Best American Cars, SUVs, and Trucks

There are many ways to sort and filter Consumer Reports' ratings to find the best vehicle in a given category or price range. But we often receive inquiries about which new vehicles are the best among American brands in particular.

To answer that question, we have compiled a list of the best American cars, SUVs, and trucks based on CR's Overall Score, which factors in road tests, reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety. All of these models are recommended by Consumer Reports. 

Click through the links below to see the complete road tests and ratings.

Subcompact Car: Chevrolet Sonic

American cars: Chevrolet Sonic sedan

The Chevrolet Sonic hatchback and sedan offer a relatively comfortable ride and a quiet cabin for a subcompact. The Sonic has creature comforts including keyless entry and push-button start, and the optional heated seats and steering wheel are nice for a car in this segment. A 7-inch touch screen is standard and works with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Fuel economy of 28 mpg overall is nothing to boast about. Its handling is a bit too responsive with overly quick steering. The sedan has a large trunk, but the hatchback version is more versatile. On the safety front, forward collision warning and lane departure warning are options for an additional cost. 

Read the complete Chevrolet Sonic road test.  

Compact Car: Chevrolet Cruze

Best American Cars include the Chevrolet Cruze

The Cruze possesses big-car qualities, such as a comfortable ride and a quiet interior. The standard engine is an unobtrusive 1.4-liter, turbo four-cylinder mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. A smooth stop/start feature reduces fuel use during idling. We got 30 mpg overall in our tests. The diesel model returned an impressive 41 mpg overall and an outstanding 60 mpg on the highway.

The rear seat is relatively roomy for the class, but the front seats are short on lower-back support. The infotainment system features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. A variety of advanced active safety features are available, but only on the top Premier trim.

Read the complete Chevrolet Cruze road test.

Compact Electric Car: Chevrolet Bolt

Best American Cars include the Chevrolet Bolt

The Bolt is the first relatively affordable EV to have a robust driving range. Its battery can power the vehicle for 250 miles, according to our measurement. This small hatchback is built around a large 60-kWh battery pack that sits under the car's floor and contributes to its planted feel despite its tall stance. A full charge takes 10 hours on a 240-volt connector, but with its impressive range, you won't have to fully charge the Bolt often. With 200 electrified horses on tap, it accelerates with gusto. 

The Bolt is very quiet, but the ride can get choppy. The controls take some getting used to, including the unintuitive gear selector. The driver's seat is short on lower-back support, and interior quality is on the cheap side. 

Read the complete Chevrolet Cruze road test.

Midsized Car: Ford Fusion Titanium

Best American Cars include the Ford Fusion

For 2019 the Fusion gets updated styling and standard safety features with the Ford Co-Pilot 360 suite, which bundles forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. The plug-in hybrid version has an improved electric-only range claimed to be 21 miles.

The Fusion is a delight to drive, with a supple ride and nimble handling reminiscent of a European sports sedan. The 1.5- and 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinders are powerful enough, but neither has competitive fuel economy. A high-end version, the V6 Sport, is equipped with all-wheel drive and a 325-hp, 2.7-liter V6. It is quick, comfortable, and pricey.

All trim levels and powertrains feel solid and upscale, with a quiet, well-finished cabin. We found the optional leather seats to be more supportive than the cloth ones, and the rear seat is somewhat snug. Leg and kneeroom are just adequate, and tall people may find their heads brushing the roof.

Read the complete Ford Fusion road test.

Large Car: Chevrolet Impala

Chevrolet Impala

The Impala is roomy, comfortable, quiet, and enjoyable to drive. It rides like a luxury sedan, feeling cushy and controlled. Engine choices include a punchy 3.6-liter V6 and an adequate 2.5-liter four-cylinder, both paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. In our tests, the V6 returned 22 mpg overall and had good acceleration. Braking is capable, and handling is secure and responsive.

The full-featured cabin stays very quiet and has a sumptuous backseat. Rear visibility is restricted by the high package shelf and sharply angled rear glass. Controls and the infotainment system are easy to use. Advanced safety features, such as forward collison warning and automatic emergency braking, are available for an additional cost. Recent updates include the addition of Apple CarPlay capability and wireless cell-phone charging for a PMA- or Qi-compatible device.

Read the complete Chevrolet Impala road test.

Luxury Midsized Car: Cadillac XTS

Cadillac XTS

This large sedan has a beautifully executed interior, perfect for limo duty. The XTS is roomy, luxurious, and quiet inside, with comfortable seats. It comes as either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. But the ride feels too ordinary for a luxury car, and handling isn't sporty. The 3.6-liter V6 engine lacks finesse, mostly because of its coarse sound when prodded. Still, it ultimately performs well and returned a respectable 22 mpg overall when we tested it with the six-speed automatic transmission.

The unintuitive Cue infotainment system is frustrating to use, and the high rear deck and sloped rear glass impede the view out the back. A V-Sport version with a twin-turbo, 3.6-liter engine gives the XTS V8-like power.

Read the complete Cadillac XTS road test.

Ultra-Luxury Car: Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S P85D

This sleek, fully electric four-door luxury car seats five, or seven with the optional rear-facing jump seats. With its standard 75-kWh battery, we found that the Model S could cover 235 miles on a single charge. (Like other EVs, the range is lower in cold weather.) The car can be charged in about 6 hours on a dedicated Tesla connector. Performance is exceptional, with quiet and thrilling acceleration, pinpoint handling, and a firm yet comfortable ride—particularly with the standard 19-inch tires and air suspension.

The hatchback design aids versatility, and the front trunk is a bonus. A huge iPad-like center touch screen interfaces with most functions but proves to be distracting. All-wheel drive is now standard, and active safety features are available. Tesla's Autopilot is optional. This system combines automated steering and adaptive cruise control to partially automate driving. It has no proven safety benefit, but it can make driving more convenient. 

Read the complete Tesla Model S road test.

Sports Car: Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

The sharp-edged Corvette creates lots of power with its 455-hp, 6.2-liter V8 engine. A seven-speed manual transmission is standard. An eight-speed automatic is optional. Drivers with a thirst for more power can opt for the 650-hp Z06. The Grand Sport and ultra-high-performance ZR1 versions are also available. The car's all-aluminum construction optimizes weight savings and strength. Whether in coupe or convertible form, acceleration is blisteringly quick and handling is pinpoint. Its power and interior make it worth the price.

With its adjustable driving modes, the car can be a fairly refined cruiser or a track-ready race car. The seats deliver support and comfort. But there are downsides you can't ignore: the low-slung cabin, which requires almost acrobatic skills to get in and out of, the vague manual shifter, and the omnipresent tire noise. 

Read the complete Chevrolet Corvette road test.

Compact SUV: Ford Escape

The Ford Escape is a nimble SUV with impressive handling, which helps make it one of the sportiest small SUVs. You can choose between 1.5- and 2.0-liter turbocharged engines. We got just 23 mpg overall from the 1.5-liter when we tested it. Plus, when the stop/start system turns the engine off at idle, the A/C weakens. The Escape has a taut, controlled ride and a quiet interior.

The interior is snug, the rear is low, and the bottom cushion is short. The impressive Sync 3 system is standard. One new feature is Sync Connect, a smartphone app that allows owners to use their cell phone to lock and unlock their Escape, start the engine remotely, and track the vehicle location via GPS. Advanced safety features such as FCW are optional.

Read our complete Ford Escape road test.

Midsized SUV: Ford Edge

Ford Edge

The midsized Edge has been updated for 2019, with a revised face, updated powertrains, more entertainment options, and more advanced safety features. A 250-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. The new performance-oriented ST trim gets a 335-hp twin-turbo V6. Front- and all-wheel-drive versions are available.

The roomy interior provides comfortable quarters. Front, rear, and cargo spaces are generous. It has a quiet cabin and luxurious ride and handling. The comprehensive Sync 3 infotainment system adds new functionality. Standard safety equipment includes FCW with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assist.

Read the complete Ford Edge road test

Large SUV: Chevrolet Suburban

Best American Cars include the Chevrolet Suburban

If you need space for seven or more people plus all their stuff—and towing capacity to boot—few SUVs other than the Suburban will do. This behemoth has a sumptuous and quiet interior, power-folding second- and third-row seats, and available blind spot monitoring and cross traffic alert. Beyond that, it's pretty much your standard hauler, with a 5.3-liter V8 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and a respectable 16 mpg overall.

The touch-screen infotainment system is easy to use, and the dynamic ride suspension on the Premier trim improves ride comfort and handling response and capability. Recent updates include available lane keeping assist, plus Apple CarPlay. A 6.2-liter V8, paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, is available.

Read the complete Chevrolet Suburban road test.

Luxury SUV: Buick Envision

Best American Cars include the Buick Enclave

Buick's entry into the luxury compact SUV segment sits between the tiny Encore and giant Enclave. The China-built Envision uses a smooth and quiet 252-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine originally mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. For 2019 the turbo engine is paired to a nine-speed automatic. Its handling is clumsy and the ride is a mixed bag, both soft and unsettled at the same time. There's pronounced wind noise.

The interior is well-finished and features a relatively roomy rear seat. Buick's suite of active safety equipment includes FCW and lane departure mitigation systems, as well as AEB. A less-expensive 2.5-liter four-cylinder and front-wheel-drive versions are available. The Envision's 2019 update addresses some of the SUV's initial shortcomings.

Read the complete Buick Envision road test.

Minivan: Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica

The Pacifica minivan is offered in seven- and eight-passenger configurations and retains the handy fold-into-the-floor second-row seats. But these seats have limited thigh support.

A plug-in hybrid version is available with an electric range of about 30 miles before it reverts to hybrid operation and gets 27 mpg. The 3.6-liter V6 engine, paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission, provides ample power and gets a decent 21 mpg overall.

The handling is responsive, the ride is comfortable, and the cabin is quiet. The latest version of the UConnect touch-screen system is intuitive and easy to master. High-end versions of the Pacifica feature individual screens with built-in games for rear passengers.

Read the complete Chrysler Pacifica road test.

Pickup Truck: Ford F-150

Best American cars and trucks include the Ford F-150

Ford's big-selling pickup truck has an all-aluminum body, which saves about 700 pounds over its steel-bodied predecessor. Engine choices include a variety of V6s and a 5.0-liter V8. The 2.7-liter and 3.5-liter turbo V6s and the V8 are teamed with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Both turbo V6s are quiet and effortless, lending themselves to towing. Fuel economy is commendable. In our tests the 2.7 got 19 mpg overall. The 2.7 is also surprisingly quick from 0-60 mph. A diesel engine is also available, and a hybrid is on the horizon.

The cabin is very quiet, but the ride is stiff and jittery. We recommend getting the optional Sync 3 infotainment system. FCW and AEB are standard for 2019.

Read the complete Ford F-150 road test.