As it turns out, one of the most iconic vehicles is currently one of the most American vehicles if you're judging by where its parts come from and where it's built. Cars.com's American-Made Index (AMI) ranks vehicles by how American their parts and assembly are. There are 4 factors they use in their ranking, which consists of light-duty vehicles.
- Domestic parts content
- US sourcing for engines and transmissions
- US jobs supported per vehicle
- Factory location
Of the top 10 vehicles in the AMI ranking, 2 are Jeeps, 4 are Honda/Acuras, 3 are Fords and 1 is a GMC.
- Jeep Wrangler
- Jeep Cherokee
- Ford Taurus
- Honda Ridgeline
- Acura RDX
- Ford F-150
- Ford Expedition
- GMC Acadia
- Honda Odyssey
- Honda Pilot
Jeep claims the top two spots with two vehicles, the Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee, consisting of about 75% America-sourced parts. The Wrangler and Cherokee are also built in Toledo, Ohio, US. All engines offered for these two SUVs are sourced from the US and nearly all the available transmission are as well, says Cars.com.
While the Wrangler takes top honors for American-ness, it's worth noting that four, that's 4, Honda vehicles made it into the top 10. They are the Ridgeline, Pilot, Odyssey and RDX (Acura, a Honda brand). Needless to say, these are fantastic "Japanese" vehicles (if you're judging by the company's origin). We should appreciate the company's willingness to invest in American labor and parts and its vehicles' historical reliability. However, Honda will never be Jeep, the brand that got its start in WWII as a general purpose (GP) American soldier transporter. Today's Jeep has a striking resemblance to the original.
Just imagine it. Cruising down the highway in a Wrangler, top down, this July 4th. You're towing your jet skis, thanks to the SUVs 2,000-lb base towing capacity. You don't even need a boat ramp since you have Jeep 4x4 that will get your across the beach with ease. What a blast!
The best thing about the Jeep Wrangler is that it's as fun to drive as any jet ski, and certainly more fun to drive than most vehicles under $85K. The Wrangler starts at $23K, which means it must be the most entertaining vehicle an average fellow or gal can afford. A great deal, indeed, and a fitting symbol of the American spirit.