Nailing three out of 10 Consumer Reports Top Picks for 2015, American brands are gaining yards on the competitive playing field. Looking beyond our official Top Pick list, sticking to the domestic brands can get you a really good car—but too often reliability costs them a formal recommendation.
Each year, we put together a list of all-American Top Picks to not only help shoppers who favor domestic brands, but also to serve as an annual snapshot for the state of the industry. (See our .) Like the official Top Picks list, highlighted models are typically the highest-scoring car in a particular category. Each vehicle also needs to have average reliability, as determined by Consumer Reports’ annual reliability survey. To keep things simple, for this list we define “domestic” as having a traditionally American nameplate, rather than digging into where the car is manufactured or who owns the brand (ahem, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles).
Finally, you’ll soon be wondering why the most-American of all segments is missing from this list: Pickup trucks. New competition from the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon and Ford F-150 puts our pickup truck ratings into flux. No question the Ford’s aluminum body and downsized engines are revolutionary, but only full testing will reveal how those changes truly affect the buyer. (We currently own two F-150s and a Colorado, and they are just beginning their test cycles.) As for the competitors, both the Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra are very competent trucks—but both also suffer below average reliability.