The Most American-Made Truck May Surprise You
Every year, Cars.com puts out a list of the most American-made trucks, cars, and SUVs to be built. The 2019 list is out, and the most American-made truck is probably not the one you had in mind. Let’s take a closer look at how the list is determined and which model took the prize of the most American-made truck.
American-made index considerations
The American-Made Index is an annual study done by Cars.com that attempts to find out which car is the most American-made of the bunch. The complete list of considerations for the ranking includes:
- The origin of parts used in the car as reported by the American Automobile Labeling Act
- The final assembly location
- The number of Americans the car company employs at its factories
- The origin-country for the vehicle’s transmission
- The origin-country for the vehicle’s engines
When combined, Cars.com uses these five considerations to determine how much American-made a particular vehicle is. While the list looks at trucks, cars, and SUVs, it does not analyze heavy-duty vehicles because their weight makes them exempt from the AALA. This means they do not have published parts content, which is one of the considerations the list looks at.
The Honda Ridgeline takes the prize
For the 2019 American-made index, the Honda Ridgeline was named the most American-made truck of the year. In a list that ranked 15 vehicles in total, the Honda Ridgeline took the third spot overall. This means the pickup truck is more American-made than GMC, Ram, Chevrolet, or Ford trucks.
In conversation with Kelsey Mays, Cars.com’s Senior Consumer Affairs Editor and architect of the list, PickupTrucks.com, which is a network site of Cars.com, found out what gave the Ridgeline the edge.
Kelsey Mays explained that the Honda Ridgeline rates well in parts content as reported by the AALA, is assembled in a plant in Alabama, and has sourced its transmissions and engines from the U.S.
It might be surprising to see a Honda named most American-made truck. But, according to Mays, the list, which has been in existence since 2006, it clearly shows that a vehicle’s badge doesn’t always tell the whole story.
Honda has an American assembly for around two-thirds of the vehicles the company sells in American shores, which is more than FCA and GM. Also, the car company employs many Americans at its factories.
Other trucks that made the list include the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Ford F-150, and Toyota Tundra. While Ford does employ many Americans at its factory, the 2019 F-150 has a low AALA content due to the foreign sourcing among the available engines.
Missing out altogether is the Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500. You can view the full list at Cars.com’s site.
2019 Honda Ridgeline Consumer Reports ranking
Consumer Reports added to the Ridgeline’s honor of being named the most American-made truck of 2019 by ranking it top of its class. The 2019 Honda Ridgeline comes fitted with a V6 3.5-liter engine coupled to an automatic six-speed transmission.
The truck features a lockable trunk space underneath the bed floor, fully independent suspension, and a uni-body construction.
Based on the site’s road test, the truck has a 20 mpg fuel economy, which is the best of any non-diesel truck. The site also found the handling and ride to be more refined than other conventional trucks.
With a towing capacity of 5,000 lb and a payload capacity of 1,325 lb, the Honda Ridgeline is not a conventional workhorse. However, Honda has created a smart truck aimed at most pickup owners’ actual needs.
The second-generation Ridgeline is more conventional and more sensible than previous models. Also, according to Consumer Reports, it is the most civilized pickup truck they have ever tested.