As the nation prepares to celebrate Independence Day, July 4, the editors at Total Car Score mark the occasion with a list of the 10 Best American Cars. Beyond just a patriotic gesture, the ranking serves to showcase the strength and quality of the domestic auto industry.
At the top of the list is the 2012 Cadillac CTS. In fact, six of the top 10 American-made cars are from General Motors: three Cadillac models, and one each from Buick, Chevrolet, and GMC. The two other Big Three Detroit automakers, Ford and Chrysler, are represented with two spots each on the list.
Total Car Score, a car comparison website and comprehensive auto rating system, assigns a Total Car Score (or TCS) to each vehicle in the market. The TCS score is an overall industry assessment combining quantitative car reviews from all the major automotive authorities (including The Car Connection).
Karl Brauer, editor in chief and CEO of Total Car Score, commenting on the list, said, “It’s worth noting that while no compact domestic models made the list, Ford’s 2012 Focus was less than half a point behind the [Chrysler] 300 SRT8.
“With a growing interest on small cars and high fuel efficiency, it’s likely we’ll see a domestic economy car in next year’s Top 10 Best American Cars list,” Brauer said.
Here is the list of this year’s winners, with excerpts of Total Car Score comments, along with a few of our own garnered from The Car Connection reviews.
1. 2012 Cadillac CTS – With an overall “superb” Total Car Score (TCS) of 86.49, the 2012 Cadillac CTS is not only an appealing American entry luxury car, but its first-place ranking is illustrated when “reviewers compare it favorably to European rivals, which used to have the segment sewn up.” The Car Connection review of the 2012 Cadillac CTS concludes: “It has a styling leg up, and the 2012 Cadillac CTS backs up its looks with good dynamics, good build quality and a competitive set of body styles and options.”
2012 Buick LaCrosseEnlarge Photo
2. 2012 Buick LaCrosse – Noting that the 2012 Buick LaCrosse posted the highest score in the large sedan category, the overall 85.01 TCS score receives reviewer praise for its “quiet ride, responsive handling, strong V-6 engine and available all-wheel drive.” Here’s what our editors have to say: “As a sophisticated, roomy, tech-savvy premium sedan—now with up to 36 mpg—the 2012 Buick LaCrosse hits the mark for a lot of shoppers who want luxury on a limited budget.”
2012 Chevrolet Traverse
3. 2012 Chevrolet Traverse – The family-friendly eight-passenger and the “uncommonly adult-friendly third-row seat” are obvious attractions, contributing to the 2012 Chevrolet Traverse TCS of 84.87. The Car Connection editors comment: “A very spacious interior, seating for eight, and a smooth, quiet ride make the 2012 Chevrolet Traverse a top pick for families.”
2012 Ford FlexEnlarge Photo
4. 2012 Ford Flex – While its style may not appeal to everyone, there’s no arguing the 2012 Ford Flex has a lot to offer, as borne out by its overall 84.44 TCS. Among the positive attributes are its “roomy, comfortable interior and excellent crash test ratings.” On The Car Connection side: “One of our top-rated vehicles, the 2012 Ford Flex has real distinction, along with top-shelf turbo power, great seats and great features.”