Elite 8 American Cars
What is the best American-made automobile? You choose by picking from these 8 players. Game on!
To the true sports fan, no other annual event is like March Madness. The 64 best college basketball teams in the United States compete in venues countrywide in a single, head-to-head, lose-one-and-you-are-done elimination tournament to determine a national champion. It's intense, on and off the court. In 2012, the competition has been fierce, and there have been a number of serious upsets.
Unfortunately, domestic automakers have no such tournament to decide the best vehicle to come out of the Motor City. So in honor of the NCAA tournament's Elite Eight weekend, we've decided to pit our eight domestic favorites head-to-head and let you choose which is the best of the best from Chrysler, Ford and General Motors. These vehicles all deliver excellent value, satisfying driving dynamics and the utility their buyers need.
After you check out the candidates, go to the MSN Autos Poll at the bottom of any page to vote for your favorite.
Luxury: Cadillac CTS
The Cadillac CTS is the worthy competitor in this class, the best among a clutch of unworthy rivals. We certainly like the Chrysler 300, but it straddles the line between standard and luxury. The CTS offers plenty of power, athletic moves and a roomy and high-quality interior. It stands out as an elegant yet sporty midsize car that is a credible rival for a cadre of European cars that are among the best in the world. The high-performance Cadillac CTS-V can go toe-to-toe with heavyweights such as the BMW M3 and Mercedes AMG. Too bad no other U.S. automaker competes as well with those cars. We're looking at you, Lincoln.
Passenger Car: Ford Fusion
It wasn't too long ago that no domestic midsize sedan was competitive with the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. Thanks to refinements made for the 2010 model year, the Ford Fusion is one of the better family sedans on the market. It offers a quality interior, pleasant road manners, a fuel-efficient 4-cylinder base engine and a powerful V6 option. The Fusion beats out the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu because the Malibu is offered only as a mild hybrid. The Malibu may surpass the current Fusion when two more engines are added this summer, but the next Fusion, due late this year, looks like a great leap forward.
Sports Car: Chevrolet Corvette
Until the Viper returns later this year, this time as an SRT model instead of as a Dodge, the Corvette has no domestic sports-car competition. Still, no list of the best American cars is complete without the Corvette. It offers performance to meet or beat its European and Japanese rivals at prices that are often tens of thousand of dollars less. Even in base trim, the Corvette is an elite performer, but we prefer the beefier brakes, firmer suspension and larger tires you get with the Grand Sport, which starts at $56,000 for the coupe and $59,600 for the convertible.
Pony Car/Sports Coupe: Ford Mustang
Until recently, the Mustang was sitting there, an easy target. Yet when Dodge and Chevrolet developed pony cars of their own, they couldn't match it. It weighs 300 pounds less than the Challenger and 200 pounds less than the Camaro, making it more agile through corners and more fun to drive overall. Its 5.0-liter V8 engine also revs more willingly than the other cars' V8s, so its power is more accessible. For 2013, Ford makes the Mustang even better by tuning the steering for sharper responses and giving the GT trim eight more horsepower. Our favorite Mustang is the Boss 302. It is practically track-ready, yet it still rides well enough to be used as a daily driver.
Vote for the best American car in the MSN Autos Poll, located under Related Content below.
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I just was at a National Mustang show. The Ford rep lied about the China made manual six speed problems and the 5.0 engine problems. If Ford keeps lying to their customers, the Camaro and Challanger will keep out selling the Mustang and Ford will continue to anger customers.
I had the misfortune of renting a 2011 Chevy Malibu from Hertz with 32k miles and the thing was an absolute piece of junk. It had a reasonably good ride but the handling, fit and finish were pretty poor. There was distortion around the window edges that gave me a headache. The suspension is like something out of a mid-70's Buick. The feedback through the steering is vague and I haven't been able to find a good seating position. The Ford Focus I rented last month was much better even though its a lower valued rental.
I have no allegiance to any particular car brand. Hyundai has come a long way from the early 80's. I think they may be one to watch. I think some of you confuse brand loyalty with patriotism. Just because you drive a foreign built car doesn't mean you're any less patriotic than a driver of a domestic car. George Washington used French made cannons to fight the British. Would you have rather him wait until a foundry was available to cast his own cannons? The most patriotic thing to do is find a car you really like and enjoy it. Those who ascribe patriotic virtues to those who buy American cars are the people Patrick Henry warned us about when he mentioned "summer soldiers and sunshine patriots".
I have always been partial to the Corvette but it is fincancially out of my price
range. I have owned a 1985 camaro wish I never sold it(bought new) it was a
real performer after modifying to a Banks exhaust system. I also owned a 96
Camaro Rs which with the V6 was a better performer than my 2003 Mustang
V6 with true dual exhaust.. Mustang is a good car overall but wish I could have
found a GT I wanted there were very few used ones available, one I liked same
price as my V6 had 25 thou more miles.
@Arizona, are you high???
Think back 2 years ago, and rethink your post. GM and Dodge got bail out money from Nobama's boys, NOT Bush's. And even if what you posted was true (which it isn't), Nobama STILL approved the bailout. And this was ALL done under Nobama's watch...
So, I ask you again, WHERE'S OUR BAILOUT???
If you can provide a FACTUAL link to Bush DIRECTLY bailing out GM and Dodge, I will be happy to pull my posts, but if you can't, maybe you should think before you post...