For years the American auto industry ruled, and the big names (including Ford, Dodge and GMC) all made profits hand over fist. Then, the economy took a sharp nose dive and these same once prosperous automakers found themselves asking for handouts in the form of government assistance. The struggle isn’t over, but domestic brands are making something of a comeback. If you’re inspired to support the United States’ economy, but still long for an impressive ride, here are the top ten choices to consider:
The Chevy Malibu has quickly become one of the manufacturer’s “solid earners” and with good reason. Built in Kansas City, the Chevy Malibu is luring tried and true Toyota and Honda lovers back to this American-made vehicle that achieves an impressive 33 highway mpg while still looking young, modern and competitive. Expect to pay less than $20,000 for a modestly equipped 2012 Chevy Malibu.
Dodge Ram 1500
When purchasing a truck, you want the words “rugged” and “dependable” attached to the vehicle’s description and the Dodge Ram 1500 V-8 possesses those attributes. With a variety of attractive options, including lockable storage compartments and the ability to achieve a noteworthy 19-mpg highway makes supporting the USA a lot more fun.
The story of Jeep and the recent events surrounding America’s auto industry read quite the same, so it’s only fitting that one of Jeep’s perennial best sellers, the Wrangler, would be on any “best” list. This vehicle isn’t always the best choice to commute to work every morning, but don’t discount the V-6, 3.8-liter engine model, as it still provides all the rough and tumble glory that Jeep enthusiasts crave. Expect to shell out at least $22,000 for a modestly equipped 2012 Jeep Wrangler.
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
No other name is more synonymous with American-produced vehicles than the Chevrolet Camaro. The car has gone through several reincarnations, but Chevrolet has really outdone itself with its latest rendering of this classically cool sports car. Get behind the wheel of this 580 horsepower-driven vehicle and you’re guaranteed to get noticed, in New York City and anytown, USA. Start saving your pennies now to purchase a 2012 model, as it starts out at around $58,000.
Ford Fiesta ST
Ask almost anyone looking for a new vehicle and the words “fuel efficient” are probably at the top of their list. Enter the 2012 Ford Fiesta ST, which offers a fun, sporty look to impress the kids combined with the impressive fuel economy and price tag that mom and dad are after. The complete package makes purchasing a Fiesta, which is available in a well-equipped model for under $25,000, a smart choice.
Chrysler 300 SRT8
You’re a young family with a few extra bucks in the bank and are ready to make the obvious vehicle choice: anything BMW. Don’t head to the dealership just yet and instead consider the Chrysler 300 SRT8. Hidden under a luxurious hood, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover vehicle’s massive Hemi V-8 engine that delivers the right balance of speed and power.
Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8
You might groan in universal disgust with the prospect of purchasing an SUV, although not more than a decade ago they were all the rage. Luckily the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, and it’s 6.4 liter V-8 Hemi engine, are available to make the choice a little easier to swallow. Another plus is the 2012 model’s sleek makeover, which actually turns this from another Plain Jane SUV into a real powerhouse.
Ford Focus ST
The Ford Focus, with its sleek European styling, tons of extras and understated interior, has become a hit with several recent college graduates and older Americans alike. The 2012 model now features the hippest option of all, SYNC, a voice-command driven entertainment system that allows the user to phone the babysitter or scan the radio handsfree. All of this for a base price of around $17,000.
Just take a look at the Cadillac CTS’ impressive provenance and options, including a luxurious interior and 556-hp supercharged engine and purchasing the vehicle is an obvious choice for seniors and recent college graduates alike.
If you’re going to buy American, there is no other vehicle that will give you that electricity in the pit of your stomach more than the Ford Mustang, particularly the Boss 302 edition. You get to make all of your gearhead friends jealous while enjoying the vehicle’s 444-hp, massive V-8 engine. It doesn’t get better than a Mustang, truly.
Whichever vehicle you ultimately choose to purchase, domestically designed and manufactured or otherwise, do your homework and shop, shop, shop for the best deal available. Also, keep your eye out for rebates and discounts on low price fuel pumps or any other parts for your automobile, as they’re always popping up on new American-made models.
This post was written and contributed by Edson Farnell. Edson writes about various automotive topics. Many of Edson’s friends refer to him as the Auto Parts Geek.