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Best deals on American-made cars

Consumer Reports News: June 29, 2010 07:08 AM

Independence Day brings more than fireworks, marching bands, and barbeques. It also typically brings a wave of new-car incentives, which can save car buyers thousands of dollars. Our regular lists of Best New Car Deals show you recommended models that are currently carrying either customer or dealer sales incentives. But in the July 4th spirit, we’ve combined the patriotic and car-buying sides of Independence Day to show you the American-made models that now have such incentives.

In this case, we’re taking the term “American-made” literally. We’re including only models that are built right here on U.S. soil, whether from a domestic or import manufacturer. (And to keep things simple, we’re not looking at parts content, which is listed on a vehicle’s window sticker.) Now, we aren’t suggesting that you use the location of an assembly plant to determine which car to buy; our Ratings are a much better guide to the best and worst in any category. But it can be a good conversation starter while you’re waiting for your next burger.

The list has been compiled by Consumer Reports Auto Price Services, which continuously monitors sales incentives--both customer rebates and unadvertised dealer incentives--for calculating the Bottom Line Price included in every CR New Car Price Report.

The many sides of “American made”
In looking at all of the models that are on sale in the U.S. this month, we’ve identified 118 that are built in America. Of those, 42 are recommended by Consumer Reports. These are good, all-around vehicles that have performed well in our road tests, have average or better reliability, and have performed adequately if tested in government or insurance industry crash tests.

Of those that are recommended, there are 16 models (which break down into 23 trim levels) that currently have national sales incentives, with some models offering rebates of $3,000 to $5,000. That could light your sparkler.

The list includes models from the usual suspects: Buick, Chevrolet, Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury. But it also includes eight Honda models and one each from Acura and Hyundai, all of which are built in U.S. plants.

Conversely, there are many “domestic models” that are built outside of the U.S. For instance, we found that the Sebring sedan and convertible are the only Chryslers built within our borders. And the MKS and Navigator are the only Lincolns. Many domestic models are actually built in Canadian and Mexican assembly plants.

The brands with the most models built in the U.S. are Ford (16), Chevrolet (14), GMC (11), Honda (8), and Jeep (7). Pickup trucks boost the numbers, as each body style counts as a model. In addition to Acura, Honda, and Hyundai, every mainstream import brand also builds vehicles here.

Make & model Expires MSRP Invoice price Customer rebate Dealer incentive Bottom line price Potential savings below MSRP
2010 Acura TL 3.5 Auto 7/6/2010 $35,105 $32,673 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 10%+
2010 Buick Lucerne Super
7/6/2010 42,515 40,814 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2010 Chevrolet Malibu 1LT
7/6/2010 22,715 21,579 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 20%+
2010 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ
7/6/2010 26,955 25,607 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT 4x4 Crew Cab 7/6/2010 34,615 32,192 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 20%+
2010 Chevrolet Traverse 3.6 AT 4WD 1LT 7/6/2010 33,745 32,058 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 10%+
2010 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer 4x4 EL 7/6/2010 46,470 43,253 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 10%+
2010 Ford F-150 XLT 4x4 SuperCrew 157-in 7/6/2010 35,465 32,105 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2010 Ford Focus SES sedan 7/6/2010 18,780 17,489 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2010 Ford Focus SES coupe 7/6/2010 18,780 17,489 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2010 Ford Mustang GT Premium 7/6/2010 31,395 28,906 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2010 Honda Accord EX-L V6 Auto 7/6/2010 29,105 26,375 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2010 Honda Accord LX-P 7/6/2010 22,055 20,005 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2010 Honda Civic EX 7/6/2010 19,455 17,919 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 10%+
2010 Honda Civic EX Auto 7/6/2010 20,255 18,653 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 10%+
2010 Honda Civic Hybrid CVT 7/6/2010 23,800 21,904 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 10%+
2010 Honda Civic Si Coupe 7/6/2010 22,055 20,304 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 10%+
2010 Honda Odyssey EX 7/6/2010 29,905 27,098 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2010 Honda Ridgeline RTS 7/6/2010 31,555 28,589 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+
2010 Hyundai Santa Fe 3.5 Auto Limited AWD 7/6/2010 30,295 28,425 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 10%+
2010 Lincoln Navigator 4x4 7/6/2010 57,850 53,230 Yes No Get the Bottom Line Price 10%+
2010 Mercury Mariner Hybrid 4WD 8/31/2010 31,855 29,578 No Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 10%+
2010 Mercury Mariner Premier I4 4WD 8/31/2010 27,380 25,505 Yes Yes Get the Bottom Line Price 15%+

It’s important to remember that any deal is only as good as the vehicle you're buying. We recommend that you thoroughly research the performance, reliability, safety, owner cost, and owner satisfaction of any model you're considering. Subscribers to ConsumerReports.org have access to our Ratings in all of those areas.

   

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