-market than the Navigator, but is still pricy. And like the Lincoln, the Expedition can be had in two wheelbase lengths. Regardless, the Ford is powered by the same 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 and six-speed automatic. The Expedition’s twin-turbo mill is a bit down on power, however, making “only” 365 horsepower. RWD is standard, of course, and 4WD is optional.

Engine 3.5-Liter EcoBoost V-6 W/ Ti-VCT
Transmission Six-Speed Automatic w/ SelectShift
Horsepower 365 @ 5,000 RPM
Torque 420 LB-FT @ 2,250
Fuel System Direct Injection
Compression Ratio 10.0:1
Driveline 2WD Standard / 4WD Optional
Fuel Economy 15 CTY/ 19 HWY / 16 CMB

Read the full review here.

Jeep Wrangler

2017 Jeep Wrangler
- image 719967

As mentioned in the intro, the Jeep Wrangler is new to the Kogod survey for 2017 despite nary a change in the Jeep. Kogod explains the Jeep’s rising position as a result of an update to the survey’s criteria. See, one of the seven criteria focuses on the headquarters’ location, with a maximum of six points awarded for a U.S. company. (Kogod calculates six percent of a vehicle’s sales price is corporate profit.) However, FCA is headquartered in Michigan and Italy, with a financial branch in London. As such, Kogod awarded three points to FCA this year.

The all-American Wrangler is built in Ohio, just as it has been since WWII. It’s powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 making 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. 4WD is standard, of course, but different trim levels receive different gearing, axles, and differential options. The Rubicon is the off-roader’s choice. Both two-door Wrangler and four-door Wrangler Unlimited models are offered.

Engine ERB 3.6-Liter V-6
Transmission Five-Speed Auto w/ OD
Horsepower 285@ 6,400 RPM
Torque 260 LB-FT @ 4,800 RPM
Fuel System Sequential Multi-Port Injection
Compression Ration] TBA
Driveline 4WD Standard
Fuel Economy 16 CTY / 20 HWY / 18 CMB

Read the full review here.

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2014 - 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray High Resolution Exterior
- image 526932

Apple Pie, baseball, and Chevrolet – it’s hard to get more American than that. And while the seventh-generation Corvette takes heavy influences from European supercars, this RWD, V-8-powered coupe and convertible is as blue-blooded as it gets. There is one catch to the Corvette’s pole position – it must be equipped with the eight-speed automatic transmission. The seven-speed manual is built in Mexico by Tremec, a Mexican-owned company.

Displacement 6.2-liters
Bore & stroke 4.06 in. x 3.62 in.
Block material Cast aluminum
Cylinder head material Cast aluminum
Valvetrain Overhead valve, two valves per cylinder
Fuel delivery Direct injection
Compression ratio 11.5:1
Horsepower 455 (460 with perf. exhaust)
Torque (lb-ft) 460 (465 with perf. exhaust)
Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined) (7-Speed Manual) 17 mpg/28-30 mpg/TBA
Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined) (8-Speed Auto) 16/29/20

Read the full review here.

Ford F-150

2017 Ford F-150 High Resolution Exterior
- image 682102

Wait, did I already used the “apple pie and baseball” line? Well, the Ford F-150 is just as deserving of such Americana thanks to its incredible history and astonishing 40-year streak of top sales in the full-size pickup category. Interestingly enough, the F-150 is the only pickup to make Kogod’s top 10, easily surpassing the Mexican-built Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 1500. And despite the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan both being engineered and built inside the U.S., both automakers have corporate headquarters outside the U.S..

The F-150 offers more cab, bed, engine, drivetrain, trim, and option combinations than any other vehicle, perhaps in the world. A mid-cycle refresh is coming for 2018, but don’t expect the F-150 to fall of the list anytime soon.

Engine 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 3.5-Liter EcoBoost V-6 3.5-Liter Ti-VCT V-6 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V-8 H.O. 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6
Transmission Six-Speed 10-Speed Six-Speed Six-Speed 10-Speed
Horsepower 325 @ 5,750 375 @ 5,000 282 @ 6,250 385 @ 5,750 450 @ 5,000
Torque 375 @ 3,000 470 @ 3,500 253 @ 4,250 387 @ 3,850 510 @ 3,500
Fuel System H.P. Direct Injection HPDI & LP Port Injection Sequential Port Injection Sequential Port Injection HPDI & LP Port Injection
Compression Ratio 10:1 10.5:1 10.8:1 10.5:1 10:1
Fuel Economy 19\26\22 18\25\21 18\24\20 15\22\18 15\18\16

Read the full review here.

GMC Acadia

2017 GMC Acadia High Resolution Exterior
- image 661720

The Acadia is all-new for 2017 and reviews have been quite positive. The slightly smaller and much lighter 2017 Acadia packs more technology and a wider choice of drivetrain options than before, while looking far more attractive. Choices include the base, 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 193 horsepower and a 3.6-liter V-6 with 310 horsepower. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission choice. The standard option is FWD, but AWD can be had. An All-Terrain trim furthers the Acadia’s off-roading capability with a more rugged, twin-clutch transfer case. And despite a vast possibility of final sores in the Kogard survey, the Acadia tied with two other General Motors SUVs, which also appear in this list.

Engine 3.6L V-6 SIDI (LLT)
Displacement (cu in / cc): 217 / 3564
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 3.70 x 3.37 / 94 x 85.6
Block material: aluminum
Cylinder head material: aluminum
Valvetrain: DOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing
Fuel delivery: direct injection
Compression ratio: 11.3:1
Horsepower (hp / kW) @ rpm: 288 / 215 @ 6300
Torque (lb-ft / Nm) @ rpm: 270 / 365 @ 3400
Recommended fuel: regular unleaded
Max. engine speed (rpm): 6700
Emissions controls: dual close-coupled converters; two pre- and two post-oxygen sensors
EPA-estimated fuel economy (city / hwy): 17 / 24 (FWD)
16 / 23 (AWD)

Read the full review here.

Chevrolet Traverse

2013 - 2014 Chevrolet Traverse High Resolution Exterior
- image 445821
2013 Chevrolet Traverse

The humble 2017 Chevrolet Traverse is the budget-friendly, unibody answer to the more expensive, thirstier, and body-on-frame Chevy Suburban. Unchanged since the 2014 model year, the Traverse continues to offer three rows of seating for a maximum passenger count of eight. Power comes from an older version of the 3.6-liter V-6, which makes 281 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. FWD is standard and AWD is optional. Like the GMC Acadia did for 2017, the Traverse is moving into its next generation for the 2018 model year. The new model is definitely worth the wait thanks to its vastly improved in-dash technology and upgraded aesthetics. We’ll have to see how the generational jump affects the Traverse’s second-place finish in Kogod’s survey, however.

Engine 3.6-Liter V-6
Transmission Six-Speed Automatic
Horsepower 281 @ 6,300 RPM
Torque 266 @ 3,400 RPM
Fuel System Direct Injection
Compression Ratio TBA
Fuel Economy 15 CTY \ 22 HWY \ 18 CMB

Read the full review here.

Buick Enclave

2014 Buick Enclave High Resolution Exterior
- image 515030

Ah, the grandfatherly Buick Enclave – a staple at local golf courses and all-you-can eat buffets. It doesn’t take a sharp eye to spot the badge-engineering all over the Enclave’s bubblicious body. Yes, the Enclave is nothing more than a gussied-up Chevy Traverse. The two ride on the same platform powered by the same V-6 engine. Thankfully, the next-generation Enclave is getting the same welcomed updates from the 2018 Traverse. But while it lasts, the 2017 Enclave is the most American-built vehicle sold in the ole U.S. of A., ranking equally with the Traverse, but proceeding the Chevy alphabetically. While we’d definitely wait until the next-generation Enclave debuted, the current model does offer plenty of room for eight, while offering niceties like AWD and a 4,500-pound towing capacity.

Engine 3.6L V6 with stop/start technology
Horsepower 302 HP @ 6,800 RPM
Torque 260 LB-FT @ 2,800 RPM
Buick-estimated fuel economy (city / hwy / comb): 17/25/20 (FWD)
17/24/19 (AWD)
Buick-estimated 0-60 mph (seconds) 7.2 (FWD)
7.5 (AWD)
Transmission Hydra-Matic 9T65 Nine Speed Automatic

Read the full review here.

What’s your favorite vehicle on this list? Let us know in the comments below.

Hat-tip to AutoBlog

Source: American University

Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read full bio
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: