Sure, we'd all like to do the patriotic thing and buy cars from American companies (especially since we're all shareholders in some of them), but we're also consumers. That means we want quality, a good driving experience, fuel efficiency and excellent safety ratings -- attributes that American cars just don't deliver, right?
Wrong. While Detroit is having problems shedding the image that it produces unsafe, unreliable gas guzzlers, American car companies have been building a stronger reputation for good design and quality. Their PR departments just haven't gotten the word out yet.
That's actually good news for buyers. Because American car companies are all, to varying degrees, suffering from a prolonged sales slump, they usually offer more deals and incentives than their foreign counterparts. That means that by shopping domestic brands, you can get a great car at a great price. Check out our list of the best cars Detroit is building right now.
The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid may be part of the reason that Ford isn't having as much financial trouble as GM and Chrysler. The Fusion Hybrid tops our Affordable Midsize Car rankings, and for good reason. It's fun to drive and boasts plenty of interior space and an attractive cabin. Its exterior styling isn't as futuristic as other hybrids, but you can't argue with numbers: the EPA estimates the Fusion Hybrid achieves 41 mpg in the city and 36 on the highway.
When the Chevrolet Malibu was reincarnated in 2008, it became a testament to the fact that GM could do more than build large trucks. That year, the Malibu was voted North American Car of the Year and racked up spots on Car and Driver's 10Best List and Automobile Magazine's All-Stars. For 2010, little has changed -- except the Malibu is still flying under the radar. A roomy cabin, good driving dynamics and excellent safety scores make the Malibu a compelling alternative to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
For active families, a compact SUV makes a lot of sense. And for compact SUV buyers, the Ford Escape Hybrid makes more sense than most. Not only does its hybrid powertrain help it achieve 34 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway, but the Escape hybrid also boasts plenty of power and an ultra-quiet cabin.
GM's Midsize Crossovers: Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave and Saturn Outlook
GM has gotten plenty of criticism for focusing on large trucks, but with the introduction of four great crossover SUVs, they've proven that their best vehicles don't have to be rough and ready. The Traverse, Acadia, Enclave and Outlook are all great family cars. These minivan alternatives offer plenty of space and boast top safety scores. They dominate our Affordable Midsize SUV rankings, and for good reason. With this quartet of high-performing crossovers, buyers looking for space and practicality need only choose the one that matches their style.
Okay, there are some people out there who are still comfortable with being seen in a minivan. For those secure individuals, there's the Chrysler Town & Country. Chrysler practically invented the minivan, and the Town & Country continues to lead its segment with innovative interior features. Town & Country buyers can opt for Stow N' Go seating, which allows the rears seats to fold seamlessly into the floor, or Swivel N' Go seating, which allows the second row of seats to face the third. Finally, Chrysler offers live Satellite TV in the Town and Country, as well as a lifetime powertrain warranty. This minivan is a parent's dream.