Ford and General Motors are taking an axe to their lineup and eliminating of number of different cars. That’s disappointing, as many of the models made Consumer Report’s list of the best American vehicles.
While some of the models aren’t standouts, they received the highest overall score in Consumer Reports testing of American brand cars. This includes not just test drives, but also owner satisfaction scores and reliability ratings – among other things.
Subcompact Car: Chevrolet Sonic
Sonic sales figures have fallen off a cliff and a number of reports have suggested the model will eventually be dropped from the range. That hasn’t happened yet, but it could be just a matter of time.
Regardless of what occurs in the future, Consumer Reports praised the car for having a relatively comfortable ride and a standard touchscreen display. As a result, the Sonic was named the best American subcompact.
Compact Car: Chevrolet Cruze
The Chevrolet Cruze was deemed the best American compact car. That’s not too surprising as the model’s only American brand competitor is the Ford Focus which is living on borrowed time.
The Cruze is also headed for the automotive afterlife as North American production will end on March 1st. That’s bad news for customers looking for an affordable and spacious compact model which is available with a diesel engine.
Midsize Car: Ford Fusion
Speaking of ill-fated Fords, the Fusion was named the best American midsized car. It was recently updated for 2019, but it will be going away shortly as the company is shifting its focus to trucks and crossovers.
While the Fusion is a little long-in-tooth, Consumer Reports says the model has a “solid and upscale” feel as well as a “quiet, well-finished cabin.” The publication also notes the Fusion Sport is quick and comfortable, but a tad pricey.
Large Car: Chevrolet Impala
Continuing the theme of good cars getting a death sentence is the Chevrolet Impala which will cease production in the fourth quarter of this year. Billed as America’s best large sedan, the Impala has a comfortable and quiet interior with plenty of room for passengers.
Pricing starts at $28,020 and the entry-level model features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 197 hp (147 kW / 200 PS) and 191 lb-ft (258 Nm) of torque. That isn’t very much for such a large sedan, but Consumer Reports says it’s adequate.
Luxury Mid-Size Car: Cadillac XTS
Moving up the pricing ladder is the Cadillac XTS which was deemed the best American midsize luxury sedan. Described as “perfect for limo duty,” the XTS is a holdover from Cadillac’s past as a purveyor of large front-wheel drive sedans.
Sales actually climbed last year, but production will end in the fourth quarter as GM is idling the Oshawa Assembly Plant in Canada.
Sports Car: Chevrolet Corvette
The Corvette isn’t getting killed, but a redesigned model will be introduced later this year. The sports car’s C8 replacement promises to be a huge improvement over its predecessor as it will feature a mid-mounted engine and a more aggressive design.
While the current model is going away, Consumer Reports says the C7 is the best American sports car despite a “vague manual shifter” as well as roaring tire noise.
Compact SUV: Ford Escape
Speaking of models getting a full design, the Ford Escape was named the best compact crossover, despite dating back to 2012. The redesigned model will be introduced later this year and previous teaser images have suggested the crossover will have sportier styling and an optional hybrid powertrain.
As for the current model, Consumer Reports says the Escape has impressive handling, a controlled ride and a quiet cabin.
Mid-Size SUV Ford Edge
Switch gearings, the Ford Edge was determined to be the best American midsize crossover. Recently updated for 2019, the Edge is now available with a twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 engine that produces 335 hp (250 kW / 340 PS) and 380 lb-ft (514 Nm) of torque.
While the Edge ST is a tad expensive, all models were praised for having a spacious and comfortable interior as well as a luxurious ride.
Large SUV: Chevrolet Suburban
The Suburban beat out the newer Ford Expedition to win bragging rights as America’s best large SUV. That’s an impressive feat and things could improve when the redesigned model is introduced later this year or early next year.
Little is known about the 2020 model at this point, but it will have an independent rear suspension which should improve ride comfort. Engine options are expected to carryover from the 2019 Silverado and could even include the new turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder that produces 310 hp (231 kW / 314 PS) and 348 lb-ft (472 Nm) of torque.
Luxury SUV: Buick Envision
Built in China, the Buick Envision seems like an odd choice for the best American luxury crossover. The title becomes even more muddied when you consider the Envision was slammed for having clumsy handling, pronounced wind noise and a ride that’s described as “both soft and unsettled at the same time.”
That doesn’t exactly sound like a winning combination, but the model does has a nice interior and a spacious rear seat.
Compact EV: Chevrolet Bolt
The Bolt might not have the same cult following as the Tesla Model 3, but the electric hatchback was named the best American compact electric car. Featuring an impressive range of 238 miles (383 km), the Bolt starts at just $29,995 after the full $7,500 tax credit is applied.
Despite affordable pricing and a decent range, the picture isn’t entirely rosy. Consumer Reports says the ride can be a little choppy and the interior feels pretty cheap. The controls were also knocked for being unintuitive, while the driver’s seat was criticized for lacking lower-back support.
Ultra Luxury Car: Tesla Model S
While the Bolt might have edged out the Tesla Model 3, the Model S won the honor of best American ultra-luxury car. This isn’t too surprising as car doesn’t have much competition from American automakers.
Regardless, the Model S was praised for having thrilling acceleration, pinpoint handling and a “firm yet comfortable ride.”
Minivan: Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
The fact that the FCA won the award for best minivan isn’t a surprise as the company is the only American automaker still producing them. It’s also not too surprising that the Pacifica was given the nod over the aging Dodge Grand Caravan.
Despite having no direct competition from domestic rivals, the Pacifica stands out for its comfortable ride, responsive handling and quiet cabin. Throwing in a plug-in hybrid powertrain is just the icing on the cake.
Pickup Trucks: Ford F-150
The best-selling vehicle is America also happens to be the best American pickup. While the Ford F-150 is facing newer competitors, in the form of the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and Ram 1500, the truck managed to hold onto the top spot.
Consumer Reports says the F-150 offers a good engine lineup and “commendable” fuel economy ratings. While the ride is described as “stiff and jittery,” the truck was praised for having a quiet cabin.