Highest-Scoring Union-Assembled Vehicles
Check out this list of the top American, union-assembled vehicles from Consumer Reports.
There are many ways to view the Consumer Reports Ratings to find the highest-rated vehicle in a given category or price range. But we get many questions from our readers and journalists regarding the best current American-branded vehicles.
To answer that popular query, we have compiled a list of American-brand cars, SUVs, and trucks selected based on the Overall Score, which factors road test, reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety. And all are recommended by Consumer Reports. We omitted categories where no American-branded model achieved a recommendation because of road-test score, reliability, and/or safety.
Subcompact Car: Chevrolet Sonic LT (1.8L)*
The Chevrolet Sonic hatchback and sedan possess a relatively comfortable ride and a quiet cabin for a subcompact. Fuel economy of 28 mpg overall is nothing to boast about. Handling is secure but a bit darty. The sedan has a large trunk; the hatch offers more utility. Creature comforts such as keyless entry and push-button start, and optional heated seats and steering wheel bring some maturity to the subcompact.
A standard 7-inch touch screen is backed by Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capabilities. A rear camera is standard, and on the safety front, optional forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning are welcome additions.
Compact Car: Ford C-Max Hybrid SE
Based on the compact Focus, the five-passenger C-Max hybrid is a clever, quiet, spacious, and practical hatchback. It rides well and handles capably. Regenerative braking helps with fuel economy but makes the brake pedal feel touchy. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder and electric motor deliver adequate acceleration and seamless transitions between gas and electric power, and the C-Max can run in electric mode up to about 40 mph.
We measured an excellent 37 mpg overall. The Energi plug-in can travel in electric-only mode for about 18 miles before switching to hybrid operation. It takes 6 hours to charge on 120-volt and 2 hours on 240-volt. Ford’s new Sync 3 infotainment system is standard.
Midsized Car: Ford Fusion SE (1.5T) (gas-powered only)**
The Fusion is a delight to drive, with a supple ride and handling rivaling that of a European sports sedan. All trim levels and powertrains feel solid and upscale, with a well-finished and quiet cabin, and comfortable seats. But the rear seat is somewhat snug. Both the 1.5- and 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinders are powerful enough, but neither has competitive fuel economy. A new high-end version, the V6 Sport, is equipped with all-wheel drive and a 325-hp, 2.7-liter four-cylinder.
It is quick, comfortable, and quiet but costs more than $40,000. The Hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid both receive more efficient electric motors for 2017. A new rotary shift dial and Ford’s new-and-improved Sync 3 infotainment system highlight the updates to the interior.
Large Car: Chevrolet Impala 2LTZ
Our 2016 Top Pick for large sedans, the Impala is roomy, comfortable, quiet, and enjoyable to drive. It even rides like a luxury sedan, feeling cushy and controlled. Engine choices include a punchy 3.6-liter V6 and an adequate 2.5-liter four-cylinder, both paired with a six-speed automatic. In our tests, the V6 returned 22 mpg overall and had good acceleration. Braking is capable, and handling is secure and responsive.
The full-featured cabin stays very quiet and features a sumptuous backseat. Controls are intuitive and easy to use, but rear visibility is restricted. Advanced electronic safety features are readily available. Updates for 2016 include Apple CarPlay capability and wireless cell-phone charging.
Luxury Compact Car: Buick Regal Premium I (turbo)
This well-honed and satisfying sports sedan has a European feel, thanks to its Opel roots. It is the antithesis of the whitewall-tired Buick of old. With its agile handling, quick steering, and a taut, steady ride, the Regal is one of Buick’s best offerings. The 259-hp, 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder delivers strong performance and 24 mpg overall. High-quality materials are used throughout the cabin. The front seats are firm and supportive, though the rear seat is quite snug.
The large trunk is a bonus. Infotainment system controls are mostly simple, and all-wheel drive is available on all trim lines. Overall, this is a highly capable yet understated car. The GS is a sportier version with a tauter suspension. A redesign is in the offing.
Luxury Midsized Car: Cadillac CT6
Cadillac’s new flagship fits above the CTS and below the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. But it’s price to compete against the luxury midsized crowd. This large sedan possesses some athletic chops and has a steady, controlled ride and a very quiet interior.
Most buyers will opt for the midlevel nonturbo V6; the top trim carries a 404-hp twin-turbocharged V6. The eight-speed automatic is smooth and responsive. All-wheel drive comes standard with the V6s. The interior is posh and roomy, but cabin storage is a bit scant. Despite improvements, the updated Cue infotainment touch screen is still unintuitive.
Midsized SUV: Ford Edge SEL (2.0L EcoBoost)
New and vastly improved, the second-generation Edge carries itself like a pricier European SUV. Based on the commendable Fusion sedan, the Edge likewise delivers a steady, comfortable ride and confident handling that makes it fun to drive. The quiet cabin wouldn’t be out of place in a luxury car.
The roomy interior provides comfortable quarters, front and rear, while also delivering generous cargo space. The standard 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder gets 21 mpg and is more pleasant than the 3.5-liter V6. A twin-turbo 2.7-liter V6 is offered on the Sport trim. All use a smooth six-speed automatic. Front- and all-wheel drive is available. Safety options include blind-spot monitoring, forward and rearview cameras, and cross-traffic alert.
Large SUV: Dodge Durango Limited (V6)
Spacious, quiet, and comfortable, the Durango impressively blends workhorse utility with ample creature comforts. It shares its platform with the Jeep Grand Cherokee but is longer and adds a third-row seat. Handling is responsive. The ride is composed and comfortable, making the Durango feel sophisticated and substantial.
The slick eight-speed automatic improved performance and fuel economy with both the V6 and V8 engines. The optional Uconnect 8.4-inch infotainment system is one of the best, with intuitive operation. Cargo room is generous, and the Durango can tow 1,000 to 2,000 pounds more than competitors. Limited visibility is a downside, but a rearview camera is standard on all but the lowest trim lines.
Luxury SUV: Lincoln MKX 2.7L
Based on the capable Ford Edge, the Lincoln MKX is one of the best-scoring luxury SUVs in our testing. This is a quiet, refined, and high-tech vehicle. The standard 303-hp, 3.7-liter V6 feels a bit unremarkable, but the optional 335-hp, 2.7-liter turbo V6 is smooth and delivers effortless thrust. The only knock against the MKX is its rather unimpressive fuel economy of 18 mpg overall. Handling is athletic, making the MKX fun to drive, and the ride is steady and composed.
Tall drivers will probably find the push-button shifter to be a long reach away. The very quiet cabin feels first-class, with abundant wood, brushed metal, and leather surfaces. Convenience and safety features include a 360-degree camera, parking and lane-keeping assist, cross-traffic alert, and automatic braking.
Full-Sized Pickups: Ford F-150 XLT (3.5 V6 EcoBoost)
Ford’s big-selling pickup truck uses an all-aluminum body, which saves about 700 pounds over steel. Powertrain choices include a 3.5-liter V6, 2.7- or 3.5-liter turbo V6s, and a 5.0-liter V8, each paired with a six-speed automatic. We tested the 2.7- and 3.5-liter turbo engines, and each delivered abundant power. In our tests the 2.7 got 17 mpg overall, 1 mpg better than the turbo 3.5. The 2.7 is also surprisingly quicker from 0 to 60 mph.
The cabin is very quiet, but the ride is jittery and handling is rather ponderous. New safety offerings include lane-departure warning and blind-spot detection. Other notable features include a 360-degree-view camera and integrated loading ramps.
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All of these vehicles are union-assembled. Before you buy, always make sure to check the complete list of union built vehicles from UAW here.
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Copyright© 2006-2016 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or part, without written permission.
These vehicles are made in the United States or Canada by members of the UAW and Canada’s Unifor union, formerly the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW). Because of the integration of United States and Canadian vehicle production, all the vehicles listed made in Canada include significant UAW-made content and support the jobs of UAW members.
However, those marked with an asterisk (*) are produced in the United States and another country.
**Only the gas-powered is union built.