Today’s auto manufacturing is a complex mix of global production and branding. This is a world where a Buick can be made in China while a Honda is produced in Alabama. We got to thinking about what best-selling cars from traditional American brands are still made in the U.S.
Keep in mind that we use the term “car” loosely as it means any passenger vehicle: there’s not a single sedan or coupe on our list. The once-popular Ford Taurus, Chevrolet Impala, and a host of other 4-doors and hatchbacks are long gone from America’s showrooms. Buyers now want pickups and SUVs. In fact, a 2020 New York Times story reports that light-duty trucks (pickups, SUVs, and vans) will account for almost 80% of new car sales by 2025.
So, check out America’s most popular “light-duty trucks” that are still made in the country. The list ranks each vehicle by 2020 sales and includes the main assembly plant for each model.
#10 2020 Chevrolet Traverse
- Assembled in Lansing, Michigan
Chevy’s mid-size SUV slots above the two-row Blazer and offers an alternative for buyers wanting to avoid the bulk of a Tahoe or Suburban. The Traverse features best-in-class interior space, beating out the rival Ford Explorer – this is a budget-friendly option for an 8-passenger SUV. Check out one of many 2020 Chevy Traverses in our inventory here.
#9 2020 Ford Transit
- Assembled in Kansas City, Missouri
You may ask, “Since when did a van become a top seller?” It’s a legitimate question, especially since the Ford Transit is the only model on our list that’s not an SUV or pickup. The pandemic-inspired demand for food and merchandise delivery has undoubtedly created an increase in the need for cargo-capable vehicles. With a little repairing this 2020 Ford Transit can carry whatever cargo you need to transport.
#8 2020 Jeep Cherokee
- Assembled in Belvedere, Illinois
Most recently owned by Fiat Chrysler, Jeep is now one of the multiple brands under the giant Stellantis automaker umbrella, which was recently formed when Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot merged. The fifth-generation Cherokee launched in 2014 and is the first Jeep to be built on a compact vehicle platform jointly developed by Fiat and Chrysler. This 2020 Jeep Cherokee from our inventory is in the Latitude Plus trim.
#7 2020 Ford Escape
- Assembled in Louisville, Kentucky
2020 marks the first year for the all-new, fourth-generation Escape. Ford engineers cleverly redesigned the cabin to offer a surprising amount of interior space that competes with the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Mexican-built Chevrolet Equinox. The Escape sports a standard 181 horsepower turbo three-cylinder powerplant and an optional 250 horsepower turbo four-cylinder. A hybrid setup returns after a long absence. The 2020 Ford Escape comes in a few different trims, but this SE model in red is one that stands out.
#6 2020 Jeep Wrangler
- Assembled in Toledo, Ohio
There’s nothing quite like a Wrangler. That is until the 2021 Ford Bronco finally hits the road later this year, but we’ll save that story for another time. The fourth-generation or JL Wrangler offers a multitude of configurations that include two- and four-door models as well as soft and hard top options. While the Wrangler fundamentals haven’t changed in decades, you know times are changing as Jeep recently launched the Wrangler 4xe: the iconic off-roader with plug-in electric capability. Kick off your search for the perfect Jeep Wrangler with this blue 2020 four-door Unlimited Rubicon.
#5 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Assembled in Detroit, Michigan
Despite its decade-old, long-in-tooth design, the Grand Cherokee remains a strong seller for Jeep. Although sales dropped about 15% from 2019, almost 210,000 GCs were purchased last year. The Grand Cherokee is all about choice with seven different trim levels: from the entry-level Laredo to an outrageous Hellcat-powered Trackhawk with 707 horsepower. Check out this top of the line 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk here.
#4 2020 Ford Explorer
- Assembled in Chicago, Illinois
Launched for the 1991 model year, the Explorer is arguably the vehicle that helped launched the SUV craze. For 30 years, this winning formula brought together reasonable off-road capability, respectable road manners, and a comfortable interior. Even today, the Explorer remains the best-selling mid-size SUV. There’s tons of Explorers in our inventory. This silver 2020 Ford Explorer Limited model is just one of many great finds.
#3 2020 Ram 1500
- Assembled in Sterling Heights, Michigan
American’s love for trucks is evidenced by the top three slots in our list and begins with the Ram 1500. Despite being operated by six different ownership groups (from the original Chrysler Corporation to today’s Stellantis, and being spun off into the separate Ram brand in 2010, the 1500 has soldiered on in its attempts to best Chevy and Ford. Following a familiar formula, the Hellcat-powered 2021 Ram 1500 TRX version delivers a supertruck with 702 outrageous horsepower. The brown leather seats and interior of this 2020 Ram 1500 Longhorn sets it apart from your average truck.
#2 Ford F-150
- Assembled in Dearborn, Michigan and Claycomo, Missouri
If you are a blue oval fan, don’t freak out about the F-150’s number two position on our list. We talk about the Silverado/Sierra top-ranking below, but as a single-brand half-ton truck, the F-150 is hands-down America’s favorite vehicle of any type. For 2020, Ford sold more than 787,000 F-150s. Ready to start looking for your own F-150? Take a look at this 2018 model with dual sun roofs.
#1 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 / GMC Sierra 1500
- Assembled in Roanoke, Indiana
For simplicity, we grouped the Silverado and Sierra corporate twins together. Without this pairing, the Silverado 1500 would be in the number two spot on our list (The Sierra 1500 would be number nine). Together, both of GM’s half-ton pickups sold about 52,000 more units than the Ford F-150 last year. Multiple engine choices and cab configurations help this pickup duo keep toe-to-toe with Ford. Both truck models are in our inventory, so you can decide which pickup you like better, the Silverado or the Sierra.
So that’s our list of the best selling American cars cars still made in the US. What is your favorite American-made car or truck? Let us know in the comments below.