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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gm bailed out chrysler in the 30s and caddy bailed out ford in 50 or51 and the government bailed out chrysler again in the 80s and the government bailed out gm and chrysler in 2008
more fords are built off shore so all is even i think
@Lyons: IF is a very big word. And like I've been saying: The bottom line is, they didn't.
GM and Dodge went through the same exact audit, except that their books all were in the RED. Ford's were still in the BLACK. You have to remember Lyons, GM got to the point that they couldn't make payroll, yet they were STILL, up to the week of the bailout, pumping millions into the pockets of Mike H and NASCAR, which is NOT helping them sell cars anymore. Dodge cut their spending down, but too little too late. Ford had slashed ALL spending (Except for the 3 teams in Cup), the year before, because they saw their numbers were getting hurt.
Ford was being responsible while GM and Dodge were driving towards the bankruptcy cliff.
@,Phulk, I would have felt the same way. If the Republican party had bailed out GM or Dodge, I'd feel the same way. I have NO respect for someone (or any company) that feels too tall to fail, then when they fall, grovels back to the gov't, to save themselves...
Sorry everyone here...
yes he did say that but only after an exhaustive audit of the company and its assets they made it by by the skin of their teeth and if they would have needed it they would have taken it and you would be driving a toyota because you would just not be able to morally drive a ford anymore. your values are impeccable. hats off.
Bottom line: Unions cost Ford, Dodge and Chevy on average $1500.00 more per car to produce. Toyota spends far more on R&D and actually produces cars in america. When the domestics finally understand that and kick the unions out, they'll be far more competitive in the future. But for now, the liberals want their unions.
Flea, there are NO guarantees in life. I'm not saying that Ford couldn't get into the same boat as GM or Chrysler. It COULD have happened...
But the bottom line is, Ford got STRONGER in a sales surge right after GM and Dodge got bailed out. That is FACT. Fact also is, Ford continues to build momentum both in customer base, as well as products being sold.
And it has been done WITHOUT BAILOUT MONEY!!! (At least for the moment).