Buying American? These are the Most American-Made Vehicles in 2021

We hear all the time about how the Toyota This or Honda That is more American-made than some Chevys or Fords. That’s more of an urban myth than reality based on this latest study. Not that it is good or bad one way or the other but all five of the top American-made vehicles made in 2021 are actually made by companies headquartered in the US.

This survey was put together by cars.com. It looked at almost 350 vehicles before winnowing it down to 90 that actually met the criteria for being American-made. The criteria allowing vehicles to make the cut or not generally got lumped into five categories.

What were the criteria for what the Most American 2021 vehicles are?

A white Tesla Model 3
Tesla Model 3 | Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images

Those categories are assembly location, parts content, engine origin, transmission origin, and US workforce. The category with the most significance in the survey was assembly location. But we know that everything from Toyota to Kia and BMW is made here. But if the vehicle is made in another country it uses a foreign workforce so right there it pretty much gets cut from contention.

The American Automobile Labeling Act requires automakers to determine how much of each vehicle’s content has origins in either the US or Canada. That factored into this survey. But the engine and transmission origin played a strong bias in determining what is most American. 

And the number one Most American 2021 vehicle is…

A blue 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 parked by a racetrack garage
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 | Ford

So how did all of this shake out? Number one on the Most American list is the Tesla Model 3. It beat out the Mustang, which scored second in the rankings. Third also went to Tesla for the Model Y. So, is Tesla more American than any other manufacturer? 

The number four Most American vehicle went to the Jeep Cherokee, and number five was the Corvette. Both of Tesla’s cars are made in Fremont, California. The Mustang is made at Ford’s Flat Rock assembly plant. Jeep’s Cherokee comes out of its Belvidere, Illinois, assembly plant. And the Corvette has been made in Bowling Green, Kentucky, since 1981. 

Interestingly, the urban legend of Japanese-made vehicles being as American as Fords and Chevys is almost true for the number six through 10 rankings. The number six-vehicle goes to the Honda Ridgeline, with number seven also going to Honda with the Odyssey minivan. Numbers eight and nine are also made by Honda; the Pilot and Passport both made in Lincoln, Alabama.

The Toyota Tundra is the “Most American” full-size pickup

The pinnacle of trucks in Toyota's lineup: the desert tan Tundra on display
Toyota Tundra | Raymond Boyd via Getty Images

Number 10 goes to the Toyota Tundra which is made in Toyota’s San Antonio, Texas, facility. So the Tundra is more American than a Ram, Silverado, or F-150? According to this survey and its criteria, it is. What we consider the most American of vehicles, the pickup truck, has the Toyota Tundra as the most American of American pickups. 

Maybe the most interesting thing about American-made vehicles is that almost every sector of the continental US is accounted for. Tesla is in the West, the Mustang and Jeep come from the Midwest, the Corvette splits between the Midwest and South, with the Hondas and Toyota made in the South. God Bless America!

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